Monday 2 September 2013

Space for Cycling Ride

In all the excitement and controversy around Royal College Street, I forgot to mention the London Cycling Campaign's Space for Cycling protest ride outside Parliament tonight, Monday 2 September. Come if you can; meet 6:00pm for a 6:30 start, Jubilee Gardens on the South Bank.

The House of Commons will be debating the Professor Phil Goodwin's Get Britain Cycling Report, the first time they have debated cycling in the chamber for a long time (decades).

But the protest has been made even more important by the government having already pretty much totally rejected the recommendations of Get Britain Cycling. Though the CTC "welcomed" the government's response, in its usual pathetic manner that makes in totally unworthy of the claim to be "the national cycling charity" (and which fits appropriately with its backing of the horrible victim-blaming Niceway Code campaign in Scotland, which is setting cycling back years in that country, and its hypocritical infrastructure denialism, particularly in the context of childrens' cycling), other commentators are agreed that the government's response amounts to a brutal statement that Britain will not be a cycling nation in our lifetime. See particularly the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain's condemnation of the DfT's response:
The response states that 'the Government is committed to turning Britain into a cycling nation to rival our European neighbours', but evidence for this commitment is entirely lacking....
The DfT cannot continue to mask its failure to engage seriously with cycling as a mode of transport with their list of miserable sums, wasted on another small scattering of badly conceived and executed projects....
....The Department for Transport was asked to take a lead - but they have refused to be pinned down. Instead of demonstrating the vital leadership on technical expertise and national policy-making that the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group requested, they have stuck to their failed ‘strategy’ of drip-fed, inconsistent funding, spread around with no overarching rationale. 
The car park (also the cycle lane) on Waterloo Bridge, exemplar of the contempt in which the safety of cyclists is held by the City of Westminster, the Department for Transport, and the government.