The Transport for London board have now approved the East-West Cycle Superhighway. The web site Politics.co.uk revealed some of the discussions on the matter that took place in the board meeting. Here’s some of it:
Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the National Express Group, said that cyclists had only themselves to blame for fatal collisions on the roads. To quote: “I would say the biggest danger to London cyclists on the roads in London are actually themselves”. He also said “”The way in which many, many, many of them ride one is surprised that in fact the number of accidents is not far larger because it is an entirely different way of cycling to which you see in many other cities”. He also said that he did not take the result of the TfL consultation seriously, which indicated a majority in support of the scheme, because “Without knowing where somebody is coming from when they respond to an opinion poll then it is pretty difficult to take on board the support or non-support for a scheme.”
Other board members from the Canary Wharf Group and taxi drivers also opposed the scheme. But Peter Hendy then reported that another cyclists had died in a collision with a coach, so the proposal was passed.
Comment: The behaviour of cyclists in London is certainly exceptionally bad, and in reality the consultation result was probably obtained by promotion of it by cyclist groups and by dubious repeated submissions from the same people (it is very difficult to avoid fraudulent behaviour in on-line surveys). I would certainly dispute that the outcome of the consultation and the board’s decision is a fair representation of public opinion on this scheme.
Note that TfL have revised some of the proposals for this Cycle Superhighway and are doing further consultations on it. The Lancaster Gate, Hyde Park, St. James Park, Green Park and Victoria Embankment/Northumberland Avenue sections have been substantially changed. Go here to see the latest plans and to submit your opinions on them before the 29th March: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/east-west-phase-2