Following the Conservative walkout which effectively stopped the debate on retaining a 20MPH limit, there has been communication that the issue may not be dead after all.
Reportedly, an email from Richard Tracey, AM, claims:
"The Conservative Members did not walk out to avoid the Blackfriars debate and we are
still in direct discussion with the Mayor and his Transport advisors
about the situation...
We walked out of the Chamber because Labour and Green Members refused
after several invitations to condemn and disown Labour candidate Ken
Livingstone, who last week described, in a most offensive and
unacceptable way, Edward Lister, the Mayor's Chief of Staff and former
long-time Leader of Wandsworth Council, as "the Radko Mladic of local
However, the BBC reported Andrew Boff as saying:
"This is part of ongoing action that the group is taking in response to the Labour, Lib Dem and Green party groups voting en-block to prevent Conservatives from taking up the proportional number of committee chairmanships"
Cycalogical's view is this. If you walk out of a debate, you cannot dodge responsibility for the consequences of doing so by putting the blame on a totally unrelated issue. Or issues. Ken Livingstone is not a member of the London Assembly, and he's free to insult Edward Lister, or Ratko Mladic, or anyone else. If he's overstepped the mark (and personally I think he has) then he will have to take the consequences. That's the rough-and-tumble of politics. It's not as if no Conservative has ever stooped so low.
If the Conservative Assembly Members are genuinely trying to press the Mayor to retain the 20MPH limit, and are successful, then I don't much care if there's a debate or not. But if this is just obfustication, then I don't much appreciate that the Tory AMs have chosen to play politics with an issue that affects people's lives.
Lastly, they might take note of the following paragraphs in the 2010 Cycle Safety Action Plan:
The vast majority (98.7%) of cyclist casualties occurred on roads with a 30mph speed limit.
...the following interventions have been identified to improve cycling safety in new infrastructure for the future:
Work to ensure that all new road infrastructure contributes to improved safety of cyclists, including speed reduction measures, junction improvements, and awareness of cyclists’ needs.
Speed reduction measures. You got that now? Would you like me to write it bigger and in red?
Identify ‘high risk’ locations on the road network for cyclists and advise on and implement site specific preventative measures.
Blackfriars Bridges collision record puts it firmly in the 'high risk' category by any reasonable standards.
Support those Boroughs that wish to implement speed reduction measures such as 20mph zones in line with MTS.
Speed reduction again.
Work with London’s engineering community to provide practical experience of cycling in London for engineers.
...Yet they continue to come up with schemes like Blackfriars Bridge