|Please keep up your good work - help cyclists create change.||muncher.|
Dec 6, 2001 8:53 AM
|Despite, thanks to lobbying from those like us who care, the London cycling budget getting through the local government assembly, our old friend Mr "choke on my fumes you City-dwelling kids" Coleman is still at it. This time, it's "the day I support cycling is the day that hell freezes over" - what a charmer - here's his article (Ken is Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London)!
Brian Coleman's Assembly Diary
Ham & High 23/11/2001
My long-standing love affair with the city's cyclists reached a climatic peak this week as I became deluged with letters and emails from pedal pushers outraged at the £2million for cycling initiatives in Transport for London's 2002/3 budget.
My response was typically sympathetic and convivial - along the lines of "On the day I lobby Ken over cycle lanes, Satan will be skating to work".
But in all seriousness, I have some sympathies with cyclists over the state of the 30-year-old network, which is urgent need of attention and review. Where I do take issue with my two-wheeled friends is over the construction of vast new swathes of unoccupied cycle lanes all over London at great expense to taxpayers and at great chagrin to motorists - ranks of whom can already be seen gazing longingly over from their queues at the empty rolling expanse beside them.
So before I get trounced with a wrench and strung up by an inner tube, I should like to put it on record that I do not want to eradicate all cycle lanes in the capital - I want a full review of the existing ones and I want a halt to the construction of new lanes while real need is established. I certainly never announced plans to "rip up" Barnet's cycle routes, as the Mayor hinted in his post-budget committee press release, and a thoroughly spit-roasted press officer steamed out of my office only a few minutes ago with that message still ringing in her ears.
At the end of the day I am not the sort of politician to mince my words, blow around in every political breeze or fail to let my constituents know exactly where I stand. And if occasionally it appears that I have been just a tad controversial, well, these bicycle chaps are just a little too easy to bait on a sparse Friday afternoon.
And the punchline? Well the mayoralty works in mysterious ways and following the intense public furore (unintentionally) spurred on by yours truly, Mr Livingstone has bowed to minority pressure (no change there then) and today announced the ringfencing of £8m devoted to the "further development of the cycling initiatives". You win some, you lose some - fine, but I shall expect some fonder tributes from the Urban Cyclists' website in future.
As you can see, your efforts really do have an effect - this rubbish is, amazingly, a softening of his absurd position on this issue. Can a sane man really believe that getting rid of a cycle lane will make the traffic move faster and cure congestion? Please lend your support again with a few seconds of your time and a vote at - http://www.brian-coleman.org.uk
Thanks everyone - we need and value your support. And if anyone knows where these "vast swathes of unoccupied cycle lanes" are, let me know. Anyway, so far as I am concerned, a foot inside a painted line at the edge of the road, in with the rubbish and the drains, is NOT a cycle lane for the 21st Centuary by any reasonable standard.
Perhaps one day we can create an enviornment where it's safe to let our children cycle on the roads other than in the quietest countryside - now wouldn't that be nice?
Please vote - thanks again.
|Please ignore - sorry - double post! nm||muncher.|
Dec 6, 2001 8:57 AM