Olympic countdown - Reasons for a London Cycle Map, #44. The difference that makes the difference.

If you had a bicycle that was roadworthy apart from the fact that it had no wheels, you’d know what you needed to do to get cycling. When a bike hasn’t got wheels, adding wheels is the difference that make the difference. Everything else – a new coat of paint, tinkering with the seat-height, buying new lycra shorts – can wait.

When it comes to getting Londoners cycling, what is the difference that makes the difference? The answer is safety. The vast majority of Londoners are terrified of cycling in heavy traffic, so the only way to persuade them to cycle regularly would be to guarantee that they can cycle throughout the capital on safer, quieter streets.

Amazingly, this could be achieved immediately by signing and marking the streets of the London Cycle Network with the routes detailed on Simon Parker’s London Cycle Map. In following these routes, cyclists could get from anywhere to anywhere in the capital on safer, quieter streets: the difference that makes the difference.

The sooner we make it happen, the better. Until then, other kinds of cycle development in the capital can wait.


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