My letter to newspaper across London this week….
I hope lessons are learnt from the court ruling last week against
Mayor Sadiq Khan’s attempt to force through plans for a Cycle
Superhighway in North London.
This is one of a series of similar schemes the mayor is planning
across our city, so it is important for all of us that he starts to
get the relevant planning procedures, consultations, and impact
As someone who is a motorist, pedestrian, user of public transport and
a cyclist, I know first-hand how important it is that cyclists feel
safer. In fact, I filmed a video a few years ago demonstrating how
dangerous cycling can be in London. However, I also believe that any
schemes need to have local backing, minimise any negative impacts on
local communities and businesses, and avoid putting others in danger.
In this case, involving a scheme at the Swiss Cottage gyratory,
Westminster Council blocked the plans saying these niceties had been
overlooked by Transport for London.
Instead of heeding the warning, TfL chose to try to force through the
scheme, insisting the mayor must “have the whip hand” on road
The judge last week took up the analogy and observed that in
implementing his strategy, Mayor Khan had “not even taken up the
This bullying approach is doing no favours to anybody, least of all
the cyclists crying out for safer junctions. Let’s hope that the mayor
will sit down with other stakeholders to address concerns and to
ensure that cycling schemes are safer for all road-users in the
Syed Kamall MEP