Christian Wolmar pens open letter to mayoral candidates on cycling

Himself a former candidate for the Labour nomination for Mayor of London, Christian Wolmar has written an open letter to the frontrunners calling for “leadership” on the continued transformation of the capital when it comes to cycling.

“Many of these changes will have been fiercely opposed at the time. Some proposed changes that might have made things better will even have been thrown out. However, this collection of measures, even if they are at times half-hearted, has had a remarkable effect. Cycling is now a key part of the city’s transport system. Therefore, you, as mayoral candidates and local politicians have to be brave,” said Wolmar.

Pointing to changes along Dalmeny Road, a route often used by cyclists to bypass Holloway and Camden roads, Wolmar further stresses that changes thus far shown a greater positive impact on everyday people choosing cycling as a transport mode as opposed to the enthusiast cyclists.

“There was never a moment when there were not several cyclists in view and they were a mixed bunch. The Lycra speedsters were very much a minority with lots of smartly dressed women and middle aged blokes wearing ridiculous shorts over tights. There was, too, a woman in a ra-ra skirt chatting to her child on a seat in front of her, and a Muslim woman in a headscarf who reminded me of that wonderful film about a girl in Saudi Arabia longing to own a bike,” says the Transport writer and cycling advocate.

“I used to cycle to work along Dalmeny Road some 20 years ago when I worked at The Independent and it was a lonely chore. It was rare to meet a fellow cyclist and the idea that there would soon be a stream of people on bikes every morning would have seemed fanciful. This change has not come about by accident.”

Read the full post here. 

Christian also writes regularly for CyclingIndustry.News. You can read his last two columns linked below:

Has Goldsmith or Khan the nerve to do good by London’s cyclists?

Cities reap the benefits of getting cycling infrastructure right on the first go.