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Boris Johnson answers your cycling questions

PUBLISHED: 11:55 03 September 2009 | UPDATED: 16:26 07 September 2010

Camden s Cycling Champion Councillor Paul Braithwaite asked: Will you support Camden s and the Ham & High s s efforts to retain the 2012 Cycling Olympics on the route proposed around Camden, which proved so very popular in the 2006 Tour of Britain, agai

Camden's Cycling Champion Councillor Paul Braithwaite asked:

Will you support Camden's and the Ham & High's 's efforts to retain the 2012 Cycling Olympics on the route proposed around Camden, which proved so very popular in the 2006 Tour of Britain, against the threat to relocate being made by the International Cycling Union (ICU)?

The International Cycling Union and LOCOG are in discussions to finalise a route that adequately addresses the needs of athletes whilst taking in the fantastic backdrops that London has to offer. Personally I think it will be a struggle to better a route that includes Regents Park, Highgate and Hampstead, but I am awaiting the outcome of their discussions. There will be a full consultation on any proposed changes and we will all have the opportunity to give our views as part of that.

Will you support an early trial expansion of the TfL London Cycle Hire Scheme due to be launched next spring, to take in a couple of trial extensions to such areas as Tufnell Park, Primrose Hill and St John's Wood?

The cycle hire scheme that we will introduce next year will change the face of the Capital and revolutionise the way a good number of Londoners choose to get around the city. It is a sizeable project - with 6000 bikes and 400 docking stations across central London. I'm sure it will be a success, and I'm very keen to replicate this outside of central London, but we've got to get phase one up and running first. I've asked TfL to work up options for expanding the scheme in a second phase, and if there is local support for cycle hire coming to area then we'll be happy to consider this.

Green candidate in the London Mayoral campaign and Kentish Town Sian Berry asked:

Why won't you be able to use Oyster to pay for the cycle hire scheme?

The system will still be simple and convenient to use. Londoners have made it clear that they want this scheme, and they want it as soon as possible. The best deal is to implement a scheme that does everything they've asked for now, such as automated payments and dedicated user cards, and we are looking into fully integrating it with Oyster in the future.

The radial cycle super-highway route proposed for Marble Arch to Cricklewood through Kilburn High Road and Shoot Up Hill is simply not wide enough. Will you ask TfL to think again about a more viable route to the north?

We'll be delivering the first two of twelve cycle superhighways next year, but the one you mention will come after that. At present the route you have seen is indicative rather than set in stone, and there is still detailed engineering planning to be done. I will make TfL aware of your concern and ask for this to borne in mind as the route takes shape.

Cycle commuting has increased enormously in the last year. Will you commit to a big increase in investment in the number of cycle stands and the new-style hoops and plantlocks in inner London and on Council Housing Estates?

You're right - cycling on London's major roads is up nearly ten per cent over the last year, which is fantastic. We hope that even more people will be given teh confidence to ride as they get involved with our Cycle Fridays bike convoys specifically for novice commuter cyclists. But it's no use asking people to get on their bikes if there's nowhere for people to park them. That's why we are 100 % committed to secure bike parking and are delivering 66,000 such spaces across London by 2012.

Getting adequate parking on housing estates is an issue. I would encourage all local authorities to do all they can to meet the demand. I have also simplified our system of providing funding to local boroughs to spend on transport projects. This means that authorities like Camden now have more flexibility with their budget and can more easily prioritise expenditure on cycle parking.

Dr Tony Raven asked:

After your near death experience with a truck door held closed by a coat hanger and given that lorries are a massively disproportionate cause of cyclist deaths in London, do you think its time to have a serious crack down on the driving and operating standards of lorries on the streets of London?

I think that near-death experience is pushing it a little, but the point is a serious one. Cycling in London is safe and getting safer, but there is still much more to do particularly around HGVs. In the past year we have distributed 15,000 free safety lenses to freight companies operating vehicles in London and have just produced a new film designed to help cyclists and lorry drivers navigate London's busy roads, and each other, safely.

Further than this we need regulation to improve the safety standards of trucks, and there are a series of measures that we will be advocating to Government.

Simon Geller asked:

How can you call yourself pro-cycling when:-

(i) You have cancelled the Western Extension of the congestion charge, which did so much to make Central London cycle-friendly?

The Western extension of the congestion charging zone was foisted upon Londoners in a completely undemocratic way, and has had a negative effect on local businesses. I promised during the Mayoral election to give people a say in the future of the scheme - they spoke loud and clear and told us that they wanted the western extension removed. This does not in any way diminish my commitment to making cycling safer, more accessible, and more convenient.

(ii) You have reduced London Cycle Network Plus, to painting a few existing and inadequate cycle lanes a different colour, instead of dealing with the many junctions where cyclists are put at risk?

We are investing a record £111.3 million this year, helping to fund cycle routes, parking facilities, a bike hire scheme to make cycling accessible to all, education, adult and child cycle training, and cycling events.

We haven't reduced the London Cycle Network - on the contrary work continues. The LCN+ cycle network has an important role to play in complementing our other cycling initiatives including the new cycle superhighways and cycle hire scheme. £10m has been provided this year for LCN + projects, but much more will be invested in other projects, such as cycle hire and cycle superhighways which together will make London a true cycling city.

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