Wednesday, 17 September 2014

How you can help make London's planned cycle tracks a reality. Three quick and easy ways to make a real difference.

As I mentioned in my blog last week, a number of business organisations have been making noise about Boris's plans to build cycle tracks in central London. London First and the London Chamber of Commerce have both issued fairly negative statements that predict the cycle tracks will cause traffic problems on central London's roads.

Both groups claim that conditions will be worse for pedestrians too, ignoring the fact that the plans involve wider pedestrian crossings, more single crossings (rather than irritating sheep pen crossings where you have to wait in the middle of the road) and, frankly, more pedestrian crossings than are on these routes at the moment.

Proposed layout on New Bridge Street, near
Blackfriars Bridge
Now, I happen to know that a number of the companies that are members of London First are preparing to write to the TfL consultation and give their active support for the planned cycle super highways. Their support will be in direct contradiction to the statement London First put out last week, supposedly on behalf of these companies. These are large, well-known companies that everyone will have heard of.

My own company's chief executive has also been happy to write a letter of support to the public consultation. He isn't a 'cyclist' but he can see that plenty of his staff cycle to work and he feels it should be made safer. He also feels he might one day get a bike to work himself if the route is made safe enough.

And we really need your help to get more companies (and more individuals) to show their support for the plans.

There are three really easy ways you can do this.

Personal response

On a personal level, I've already pointed out that one option is to provide detailed feedback on the Transport for London online consultation sites. There's one for the East - West highway and one for the North - South highway.

Sign the petition

Or, if you want to keep things really simple, the London Cycling Campaign has set up an online form where you can fill in your details in about a minute and send a letter of support to TfL with the click of a button.

But there's another way you can help.

Get your employer to show its support

Organisations, large and small, are starting to line up and publicly support the cycle track plans. So far, we're aware of letters of support from the chief exec of Barts NHS Trust, tech supplier Millnet, property developers Goodsir Commercial, furniture company and a host of others that have made their letters public. Next week, I am expecting some very large employers to join them.

They're not doing this because someone at the top suddenly sits down and fancies writing a letter to TfL. They're doing this because people who cycle to work are writing to their bosses and asking them to support this.

And you can do this too. A group of us has formed a pop-up campaign called Cycling Works. On the Cycling Works website, there is a template which you can send to your management team explaining the plans and explaining why you're looking for support. 

All sorts of people are getting behind this initiative. As I said, some of the names are very big. Others are smaller. But if you're in work, in any sort of organisation, please try and help make this happen. Use the template to ask your senior management to support the cycle tracks and make their staff's journey to work safer.