Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Cycling Revolution?

It's always interesting to see your own city through the eyes of a foreigner. So it's interesting to read this article for CNN about cycling in London.

"For novices, biking in London can be a daunting prospect. Heavy traffic, narrow streets with few off-road cycle paths, limited safe parking and the dozen or so cycling deaths recorded each year are all powerful obstacles to getting in the saddle."

Nothing surprising there, then, and the article continues in the same vein, until Kulveer Ranger puts in his 2p's worth:

"the capital is on track to become the 'best cycling city in the world.' " 

Best in the world? On track? In what sense?

"These new superhighways are part of a planned network of 12 which have so far improved usage by up to 15 percent in some areas."

The Mayor's target is to get cycling to 5% of all trips by 2026. How will that make London the best cycling city in the world? Maybe Kulveer is planning to go to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Gronigen, Berlin and all the other cities with a modal share greater than 5%, and let all their tyres down? That should do it!


  1. "For novices, biking in London can be a daunting prospect."

    It's also daunting for those of us who have experience. Marble Arch... the Aldwych gyratory... cycle lanes put alongside parking bays. It's all crap.

  2. "For novices, biking in London can be a daunting prospect."

    For experienced cyclists it's daunting (this morning I was undertaken and then cut up just before the junction going west at Knightsbridge - no doubt every cyclist who commuted this morning has a similar mildly intimidating and yet completely routine story).

    For real novices (e.g. my mother), cycling in London is unthinkable.