Thursday, 25 November 2010

"Mass public response" to improve cycling needed soon.

In January, the City of London kicks off its LIP programme. LIP stands for Local Implementation Plan. This is where the borough sets out its ambitions for future years and requests funding to match those ambitions.
Now, here's the ominous bit. Only a few thousand people live in the City. They all get a chance to influence the LIP by commenting on it.

As we know, a lot of them are vocally anti-cycling.

Hundreds of thousands work here, though. And the real problem is hardly any of those people get involved in helping change the City. If you want cycling conditions to improve, you're going to have to write letters when the time is right.

And this is why:

I was talking with a senior City official last night about our recent cycling poll here. And he was very supportive of the poll.

But these were his important words:

"I suspect that mass public response to the LIP consultation may be the only way to effect some of the changes that your survey identified."

The LIP comes out in January. We're going to need hundreds of people to write to the City about cycling if we have any hope of having a say in how cycling is developed over the next few years. Not a handful of people. A few hundred is what's going to make the difference. We'll need people to just write letters. To write in and complain about conditions for cycling in the City that are relevant to their individual experience. And I'm crossing my fingers that some of you will be prepared to do that. But I'm beginning to realise that crossing my fingers isn't going to be enough. What we need is people to act as evangelists and encourage other people who cycle to get involved. Its not going to take ages and ages of their time. But we need to get as many people as possible involved.

Over 150 of you responded to the survey. And I know of a few people who've written in to TfL or the City as a result of this site. The question I'm facing is how to get 150 people to write in to the City when the LIP consultation comes out in January.
I'm hoping that a few people who read this blog will be prepared to give up an evening to meet in a pub in January and then commit to helping convince other people they know with cycling and City of London connections to write letters, emails and comments on the LIP.
If you're swayed by the idea of lending a helping hand, please get in touch.


  1. Count me in! I agree that two things are needed for bringing about better quality cycling environments:

    Loud voices

    - and -

    a helping hand to get involved when necessary.

    You've got my email address, drop me a line! Let's all get involved and help to bring about better cycling facilities for all.

  2. Let's spread the word. Unfortunately I don't cycle in the city so I don't know if I can help personally.

  3. Thank you both! I've had about half a dozen responses so far. At the moment, there's no action to be had but I'll be seeking out a clear timetable from the City soon and posting a clear mandate for how people can help as soon as I can..

  4. This is a great idea, but I think it lacks the organisation to have a big impact.

    Other groups use a standard (but well written and targeted) letter so that writing in or emailing is made easier. Although to have this approach, you need to have some kind of consensus on what you want, you need a real platform. (maybe this already exists in your survey?)
    Someone needs to do a bit of the work, that way you can get more people involved, as not everyone wants to take time to write up a letter or email. Of course in campaigns like this you can still give people the option to write up a personal response, but I think you need to give people a nudge. If you want numbers, I really think it would be helpful to have something written and ready to go.


  5. Hi,

    Try using Plegebank to help organise and make sure you have enough people.

  6. I'll be posting a summary tomorrow of what the timetable looks like and how and when peopel will help. And,yes, I'll try to put a bit of direction on it. But the key point is the City specifically won't listen to a cut and paste job. It wants individual responses. That's just, unfortunately, the way it is....

  7. Hope it goes well. Keep us informed. We tweeted the blog appeal out to our followers. Hopefully that it will encourage people to make comments for the good of all cyclists.

    Going Going Bike