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London First’s response to Cycle Superhighway consultation

London First has responded to Transport for London’s consultation on the Cycle Superhighway as below:

London First has long supported better cycling and pedestrian facilities for London. We support bold steps to improve London as a city in which to cycle safely, and we accept that this may mean in certain circumstances other road users paying a price.

What we cannot support, however, is Transport for London (TfL) forging ahead with what looks like a very significant programme of change when the evidence to support these changes has not been rigorously assessed and is therefore not fully understood.

Specifically, we would welcome the following to help ensure an effective assessment of the benefits and risks of the Cycle Superhighways proposals:

  • A thorough cost-benefit analysis; an environmental impact assessment; and, above all, the forecast changes in congestion and traffic flow on the road network around the Cycle Highways and across London (rather than the generalised or averaged effects on the routes themselves that have been published).
  • A clearer evaluation of the knock-on effect on bus and taxi users going about their business both within London and travelling to and from work.
  • Much better insights into the impact that segregated cycle lanes will have on the reliability and cost of the deliveries of goods and services – fundamental to the functioning of London as one of the world’s most successful capital cities.
  • Assessment of the impact of these changes on the free and safe movement of pedestrians and cyclists elsewhere in the central zone.

We are not concerned about private car use. London First has long pressed for more sophisticated congestion charging across the capital, precisely to reduce such use (always bearing in mind that some journeys, for example, by people with disabilities, are important).

Finally, if it is the case that these proposals amount to a substantial and strategic change to
London’s road network, then they ought to be part of an integrated programme, so as to
minimise any negative effects, and ensure the strategy as a whole is fit for purpose, using all the tools at TfL’s disposal.

We urge TfL to set out at the earliest opportunity, and certainly before the end of the year, it’s timetable for incorporating the views it has received on the proposals; the scale of redesign that may be required to reflect those views; and the development and funding needed to see these proposals implemented to London’s benefit.

We thank TfL for the opportunity to take part in this consultation and would like to emphasise our commitment to making cycling in London safer and easier, which we regard as an essential dimension of a modern world city.

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