Andrew Gilligan, the former Cycling Commissioner for London, has criticised Sadiq Khan , the new Mayor of London for a lack of commitment to promoting cycling in the capital. Writing in the Evening Standard yesterday, he explained that his old job remains vacant after six months and when they do find a replacement they will only spend 11 hours a week on cycling. And despite promising to triple protected cycle lanes and increase spending, “the cycling programme has all but ground to a halt.”
His article comes amid a recent campaign from the likes of the Daily Mail that have run articles claiming that cycle lanes in the capital are under-used and that they contribute to even greater pollution problems. Gilligan rebuffs the claims with some hard facts: “Official transport for London counts show that during rush hour the Embankment cycle superhighway…is in fact used by 1,200 cyclists an hour, one every three seconds,” and accounts for 52% of all traffic on this road. He goes on to say that “Data from the superhighway routes published on the London Air website, shows that pollution since they opened has, if anything fallen.”
Meanwhile the dangers of cycling on London’s roads was tragically highlighted again yesterday when an Italian student, Filippo Corsini heir to a noble Florentine family, was crushed under the wheels of a lorry in Knightsbridge. Just a week ago an Italian waitress was killed by a lorry in Battersea. Nicola Branch of Stop Killing Cyclists called for measures banning HGVs with poor visibility and large blind spots to be introduced immediately.