Tuesday, 10 November 2009

It will only take 22 years!

Doncha just love long-term targets! The super thing about them is that you can set a long-term target, and by the time it fails no one will be around to have to explain themselves.

The Mayor’s Transport Strategy will deliver a 5 per cent increase in public transport, walk and cycle mode share and a corresponding 5 per cent decline in car mode share by 2031.

2031? Only 22 years to wait, then, for a risibly small shift in modal share. And lumping walking, cycling and public transport altogether like that helps to fudge matters nicely, does it not?

It’s not very clear how this gels with the London Cycling Campaign’s goal of

getting one in five Londoners cycling regularly by 2025

A target which gives us a lovely 16 years in which to forget about it. It's yet another target which, without a radical transformation of the cycling infrastructure, will fail dismally, but it won’t matter because in 16 years time the individuals associated with it will likely have long since faded from the scene.

The London Borough of Waltham Forest produced a Cycling Strategy a few years ago. This included


Produce an audit of cycle parking and ensure that all civic amenities, shopping and sports facilities have cycle parking by 2008.

It didn’t happen by 2008 and now we are approaching the end of 2009. How are things faring?

Currently 4 out of the 10 public libraries in Waltham Forest have no cycle stands. The William Morris Gallery, run by the Council, has no cycle stands. The Vestry House Museum, run by the Council, has no cycle stands. Walthamstow Village, the hub of old Walthamstow, and full of popular restaurants and pubs, has not got a single cycle stand. Walthamstow sorting office has not one cycle stand outside it.

The list goes on and on. Numerous buildings owned by the council and open to the public lack cycle parking. And where cycle parking does exist the stands are all too often obstructed, poorly sited or vanish and don’t get replaced.

Back in 2005 the Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign noted

Cycle stands in the High Street

So far thanks to the redevelopment of the town square and other facilities in the High Street there has been a net loss of cycle stands rather than a net gain and we do not want this to continue.

But it has continued, and today there are fewer cycle stands than when I first started raising this matter. And in the Town Square there’s now one less cycle stand than there was in May.