Mayor refusing to take responsibility for his own cycling agenda

The Mayor of London has been criticised for “refusing to take responsibility for his own cycling agenda”.

These comments came in a report by Green party London Assembly member, Caroline Russell, which looked at whether the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was meeting his pledges to improve cycling in the capital.

Ms Russell said: “We were told that London would become a byword for cycling – but nearly three years in we haven’t even seen a proper cycling plan from the Mayor.

“I’ve looked at what he’s achieving, and it is depressing.”

The report criticises of elements of Mr Khan’s plans for cycling – including how he is using his cycling budget and the amount of cycling infrastructure he is building.

According to the report Mr Khan said he would spend an average of £169 million a year on cycling from 2018 to 2023 but Ms Russell says he has pushed back that spending to the latest of these years when he might no longer be in office.

Ms Russell also hit out at Mr Khan for only having built 10km of protected bike lanes- something which he revealed to her in a written response from Mayor’s Question Time earlier this year.

She then claimed Mr Khan would have to build 100km more of protected cycle lanes to meet his pledge to triple the number in the capital.

In April 2017 Mr Khan announced he would make 73 junctions safer but by August 2018 the London Cycling Campaign (LLC) complained that only two junctions were “up to scratch” – something Ms Russell also hit out at.

Ms Russell added: “No new cycle superhighways are in the works and the two new routes he’s promised before 2020 haven’t been consulted on.

“He has slashed funding for local walking and cycling schemes, downgrading Mini-Hollands to Liveable Neighbourhoods and reducing the potential for truly transformative schemes.

“I welcome the ambitious targets in his Transport Strategy, but he will never meet them if he doesn’t build new, safe routes to enable more people to walk and cycle.

“The Mayor should be spearheading a cycling revolution, not be constantly on the backfoot.”

But Mr Khan failed to respond to any of the specific claims in the report.

A spokesperson for Mr Khan said: “Already 140km of new cycle infrastructure has been built under Sadiq since May 2016, with substantial improvements made for pedestrians too.

“We’ve almost built as much protected space for cycling as the previous Mayor delivered during his entire second term. We are on course to triple the amount of protected space we inherited by the next election.”