However, in the Borough of Westminster, the motor car is king and cycling is highly marginalised - the very worst example being Oxford Street, which is a continuous traffic jam, an extremely unpleasant place from the point of view of noise and air pollution.
I therefore wrote the following polite letter to Westminster City Council
Will I get an answer? probably not, but I hope at least they will read it and take my points on board. It might just sway them in the future.
Dear Westminster City Council,
I am writing about cycling in Westminster.
London would be better off with less motorised traffic, as this causes much air pollution, carbon emissions, noise and congestion.
More and more Londoners are car-free and do not want to see their city clogged up by motor traffic.
Conversely, cycling should be encouraged as it is a clean, efficient, carbon neutral, healthy, inclusive and sociable means of transport.
Mass cycling by all members of the population will only occur however when we facilitate it by sound town planning. There is a huge latent demand for cycling in London, but people are put off by our congested, busy streets.
Major cities across the world have come to the same conclusion, such as New York, Paris, Berlin, or Copenhagen, where 35% of people commute already by bike, with a 50% target.
Some simple, but highly effective, measures that you could take are:
- Blocking off small side streets to motorised traffic, to prevent rat runs, whilst allowing cycles through
- Providing bicycle contraflows on one-way streets
- Provision of bicycle parking facilities instead of car parking bays
- Removal of pedestrian traffic lights and provision of raised zebra crossings instead
- Making alleys/paths shared for both bicycle and pedestrians
- Installation of separated cycle paths where practicable
The Fitzrovia area of Camden would be a good example to follow.
Together we can make a more liveable, enjoyable, attractive city for everyone.
I look forward to hearing from you.
A Londoner, who rides a bike, takes the Underground, and walks in London