Khan - A disaster for cycling in London...

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  • So Khan came into office promising to treble segregated lanes and implement further cycle friendly promises. After a year we have Five major schemes announced, CS6 extension to Kings Cross, Westminster Bridge to get segregated lanes, Lambeth Bridge North and South, Waterloo Roundabout peninsularisation and today Nine Elms.

    None of these schemes are very inspiring, Westminster Bridge seemed reasonable but that's off the radar now with the recent terror attacks.

    A constant theme in the three new schemes, Lambeth, Waterloo and Nine Elms is the significant prioritisation of bus traffic. In itself this is obviously no bad thing. The buses do and can shift a lot more people than cycles can. The problem with Khan is that he has taken this as a political statement and feels he must give all decisions in favour of the Buses.

    This manifests in the new designs as shared bus lanes, a lack of bus stop bypasses and a not a single four way junction allowing cycles to make an isolated turn right in one move.

    The details in these plans all imply you need to be bold and brave to take them on in the new guise. These plans do not allow for 8-80 cycling, these plans utterly fail to learn the lessons of the previous segregated lanes. As such these plans will create massive disruption for current cyclists and do nothing to encourage new cyclists.

    Will Norman is just a political face to deflect blame from Khan when these plans end up in the bin or worse when they start digging up the roads. ...

    [rant ends]

  • cant agree more

  • Pedestrianising Oxford Street and banning bikes seems like a moronic plan, not sure if it is being discussed elsewhere.

    My commute involves lots of shared paths, pavements and open spaces. If peds and cyclists need to be segregated why do so many bike lanes involve a white line (ignored by peds) on a pavement? They need to decide whether cyclists and peds need to be segregated or not, because this isn't joined up thinking

  • He made strong suggestions that cycles would be included in the plans. TO oust them on a half to one mile diversion North is shit.

    Half hearted and insufficient 'plans'. He said he was going to treble the miles of segregated track, he's done Nothing so far.

  • Yer, I get the feeling that nothing will happen until the next guy, and then still nothing.

  • And in the last year, we have the CS6 extension of a few 100 metres before disappearing into back streets and...

  • CS6 is a real screw up at the king's cross end.

    It's kind of ok as far as Ampton St but where the heck are you supposed to go after that?

    (I've ridden those cycle paths for years but still make an occasional wrong turn and there's essentially no way-marking. It would be easy to end up on the A501 instead.)

  • If you're going East then Margery and a Quietway on the well worn track to London Fields. West, Tavistock way to Westminster then you're on your own, North then Quietway via the cycling cesspool that is Thornhill Rd. There are plans to redo/remove the Kings cross gyratory but god knows where those plans are, nothings been said about that since Khan was elected.

    All popular routes but all could be better/more direct and almost impossible to follow if you don't know where you're going.

  • And after 4 years, very little achieved, Given the momentum inherited from Johnson it's fair to say we went backwards.

    There is a good twitter thread from @PsiMonk that summarises the missed opportunity to make a political statement in support of cycling infrastructure.

  • “Khan - a disaster for……… London.”

    I voted for him first time around. What a mug.

  • Well we get a new tunnel and an expansion of the City Airport, so he knows how to get things done and where he sees his legacy.

  • Don't fall for the Tory game of setting traps for Khan. He's been a far better mayor than Boris Johnson could ever hope to be, but he's faced absolutely ridiculous funding reductions where idle, careless, absent Johnson got multiple bail-outs from Osborne. They knew Johnson would be followed by a Labour mayor, so changed TfL's funding regime, with the changes due to kick in, funnily enough, just after Johnson was going to leave office.

    https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/­files/tfl_finances_-_final.pdf

    Well we get a new tunnel and an expansion of the City Airport, so he knows how to get things done and where he sees his legacy.

    The Silvertown Tunnel is a policy inherited from Boris Johnson (sort of, as he obviously never 'owns' anything, but it was conceived while he was pretending to be mayor). It's been treated as a done deal within TfL since at least 2012 (can't remember the exact year, but it was about then). It's merely old road-building plans coming to the fore again, largely caused by Johnson's neglect and laissez-faire attitude. Don't swallow the spin, it's just lies.

    I'm not going to defend Khan on the Silvertown Tunnel; quite on the contrary, I think it's an absolutely terrible decision, and he's hardly a transport expert and his strengths lie elsewhere, but I honestly don't know how much room for manoeuvre he had on that one. If you want to know just how massive the road-building plans are that are now in the pipeline for London, read the (Johnson's) Roads Task Force Report.

    https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publication­s-and-reports/roads-task-force

    Relocating capacity underground for strategic traffic by considering the use of tunnels to enable improvements to places on the surface

    The general problem is that while people are busy wanting to make a nice city overground, the road-builders will let them have that, because now they can solve all the image problems of naughty major roads by hiding them underground--not only 'relocating' capacity, but also increasing it, making a mockery of the puny victories people achieve overground. Other cities (e.g. Hamburg) have similar plans. It's similar to the electric vehicle agenda--we'll remove the pollution at point of use, but instead, because electric vehicles are so green and solve all our problems, we'll have everyone being able to drive around in them with a clear conscience. What do you mean, people are now driving much more than before and are using far more energy than before?

    Also, Johnson fantasised about building an airport in the Thames Estuary. He also claimed that he'd campaign against Heathrow expansion. He didn't do that, did he? He travelled on the day of the vote in Parliament to avoid it.

    Anyone who thinks sustainable transport policy is really being done anywhere has been had.

  • I'm not going to defend Johnson on any matter of integrity or decency, but this thread, as per the title, explicitly ignores that.

    In fact this thread ignores Johnson altogether apart from mentioning the momentum built up in the run up to the last mayoral election.

    And maybe it's funding, if we ignore tfls own statements that funding was secured and ready to go. And we ignore the strong sentiment that bus times are prioritised above all other concerns. No cycle scheme is allowed to procede if it impinges on bus timing, however small...

    These are all political decisions in khan's hands and he has clearly made a choice.

  • As ever, I think the reality is far more complex than folks accept.

    1. BoJo & Gilligan, like then or loathe them, flipping delivered from a standing start following the 2012 election (not the 2008 one obviously - blue paint). And Gilligan managed to deliver London's first truly high quality schemes in some very unexpected places. This should not be contested.
    2. That said, come on, idea Sadiq has done sod all? Is incontorvertibly rubbish. He was on track to triple the mileage of protected space in one term that Boris delivered in one term - ie he hit a run rate of double Boris'. But he didn't just do that. He actually ended his first term with 5x more cycle tracks than there were before. He's also got, during the crisis/Streetspace, more boroughs doing more cycle schemes than we've ever had before. That's obviously not all him, but it is under his watch. Lambeth, Islington particularly obvious, but Hounslow, Southwark etc. also. And who ever thought Harrow, Ealing, Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets etc would try to do as much as they did.
    3. Issue is now we've seen some faltering backsteps from many boroughs. That is IMO partly Gilligan to blame - across England we've seen councils weak on active travel fail to deliver during crisis or pulling stuff out. There should have been far more clarity upfront about need for engagement and political leadership (not Gilligan's style IMO - he's a 'just do it' kinda guy), and far more work with boroughs who were wobbly, but also far clearer on cost of inaction to boroughs. That stuff only now coming in - too late. And it'll take work from Sadiq, Will Norman, to fix those issues.
    4. As per my thread @Backstop mentions, yup, there are some real issues IMO with Sadiq's time. I think there's been far too little laser focus on boroughs to deliver - loads of them making weak excuses to delay schemes. But more, there are some real issues moving forward schemes with every stakeholder just holding vetoes. Not just TfL Buses, although they do appear to be an issue alongside TfL "Network Assurance" - both of whom seem invested in focusing heavily on small delays caused in modelling by cycling schemes while ignoring huge delays from 'too many cars' etc. But they're far from lone culprits or even possibly main ones. Everyone gets a veto - Canary Wharf, Port of London Authority, Royal Parks, Crown Estates Paving Commission, hospital trusts, landowners, developers, councillors, business associations - in 6 years at LCC I've faced 'em all. My big question here is why does Sadiq talk big on zero carbon 2030 now and then, or on VisionZero, then immediately duck for cover after. There's no real staying power on these issues. That's the big problem. Boris made cycling his big thing. Sadiq hasn't got one thing. Now, that could mean he's achieving more across board. But it feels he's spread thing. After all, if you can't focus fully on climate as London's Mayor...? Anyway, last point is to say that Boris seemed to have some more success on quietening the angry anti-cycling stakeholders that he also faced. But even there, there's a question over whether he delivered more as a result or whether he actually traumatised a bunch of councils and Will/Sadiq's more emolient approach was paying longer term dividends.
      Just my rambling thoughts on issue that's far far far more complex IMO than Sadiq bad, Johnson good, or vice versa.
  • He actually ended his first term with 5x more cycle tracks than there were before.

    Most of this is either (a) the bits of CS3 and CS6 already planned and consulted and ready to go, (b) scraps of track at "safer junctions" that dump you straight back into traffic (c) temporary schemes with wands and large gaps or (d) in LBWF.

    The only thing that's been delivered of similar ambition and quality to CS3 and CS6 is Jamaica Road. That's what we expected from the 2016 election commitment and we can't help but feel a bit swindled.

    Fundamentally cycling in London feels very similar to how it was five years ago.

  • Most of this is either (a) the bits of CS3 and CS6 already planned and consulted and ready to go, (b) scraps of track at "safer junctions" that dump you straight back into traffic (c) temporary schemes with wands and large gaps or (d) in LBWF.

    Yeah the 3x/5x is meaningless. There is nothing of the scale of CS3/6, unless you want to include them in the total as after all Khan has renamed them CW 3/6 !

    It was called out at the start, too much effort spent on a holistic approach, that has born very little fruit. Paris has far outstripped London in the last year, let alone 5.

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Khan - A disaster for cycling in London...

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