It’s hardly Downton Abbey and sometimes looks like an episode of Wurzel Gummidge but it’s worth taking a look at this webcast of today’s Mayors Question Time in the GLA for the latest in the reality of the #cyclesafe campaign.
The Mayor (and also Chair of TfL) is questioned by Caroline Pigeon AM about his sudden conversion to cycle safety, from 40 minutes in. Caroline Pigeon AM gently mocks the Mayor’s giant flip flop on a review. But despite repeated questioning the Mayor gives no timetable for his review of dangerous junctions. At 43:30 she tried to pin the Mayor down to specific actions, timetables and commitments from his panicky review – but the Mayor just dodges sideways refusing to give any hints on a time table or guarantees that work will happen following the review.
The Mayor puts an unsubstantiated price tag of £150m on the overal work to make London a city safe for cycling and sets up a strategic position that he may have to go back to central government for the money. The key question to ask here is how TfL over the years has superintended investment in cycling safety and safety of human life on the roads so badly over ten years including four under this Mayor’s control that there is now an £150m funding gap. In a curious symmetry the Boris Bike scheme will cost about £160million.
It’s worth contrasting the Mayor’s statement in this question time that:
‘(we are) doing everything we can to intervene in the road network in such a way as to make London more cycle friendly’
With his dismissive stance in the questions to TfL (of which he is Chair) last Autumn:
‘You have got to be honest and sometimes, Caroline, it is not the case that you could materially affect the outcome by engineering. You have got to be honest about this. You cannot just tell people that it can all be magically changed simply by rebuilding roads –’
‘O tempora, o mores’ as the Mayor might say.