Monday 3 May 2021

London Elections

At each local election we look at the promises the candidates make. They offer a guide to voting, but also a reminder to hold the politicians to account should they break those promises. In 2018, the leaders of all four main political parties in Ealing signed the London Cycling Campaign's pledge to deliver a liveable neighbourhood in West Ealing and reduce traffic on residential roads in the area.  Two people who signed that pledge, Conservative leader Greg Stafford, and Liberal Democrat leader Gary Malcolm are now campaigning to remove the low-traffic neighbourhoods installed last year. Ealing Cycling Campaign wrote to them on 26 April asking what other methods they would use to achieve the reduction in traffic they promised. At the time of writing, 3 May, we haven't had a reply.

2018 The Liveable London Pledge  2018 The Pledge Explained

So on to the Mayor's election...

Where the Candidates Stand - At a Glance.

Candidates who have signed up to London Cycling Campaign's 2021 pledge to deliver zero carbon roads by 2030. 

Sian Berry - Greens

Louisa Porrit - Lib Dems

They have pledged to:

Massively extend the high-quality cycling network, and fast.

Give every Londoner access to dockless e-bikes and electric car clubs.

Create a fairer, simpler “smart road user charging” system.

2021 Zero Carbon roads pledge

Where the Candidates Stand - In Depth

From the candidates' Manifestos we've extracted the sections that concern cycling. By alphabetical order of candidate:

Conservative - Shaun Bailey

Suspend LTNs in places where they are opposed by the local community. 

Since the firrst lockdown, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) have been installed across London. LTNs use planters, bollards or road signs to stop through-traffic on certain roads. One in 20 Londoners now live in a LTN, but most of these were rapidly implemented without much, if any, public consultation. While LTNs can promote active travel, which I wholeheartedly support, in the wrong places they can increase congestion, disrupt travel for vulnerable residents and impede local businesses. In my first 100 days as Mayor, I will hold public consultations with every community located near a TfL-funded LTN and remove the traffic measures if a majority of residents favour the removal.

Promoting active travel for all Londoners

The global pandemic has put health front and centre in people’s minds. And there is so much City Hall can do to support health as we emerge from the pandemic. Active travel, like cycling and walking, not only promotes good health - it also cleans up our air and cuts carbon emissions. Sadly, Sadiq Khan hasn’t done enough to encourage it. While cycling should be open to all, people from minority communities account for just 15 per cent of the city’s cycling trips. And less than 14 per cent of London’s cyclists are from low income households. So as Mayor, I will work to create a healthier city - investing in active travel measures, including cycleways, for every resident in every community.

As Mayor, I will:

• Promote active travel with hire-scheme electric-bikes. The previous Mayor, Boris Johnson, rolled out what is now called the Santander Cycle-Hire Scheme. This widened access to cycling all across London and is now used by 820,000 Londoners every year. But as it stands, many Outer London boroughs do not enjoy the same access to the cycle-hire scheme. Because of the significant distance to the centre of London from many of these locations, it is impractical to simply keep widening the existing scheme. But electric bikes (ebikes) can provide a solution to this. Commuting distance to the centre of London from these boroughs ranges from 9.5km to 11.8km, which is a more practical commute for someone on an electric bike, which travels at a speed of 20mph. In order to widen access to the cycle network, as the current cycle-hire scheme expands I will ensure that all the new bicycles in Outer London will be ebikes.

• Reduce bicycle thefts across London by funding a wave of new cycle hangers. The number of bikes stolen in London has trebled since the start of the pandemic. A bicycle is stolen every six minutes across the UK, and even more frequently in London. (sic)* Traditional bicycle racks with a personal lock are highly susceptible to theft and so a more secure alternative is required. Cycle hangers provide a secure form of bicycle storage that is key to increasing bicycle usage in London. I will work with local councils to ensure that there are more cycle hangars in all new developments. I will do this by mandating this requirement in the London Plan. By simply replacing one parking spot with one parking hangar, developments could cater for six times the number of residents per spot.

• Ensure that all children have access to cycle-safety training across London. Over 60 per cent of adults considered it too dangerous to cycle on London’s roads. In 2019, 125 people were killed and 3,780 people were seriously injured on London’s roads. Cycle training can help improve safety by increasing rider road knowledge and cycling proficiency. As Mayor, I will commit to broadening the patchwork network of cycling centres to ensure that every borough has good access to bicycle training. These training centres will be hosted in public buildings such as schools, youth zones, or sports centres.

*(actually every 24 minutes in London in 2018 - ed)

Full Conservative 2021 manifesto:

Green Party - Sian Berry

Our transport policies mean comprehensive walking, cycling and green public transport projects would get new investment, while the current Mayor’s plans that will make traffic and pollution worse will be cancelled.


A Green Mayor will set a goal for London’s overall traffic miles to reduce by 40 per cent by 2026 and 60 per cent by 2030, and we will achieve this with a comprehensive set of policies that will:

• improve city planning and aim for access to services within 15 minutes locally on foot,

• make streets safe and accessible for children, older and disabled people to walk, wheelchair or cycle,

• improve public transport and reduce fares, and

• charge for driving in the city at a fair rate.

We will also bring forward the current Mayor’s target for at least 80 per cent of journeys to be made by walking, cycling or public transport by eleven years, from 2041 to 2030.

Along with our climate policies and support for zero-emission vehicles, our goal to reduce traffic miles will contribute to our overall city-wide climate emergency target to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

A Green Mayor will cancel road projects that will make traffic worse. The current Mayor has signed the contract for the Silvertown Road Tunnel, despite a huge campaign for him not to place this burden on the next Mayor. If cancellation costs are too high, we will convert it to run only for buses and cycling not for private cars, in order to avoid inducing new traffic in surrounding boroughs.

Councils and community groups will be empowered and funded to develop low traffic neighbourhoods, where children, older and disabled people can confidently venture onto the streets outside of their homes. People on foot, and those using micro-mobility devices such as wheelchairs, scooters and cycles will be able to circulate freely. Access will be maintained to all addresses by emergency services, delivery and trades vehicles and the residents’ own cars, but through traffic will cease.

This programme will be supported by transferring funds from road schemes, and borrowing against new revenues and devolved funding streams.

Alongside low traffic neighbourhoods, we will invest in measures to make main roads less hostile to people walking, wheeling, cycling and scooting. We will begin a program of upgrading pavements to be level and wide enough for social distancing. We will provide more crossing points with dropped kerbs and tactile paving and ensure they are accessible for people with wheeled mobility aids such as rollators, and buggies – preferably with raised crossings at side roads, bus stop bypasses and safe bike lanes.

We will make it a condition for boroughs to receive funding for walking and cycling measures, that controlled parking schemes, organised to reduce in-borough car trips, are in place across the borough to protect residents from local commuter car journeys, and ensure there is a programme of reducing on-street parking spaces to allow for parklets and space for bike lanes and bus priority schemes.

Alongside campaign groups working on active travel, accessibility and health, a Green Mayor will lobby the Crown Estate Paving Commission to build the case for traffic removal from all the Royal Parks in London.

A Green Mayor will deliver a fully connected London cycle network, using improvements on the new cycleway quality criteria to ensure the speed and volume of traffic is not a deterrent to cycling. We will invest both in new cycle routes and in improving existing cycle routes, ensuring that all signposted Transport for London cycle routes meet the cycleway quality criteria by 2024.

We will set a target to invest £45 per head per year (£400m) in walking and cycling in London. Previous Mayors have repeatedly underspent their budgets, particularly on cycling, and then rushed investment at the end of their term. Instead we will move to regular, high- level investment in our streets, which will enable walking and cycling to be an everyday choice for far more journeys in inner and outer London.

We will increase the rate and pace of delivery in the low traffic neighbourhoods and Liveable Neighbourhoods programmes, with a focus on enabling every borough to match the ambition of the successful Waltham Forest mini- Holland scheme. With bidding every quarter and regular development of bids by boroughs, the rate of change throughout London will speed up.

To complement the low traffic neighbourhood schemes, we will invest in work on main roads especially where people live, work and shop to make these roads less hostile and traffic dominated. London needs protected accessible space for walking and cycling at real scale on main roads, not just short stretches of disconnected provision.

We will expand current borough programmes for putting in secure bike hangars that can hold six residents’ bikes in the space currently taken up by one car.

School streets and play streets close roads to traffic at certain times for community use. A Green Mayor will review the streets outside every school in London, and massively expand investment from the Mayor for councils to help schools and communities introduce these schemes.

We will create a new programme to extend the school streets programme to roads outside colleges and universities, so that roads are closed outside these institutions at busy times to allow for both safe travel and space for student community events.

We will deliver new river crossings for cycling and walking as soon as possible, with ferry crossings immediately investigated at Rotherhithe and North Greenwich. And a push to build the long-proposed Cremorne bridge between Battersea and Fulham.

We will bring cycle hire to the whole of London, with safe parking areas for well managed dockless and hub based schemes complementing the existing central London area. We will create a payment system integrated with contactless and Oyster payment to ensure taking a hire bike is as easy as riding a bike.

We will use the Mayor’s traffic powers to take into the Transport for London Road Network those main roads and streets needed for strategic transport projects where boroughs have proved unable to deliver change. A Green Mayor will make better use of these powers where the current Mayor has hesitated, for example in the case Oxford Street, where plans were delayed by Westminster Council, and Kensington High Street’s bike lane, which was removed by Kensington and Chelsea Council.

Main roads will also get new design standards – our investment plans to improve main roads will make sure they include frequent opportunities for pedestrians to safely cross the road, side roads with continuous footways across a junction, protection at junctions for cycling and protected bike lanes with accessibility friendly bus stop bypasses.

A Green Mayor will develop a coherent network of safe cycling routes, using both temporary and permanent measures to roll out protected bike lanes at pace, and tackling difficult hostile junctions that need a full redesign to work safely for people walking and cycling.

A Green Mayor will fully restore and increase the strength of the Roads and Transport Police Command, and fund a new team who will make cycle theft a priority. Theft of bikes is a hidden crime wave that puts many off cycling andcauses distress and hardship to those who can least afford to lose their bikes.

Greens will lobby for traffic justice reform at a national level, aiming to secure changes so that driving offences are included in reported crimes, and those that lead to death or serious injury are treated like other violent crimes. Judicial outcomes and effective sanctions should be focused on offences that carry the greatest risks, including speeding, extreme speeding, red light running, close passing of people cycling, mobile phone use, careless and dangerous driving, drink and drug driving as well as uninsured and disqualified drivers. 

We will work with public, private, charity and community partners to share and update data, for example with citizen science projects to maintain records of pollution and other environmental data, and with housing, cycling and public transport groups to develop new plans and services.

Full Green Party 2021 manifesto

Sadiq Khan - Labour


Continuing to invest in public transport to ensure it is safe, affordable and reliable, keeping fares as low as possible, working to put TfL on a sound, sustainable financial footing after the pandemic, and supporting a revolution in walking and cycling.

I will also seek to partner with local authorities, landowners, businesses and residents to develop better public spaces, safer streets and more walking and cycling-friendly schemes.

I will also do what I can to support safe active travel at night, including walking and cycling, and collaborate with local authorities on plans for lighting to ensure Londoners can get around the city safely and securely at night.

London’s efforts to clean up our air and encourage more cycling are world-leading. I appointed London’s first Walking and Cycling Commissioner. Investment in cycling has seen the length of protected bike lanes increase five-fold in my first term, with a record increase in ridership and huge growth in the cycle network. I’ll go further, lobbying the Government for funding to electrify buses, working with businesses to support greener last- mile alternatives such as cargo bike schemes, and working toward more freight consolidation and rail freight. I will also continue to work with London’s boroughs and schools to tackle the scourge of idling.

Record investment in greener travel, including my recent Streetspace plan, has led to the biggest increase in cycling on record. 

I will ask TfL to provide guidance on removing access barriers — ensuring the design of pavements, parks, and paths considers everyone’s needs, and helping to diversify cycling.

As we recover from the health and social impacts of the pandemic, I will support Londoners to be healthier and more active. I’ll ask TfL to work closely with the NHS in London to encourage more people to build healthier travel options into their daily lives, to help reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. And

I’ll pilot a ‘well-being station’ on the TfL network — providing local public-health information, details on local walking and cycling routes, and selling ready-to-eat fruit for those passing through.

Rather than going back to business as usual, I am determined to build on the work done during lockdown. The concept of the 15-minute city has gained traction and many Londoners have enjoyed spending much more time in their local neighbourhood. To build on this, I will ensure that town centres are made more liveable and put people, rather than cars, first. It’s been heartening to see the surge in cycling, and I cannot remember a time when I have been on a bike as much as I have this last year.

Last year, TfL and the London boroughs rapidly rolled out measures to make our streets safer for walking, cycling, and social distancing, such as low-traffic neighbourhoods. Most of these schemes are temporary and implemented under emergency Government guidance. I will work with London boroughs to ensure communities and stakeholder groups are properly consulted on these schemes, refining them where necessary, and making them permanent where they are successful.

I will also ask TfL to consider an Outer London Town Centres Fund to improve public transport and walking and cycling options in boroughs on London’s outskirts.

My Walking and Cycling Commissioner has led a step change in making our roads cleaner, greener, and healthier by pushing forward with my Healthy Streets agenda. I have gone far beyond my promise of tripling the amount of segregated cycle lanes in the last five years, which has contributed to the highest growth in cycling in London on record. 

I will continue the rapid expansion of London’s cycle network — connecting communities and town centres with protected cycleways on main roads and low-traffic routes on local streets — so it reaches a third of Londoners by 2025. I will improve on-street signage and digital mapping and wayfinding to make it easy for people to choose this greener transport option.

London’s Santander Cycle Hire Scheme has had its most successful year ever. I will invest to modernise and expand the scheme so it can be accessed by more Londoners, as well as introducing e-bikes. I will also ask TfL to look at ways in which the scheme can support frontline workers on an ongoing basis beyond the pandemic, in recognition of their heroic efforts over the last year.

My successful walking and cycling community grants will continue, and bike training for adults and children will be increased to keep up with demand — including the popular online cycle skills training.

With the record growth in cycling, London also needs more cycle parking. I will continue to deliver my cycle parking plan, providing 5,000 new residential cycle hangars, parking hubs at stations, including in partnership with Network Rail, and more parking on our high streets.

Full Labour 2021 manifesto

Luisa Porritt - Liberal Democrats

Free bikes on Sundays

The Liberal Democrats will make the Santander cycle hire scheme free to use every Sunday for a year.

It will encourage Londoners to take up cycling and attract more visitors into central London at a time when international visitors are down.

Support more cycling and walking

The Liberal Democrat plan to Take London Forward means it will be easier for Londoners to make greener travel choices. By backing the move towards flexible working and providing more of what people need on their doorstep, more journeys can be made by bike and on foot.

We will double expenditure on cycle infrastructure by 2024 and support people to take up the habit through encouraging take- up of the Cycle to Work scheme and more safe cycle parking.

Full Lib Dem 2021 manifesto

Other Candidates

Of the other candidates, two mention cycling policies. Peter Gammons UK Independence Party (UKIP) plans to "cut cycle lanes" and Lawrence Fox - Reclaim Party promises "fewer cycle lanes".

London Elects booklet of all candidates