Cycle superhighways (Supplementary) [1]

Session date: 
October 22, 2014
Question By: 
Valerie Shawcross
Labour Group


Just continuing this theme of promoting cycling safety in London, I asked a written question at the last Mayor’s Question Time about how things were going with the 33 dangerous junctions that were being worked on under the Better Junctions programme.  I was given no answer and was told this information would be released in coming months, despite the fact that the Assembly had had no detailed information on this for an entire year and it is an important issue. 

I spoke to the ‘cycling czar’ [Andrew Gilligan, Cycling Commissioner] only yesterday and he told me that only 11 junctions under that programme of 33 will be completed by 2016.  Mr Mayor, given that you wanted to promote a ‘cycling revolution’ and it was your key message when you came into office in 2008, are you not ashamed that you will have improved only 11 junctions under this programme?



Supplementary To: 


Answer for Cycle superhighways (Supplementary) [1]

Answer for Cycle superhighways (Supplementary) [1]

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  No.  Do not be absurd.  It is a daily source of wonderment and joy to me that we are doing so much.  If you look at the cuts to budgets around the country that every public institution had to face, it is amazing that we have been able to consecrate £913 million to the improvement of roads and junctions.  I do not have the advantage of the figures that you mentioned just now, but I have no doubt at all that we are going to blast on with a programme of not just putting in the Cycle Superhighways that I have mentioned to Darren [Johnson], but also the Quietways, the inner London cycle grid, the expansion of the cycle hire scheme and the improvements to the roundabouts and junctions that you specify. 

I want to stress that this is not being done solely in the interests of cyclists; it will be to the advantage of all road users. 

Valerie Shawcross CBE AM:  The thing is, Mr Mayor, that there has been cross-party support for this programme.  We are all keen to see these dangerous junctions improved and 70% of accidents happen at junctions.  We started off with a desktop list of 500 junctions to be looked at.  That list went down to 100.  Some of those projects went into the Cycle Superhighways.  We are now down at 33.  Actually, there is a huge overhang.  You are going to get only 11 of these junctions completed ‑‑ 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Come on. 

Valerie Shawcross CBE AM:  ‑‑ by 2016.  Sadly, one of the junctions that was on the list of 100 has been the scene of the latest very tragic incident.  The London Cycling Campaign Chief Executive said, when talking about Ludgate Circus, 

“This is a junction we have complained about for some time.  There was a death there earlier this year and obviously it’s still a dangerous junction.” 

Can we have some sense of urgency about this issue and can we have some transparency and openness because ‑‑

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  I really think, Val, you sat there ‑‑ come on ‑‑ 

Valerie Shawcross CBE AM:  ‑‑ we all want to see you actually leave a good legacy in this area.  We would like to see you get this work done. 

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Your wishes are going to be fulfilled, Val, because we are putting in huge amounts of money to our roads and to our junctions.  Actually, as Londoners will know, we are seeing a considerable fall in people killed or seriously injured (KSIs) and that has been achieved not just through the interventions we are making in the road surface but also particularly by Operation Safeway, which the police launched. This, if you will remember, was initially the subject of a great deal of suspicion by cyclists.  However, they have fined loads of motorists and loads of cyclists and they have brought down deaths and serious injuries on the roads.  That is what this is all about.  We are also seeing a huge expansion in the number of cyclists and I am very proud of that.