Saturday, 16 May 2015

Assembly Members responses to concerns about Canary Wharf

Following our email about Canary Wharf's shady lobbying last year, many of our supporters contacted their London Assembly Members. Here are some thoughts on the responses we recieved.

The first response we got was from Murad Qureshi AM telling us in a brief email he had referred it to TfL's legal advisers, which was a welcome development.

Darren Johnson AM copied us in to his letter to the Mayor and TfL Commissioner, clearly setting out his opposition to Peter Anderson having any say in regard to cycling. We also had a response from the Lib-Dems.

We didn't get a response from the Conservatives but having a TfL board member from an organisation actively lobbying against the Mayor's proposals must have been an unwelcome revelation to say the least.

The good news is that with the LTDA dropping it's legal challenge to the cycle superhighways and endorsing protected cycling this fight is now won.  We are still waiting for for Canary Wharf to take a more balanced and approach to cycling.

With cycling in London still too dangerous and unpleasant for most people we need to build on this win and look at the next big challenges:
  • Action on HGVs.
  • Getting all boroughs building protected cycling facilities.
  • Safer Junctions.
With Boris' attention shifting* and the election for his successor not until next year, we need to turn up the pressure on the Councils which have been getting away with very little scrutiny for too long. *You can read about his legacy here.

The most popular focus for our 2015 campaign survey was "Demand every council has a programme to build protected cycle facilities at junctions and along main roads". Which would be a huge step forward given only a few boroughs have any plans to build protected cycle facilities on main roads.

What do Labour think about cycling?

Labour have the largest number of Assembly Members and although a Labour AM responded first in this instance I've generally felt their voices have been lacking from the cycling debate. So I decided to look on www.labourinlondon.org.uk to find out their latest thinking on cycling. I used the search to look for 'cycling' and it returned "No results"...

After a bit more searching I found Val Shawcross has raised the issue of dangerous junctions. I should also note we hear a lot of very positive things from Christian Wolmar, but he hasn't been selected (yet) and isn't an AM.

Labour are a huge party in London politics and once Boris leaves could well supply the next mayor for our city. As cyclists we really need labour to start talking more about cycling, and some of their supporters agree. Many of the boroughs with the highest numbers of cyclists are Labour, so cycling should be well represented by their members.