The London Cycling Campaign has issued a mixed assessment of Tory candidate Boris Johnson’s cycling and transport policies, saying he needs to try harder if he is to win over London’s cyclists.
LCC Chief Executive Koy Thomson said they “applaud” Mr Johnson’s commitment to go for a higher cycling target than Ken Livingstone along with his “his promise on a mass bike hire scheme, tough action on bike theft and adequate cycle parking.”
The campaign also backs Johnson in opposing the exemption of small cars from the congestion charge. However it has rejected calls for motorbikes to be allowed to use bus lanes, a policy Johnson has been keen to push.
He has partly based his support for the plan on a Transport for London study which suggested accidents would fall by more than 40 percent if scooters and motorcycles were allowed to use bus lanes.
The Respect party and Mr Johnson have accused TfL of blocking the report, however the capital’s transport body say they “had concerns about the validity of some of the early results of the study, which were shared by Greater London Authority officials. Further work has been carried out and when our senior officers are satisfied that their concerns have been met the report will be submitted to the Mayor.”
Thomson said “We have letters from our members asking us to oppose motorbikes in bus lanes. Often bus lanes are the only space cyclists can use on major roads and are liked by new cyclists because they are free of the intimidation of high-volume, high speed motorised traffic.”
“We are seriously concerned that putting motorbikes in bus lanes will undermine plans, supported by both the Mayor and Boris Johnson, to make cycling a major transport mode in London. Contrary to popular belief, motorbikes are not a green alternative. Per passenger mile they emit more of a large range of pollutants than cars.”
The comments could come as an embarrassment to Mr Johnson who has tried to portray himself as the pro-cycling candidate in this May’s elections.
Last month he accused Ken Livingstone of rushing to propose a cycle hire scheme because he faced a strong pro-cycling candidate, apparently unaware that Mr Livingstone first proposed the idea 6 weeks before Johnson was selected as his party’s candidate.