Olympic countdown - Reasons for a London Cycle Map, #23. Strikeproof.

#23. STRIKEPROOF. Every time there’s a major public transport strike in London there’s a surge in cycling, and a surge of interest in the London Cycle Map Campaign.

What happens is that the millions of Londoners who are affected by the strike have to find an alternative way to get to work, and they often choose to cycle (on a hire bike or their own) to avoid the inevitable spillover crowds on other transport systems.

These intrepid new cyclists then log on to Google and type ‘London Cycle Map’, expecting to find out where London’s cycle routes are, to plan a route to work. But what these people find to their disappointment is a monstrous LCN map and a bunch of TfL paper guides that’ll take days to receive in the post. Too late. And 12 maps for the whole capital is too cumbersome.

These new cyclists also find, more encouragingly, that Simon Parker has created a Tube-style map of London’s cycle routes. If the authorities installed road signs and markings corresponding to Parker’s diagram, cyclists could get from anywhere to anywhere in the capital by following just a few coloured routes, like on the Tube. This would make riding to work really easy.

Sadly, the surge in cycling caused by public transport strikes doesn’t get sustained, because new cyclists are put off by the hassle of travelling across London by bike. A London Cycle Map would change this. As well as encouraging new cyclists to give it a go, it would encourage them to keep at it.

At the very least, a London Cycle Map would make the capital strikeproof, enabling Londoners to get around simply and easily whenever public transport runs aground.


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