How London bloggers changed cycling

Bike London's mayor is set to outline his vision for cycling over the next 10 years

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I'm not party to the detail (so none of this is confirmed) - but broadly the policy in London has already moved towards safe, segregated cycle lanes.

So, expect to see many more, probably including some longer eye-catching ones.

There will also be more focus and money spent on junctions.

The buzzword will be "step-change".

Aside from the infrastructure - which cyclists will no doubt judge when it is delivered - this is also a big day and a victory for London's cycling bloggers.

These sites - among others - started campaigning for improvements to cycling safety in the years before the last Mayoral election. They were a thorn in the side of the Boris Johnson administration:

Cycle London City blog

London Cyclist Blog

I Bike London

Vole O'Speed

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Their voices - and the message - got louder after a number of deaths, particularly around Bow roundabout.

They also began to shift the policy of more traditional organisations like the London Cycling Campaign, which in turn became more aggressive in its demands.

They were also helped by the campaign at The Times just prior to the last Mayoral Election.

Then the cycling lobby - usually a split and disconnected group - managed to get all the candidates to commit to improvements to cycling safety.

To give the Johnson administration credit, they have since engaged with the lobby, including some of the bloggers.

And now some of these internet campaigners have become involved and had direct input into an announcement set to be made tomorrow.

The cycling commissioner himself, Andrew Gilligan, has written and blogged about cycling for some time.

He has been critical of Transport for London and Cycling Superhighways on a few occasions.

Andrew Gilligan cycling blog

The headlines tomorrow will probably be about the practicalities of the new infrastructure.

But what it will also show is the power of bloggers in mobilising opinion and changing the political landscape.

Tomorrow we will see the mayor outline his vision for cycling over the next 10 years.

Is this the first transport policy moulded by bloggers?

Tom Edwards Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

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  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    Big plans from a mayor who still hasn't got the problems at Bow roundabout sorted, and who has made the death-trap at Blackfriars even worse.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Will the Mayor sweep out the dark corners of TFL where continuing a cycle route comes nowhere if it might impact traffic capacity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Dedicated, fully separated cycle lanes would be great. But would this really reduce vehicle use as much as is claimed, or will a percentage of new cyclists be giving up bus, train or tube journeys? This should be part of an integrated programme that includes mandatory switching to lpg or electric power by delivery and waste vehicles and taxis.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Many of Johnson's policies on cycling have previously been put forward by the Green Party, especially by Jenny Jones. Judging by the fate of previous bold statements by Boris johnston, the likelihood of all of this actually happening is quite low...

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Nice to see something positive for cyclists but this needs to be rolled out across the country. Cycling along roads is no longer safe in most towns and cities. Cycle lanes (if there are any) often petre out suddenly and in the worst of places

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Whatever one's opinions obout the effectiveness of blogging, these announcements will have huge implications for everyone. Even motorists will appreciate the benefits of having fewer cars in front of them as more people choose to cycle.

    But the biggest winners of all will be businesses along these routes.

    In every other city globally, trade has dramatically increased along new cycle routes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    And your point is? I see bloggers as just another form of lobby group. Various business sectors lobby for changes through trade associations and I think it is a good thing that interested parties - in this case cycling bloggers - are having an input into transport policy. If others object, I suggest they get off their bums and start to lobby. It's the way things get changed, usually for the better

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Whether or not bloggers moulded transport policy, it is clear that provisions for cycling will become a more important part of London transport policy than they are now. In a city bursting at the seams with vehicles and no way of increasing capacity either above ground or below, cycling holds the key to the future expansion of capacity. In the road space that one car rakes up you can fit 10 bikes.



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