Monday, 29 August 2011

Simply unbelievable. Man who runs London's roads for the Mayor thinks this is a family-friendly route to cycle to the Olympics.

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Transport for London's head of roads thinks this is where people should cycle to the Olympics. With their children, I imagine? 

Writing this blog, I have had moments of frustration and moments of optimism. But absolutely nothing has shocked me more than something I came across at the weekend. 

Leon Daniels is the man responsible for London's roads. A big man in the bus world, Mr Daniels joined Transport for London earlier this year. He is responsible for all surface transport in London,including the cycle hire scheme. 

I have profiled Leon Daniels before. He has asserted several times in correspondence that he sees no reason to give people sufficient space that they might feel safe enough to take up cycling on London's roads.

He also writes a blog. Last week he posted the following blog entry:

"One of my correspondents stated recently that there is no provision for cyclists at the Olympic Games. This is not true! Here is the real situaion! [sic]"

Among other suggestions, he talks about how you should access the Olympics by cycle from the north:

"Head south on A11 through Stratford town centre gyratory, onto Stratford High Street, left onto Cam Road and onto Channelsea Path to Abbey Lane.  Onto Rick Roberts Way and into the southern spectator transport mall."

Pictured above, the A11 through Stratford town centre gyratory. Six lanes of motor traffic. To manoeuvre around this junction, you might need to magic your way across no less than four sets of fast-flowing motor traffic. On a bicycle. Perhaps with your twelve year-old daughter. 

Remember, this is the same man who sees no need for cycle lanes to be wide enough to cycle in safely.

I'm so stunned, I don't even know where to start. We might as well give up cycling, get in our cars and add to London's congestion.

It simply defies common sense to believe this could ever be a scene where families should cycle to the Olympics. I believe Leon Daniels's suggestion that this is the way people should cycle to the Olympics with their sons and daughters is so dangerous it is almost immoral. 

My own feeling is that cycling in London is dead and finished if this is what the Mayor's most senior advisers truly think.  


If anyone from East London knows these streets better than me, I'd be very interested to hear your own thoughts on the full text of Mr Daniels's article about cycling to the Olympics.