New investment for cycling – your views

In December TfL shared their draft business plan including a commitment to spend £154 million per year on cycling over the next 5 years. The aim is to reach 1.5 million cycle journeys per day by 2025. We started up a discussion thread about this announcement on Talk London, to understand your views on the measures set out to be delivered with the investment. It’s been a lively discussion; we’ve received more than 900 comments so far.

We’ve been busy analysing all that you’ve said to make sure the relevant policy teams at City Hall understand your ideas and can identify trends.

There were two clear sides in the discussion, and you were roughly evenly split in your opinions as to whether or not the investment was a good thing.

Increased safety and better public health stood out as the main reasons for supporting the measures. Lots of you were confident that measures such as separate cycle lanes and cyclist/pedestrian only areas would make cycling more attractive to more people, particularly those who tend not to cycle at present. Lots of you think the increase in the number of people cycling will have long term public health benefits in two ways: firstly through increased physical activity, and secondly by reducing air pollution. Some of you felt that cycling was already on a journey of improvement in London and “changing for the better”. However, lots of you in outer London felt you’d missed out on investment so far, with areas like Bromley having little cycling infrastructure.

For those who disagreed with the planned investment, lots of you suggested that building more cycle lanes tends to “force traffic into single lanes and extended queues” and worsen air quality in the short term, with the most detrimental impact being on pedestrians. This was thought to be particularly frustrating by those who see cycle lanes quiet outside of peak commuting hours, whilst lanes for motor vehicles remain busy. The Transport policy team informs us that new cycle infrastructure is being well-used “At peak times, cyclists now make up the majority of vehicles on some roads, such as Blackfriars Bridge, where cyclists account for 70 per cent of all vehicles. TfL monitoring data shows that one third of all people using the cycle lanes across a 24hr period are doing so outside of the peak hours (7-10am and 4-7pm).”

Some of you felt that some cyclists don’t use the infrastructure created, sticking to vehicle lanes or even pavements. Those of you who stated this felt that where cycle lanes exist their use by cyclists should be mandatory.

Though most of you who support the investment think it will improve safety for cyclists, some think that this will only be realised through specific types of infrastructure, particularly segregated cycle lanes or car free areas. Quietways in particular were thought by some of you to be dangerous, and something that should not receive more funding unless they go beyond “painted ‘Q’s on backstreets which are used as shortcuts by motor traffic”.

Many who disagreed with the investment were also concerned about safety as the number of cyclists increased, if cyclists don’t follow the Highway Code. Lots of you suggested a mandatory cycling proficiency test to prevent this, though the cyclists amongst you felt that this test would put people off taking up cycling. Safety for all road users is of course very important, and the concerns raised are being shared with the relevant bodies.

All in all a very varied discussion. Thanks again for your participation, which has been shared with the relevant policy teams here at City Hall.

7th Mar 2017
3 months ago (2:01 PM)



Well done ! Summarising over 900 posts in 9 paragraphs is quite an achievement. Though it does at least indicate that there aren't that many different views out there ! :-)

Terry Vaughan

"Many who disagreed with the investment were also concerned about safety as the number of cyclists increased, if cyclists don’t follow the Highway Code."

True, while others were concerned about safety if drivers don't follow the Highway Code.

Ann Eastman

I am terrified of silent high-speed cyclists - there are no speed limits for them. They seem to feel entitled to jump lights on the road and expect pedestrians to get out of their way on pavements, footpaths in parks and alongside canals. They are an absolute menace. At least cars stick to the roads, and when they dont it is not ignored or condoned. When will the complacent attitude to the many frightening rogue cyclists change???

The Cyclist

As keen a cyclist as I am this saddens me. How can TFL Justify spending so much money £154 million a year on this project when it could benefit everyone by sorting out the transport infrastructure in London. Its shameful that you can spend that much !Why is it that the traffic in london is suddenly worse over these past few months? is it because of the 3 million extra migrants from the EU and who have arrived in London and brought their cars perhaps or is it because TFL are slowing traffic down by the introduction of new lanes already? I ride a motorcycle too and all I hear is there were 15 deaths last year of Cyclists well what about the 34 motorcyclists deaths last year and 36 the year before why is this not important also and why are TFL and Sadiq khan not getting involved in this as much where is the £154 million for help there? Its disgusting it is how TFL can publish things like "making london better" and slogans designed to infer that TFL are doing good for londoners, well what about the motorcyclists Khan what about the driver you want to penalise for being poor and cannot afford new cars ? I voted for you and this is how you repay normal decent hard working people like myself - tut tut, you,ve lost my vote next time around and I think i am not alone......


Don`t worry Sadiq, I am one of the millions of European immigrants that instead of bringing my car I bought a bicycle (boosting UK`s economy, hurray! Though it`s a Spanish bicycle, sorry... but it was a local cycling shop so then again...) and I am cycling in London.
Being a LibDem I didn`t vote for you, but if you keep spending money for cycling and clean London air from pollution (I do have a car, by the way, I just find it stupid to drive it in central London, there are so many alternatives!) I will vote for you! Every vote you lose from a frustrated and poor (booh hoo, you can`t afford a new car? What about a bicycle?) driver, you will gain from healthy and happy cyclist!
And please do something about cars becoming bigger and bigger to transport a small human being! What`s the point? Do you need full traction and hundreds of HPs to pull your monster faster to the end of the next queue?


I can't afford a bike either and you keep blocking the bus lane


Many who disagreed with the investment were also concerned about safety as the number of cyclists increased, if cyclists don’t follow the Highway Code. Lots of you suggested a mandatory cycling proficiency test to prevent this, though the cyclists amongst you felt that this test would put people off taking up cycling

Maybe drivers should adopt the same attitude towards driving and not bother with a driving test. A lot of cyclists do not seem to know which lane to get in when sitting at junctions and then they cut across in front of cars/vans/lorries when they realise they got it wrong, not to mention the ones that don't even bother stopping at traffic lights when they change - no wonder there are a lot of accidents!!! I vote for a cycling proficiency test which I passed when I first started cycling on the roads some 30 years ago


Maybe they shouldn't. Drivers kill, cyclists and pedestrians get killed. Simple as that.

The problem of people not taking up cycling is that the roads are full of cars. So people being put off driving would not be a problem, but rather a good result.


I agree with hatler, and I believe we did exchange some views on the discussion thread. I sympathize with the cyclist, motor cycles are probably the most dangerous form of transport around. However, they are still polluting vehicles, especially two-strokes, which make up the majority of motorbikes I encounter, and air pollution is a major concern. Any investment that encourages fewer cars has to be a good thing.


Excellent news!!!! It can only be good that more people use their bicycle to travel 5 blocks instead of their car (I'm thinking the Mummy's with their darlings, droping them to school around the corner in their big BMWs, and I don't live in Chelsea!). It would be good to use some of that money to provide cyclists with the Highway Code since it is a serious danger nowadays to step into zebra crossings with bycicles speeding around me!. And make drivers to pass a driving test every 10 years, to remind them those points in the Highway Code that say about letting plenty of space when overtaking cyclists.


Something should be done about the explosion in delivery cyclists. A proficiency test for all is one thing, but a mandatory advanced proficiency test & a licensing procedure should also be introduced for those using cycles for commercial purposes. The pavements & crossings are becoming increasingly dangerous as these cyclists constantly charge around at speed in places where they have no right to ride. They all too often seem more interested in meeting their delivery schedules than addressing the safety of both themselves & pedestrians, let alone the trauma inflicted upon the poor vehicle drivers who have to endure these idiots inconveniently throwing themselves under their wheels.

john nunn

I am afraid I am one of those cyclists who on occasion rides on the pavements! - I do this to avoid standing stationary behind the exhaust pipe of the car in front of me who drives around 30 cm away from the kerb. It is either stand and be slowly gassed, or get moving on the pavement! Have you noticed how the majority of the cars on the road have their exhaust pipes coming out on the left hand side? - just where unfortunate cyclists have to stand!


Please, please don't do this. It gives the rest of us on bikes a bad name and contributions to poor relationships between cyclists and other road users.

If you feel you need to go onto the pavement, can you hop off your bike and walk with it? It's cumbersome, but at least it's palatable for pedestrians.


Ugh, 'contributes to'. Can't type today.


Hooray - a decent cyclist - I know you exist - it is such a shame other cyclists don't abide by the Highway Code as they are road users!!! I am most definitely not anti-cyclists but at the end of my tether living and working in London with lots of "bad" cyclists giving people like you a bad name. Please keep up the good work - my husband cycles to/from work every day in London and he moans about bad cyclists giving him a bad name too!


I come across cyclists like you every day - hopping from the road to pavement at your convenience - you are giving the good cyclists a bad name. You have a reason for this though - you are being gassed by the car in front of you - I have some suggestions 1) do not get right up behind the vehicle in front of you - stay back 2) dismount and walk your bike safely along the pavement until you can access the road again! Remember the car that is leaving a 30cm gap is probably because he is driving along London's tiny roads which he now shares with an army of cyclists and doesn't have more room to move over! I am not anti-cyclists - if I had a choice I would choose cyclists over cars - be a considerate rider and follow the Highway Code - you are a road user and guess what - you get it all for free - you don't even need insurance!


1. Money should be spent on ensuring that cyclists obey the law and bye laws.
2. Why is there so much attention paid to cyclists who pay so little attention to pedestrians (eg ignoring lights which allow pedestrians to cross)?
3. Why, when there is a cycle route marked on a pavement is so little space given to pedestrians, not giving them space to pass each other, whilst giving space for cyclists to pass each other.
I could go on but am thoroughly fed up with those cyclist who take the moral highground whilst ignoring the needs and safety of others.


The biggest killer of pedestrians are motor vehicles, not cyclists. (not sure if I can think of even one fatality in which a motor vehicle was not involved)

Personal feelings about "those cyclist who take the moral highground whilst ignoring the needs and safety of others" are very understandable (I know exactly what you're talking about), but when it comes to a coherent policy on making London's streets safer and less unhealthy, they are neither here nor there. London has for decades been designed around cars, not pedestrians or cyclists, so it is understandable that there will be some friction for a while. However, an increasingly diverse set of people can now be seen cycling, and improved pedestrian crossings are designed to make sure cars don't treat city streets like a highway.

When money goes towards redesigning roads and crossings with pedestrians and cyclists in mind, cycling will not be a dangerous activity anymore that mostly "gearheads" participate in.


Well made points. However, I do think some London cyclists are rather competitive, even aggressive. Cycling in Amsterdam seems a lot less fraught, with pedestrians and cyclists mixing their spaces much more, with less acrimony. Ditto Stockholm. Everyone needs to be considerate to other road users. Pedestrians are not blameless, too, some jaywalking and ignoring the traffic lights. We are all pedestrians at some point; some like me are daily cyclists; and some like me, occasionally at weekends, are drivers. Whichever mode I'm in, I try to be considerate. I think it helps me empathise by being a user of the different modes.


How can you say it is neither hear not there regarding a coherent policy on making London's streets safer and less unhealthy? My 11 year old daughter was hit on a zebra crossing by a cyclist who rode off and to add good measure "verbally abused her too"? Yes, she wasn't killed but she was bruised and shaken. It is not an argument between car drivers and cyclists but a very serious problem that is occurring from "bad" cyclists, not all cyclists but with more cyclists on our roads and pavements there are more and more "bad" cyclists who are not accountable for their actions. I am all 3, a pedestrian (mostly), a driver and a recreational cyclist. As a driver I PAY through the nose for everything, tax, fuel, insurance - cyclists pay nothing and have no insurance - I have seen cyclists ridiculously squeezing through traffic scratching cars and riding off - I see them cycle straight through pedestrian crossing and zebra crossings, I see them squeezing down the sides of buses and juggernauts - I see them hopping from pavement to road at their convenience and riding across pedestrian only areas - where is their accountability?? You can now come back at me what about the bad drivers? Yes you are right there are bad drivers but at least they are accountable and guess what - they are the mugs paying for the roads they drive on!


I TOTALLY agree with you - exactly what I wanted to say. I am a commuter into Liverpool Street - pedestrian/London transport plus I own a bicycle for recreation with my family and I am also a car owner.

I am sick and tired of the way people are cycling on the roads and pavements. My child was actually hit on a zebra crossing by a cyclist who rode off (no surprises there) although not killed, she was bruised and shaken because not only did the fool ride off, he swore at her for good measure too - she is 11!! What if it was a pregnant woman or an elderly person - they could be seriously injured - yes to cyclists as they are not polluting but they should have to have insurance and be able to be identified on the roads as road users - just like cars!! I don't see why we should worry this will put people off cycling - they are getting a free run and their own special roads built - MAKE THEM ACCOUNTABLE!!!!


Yes, make them accountable!
Like drivers who kills (kill, not "bruise and shock) toddler on pavement (pavement! Not zebra crossing!). I am a cyclist and I have insurance. But apparently, I`m better off killing children parking on pavements.
And yes, I don`t pay road tax. But, in the other hand, no one does...


Oh, and as a driver, if you feel like, you can kill a cyclist. Just say you don`t know how it happened.
Yes it`s that easy!

Ian Davis

This mass hysteria towards cycling is mad.Most cyclists seem to totally disregard traffic lights and the Highway Code. This once worthy effort to reduce traffic congestion has produced a bunch of two wheeled maniacs who are quite happy to run into a pedestrian on a Zebra Crossing and be grossly abusive to motorists.


Most drivers don't bother signalling when they intend to turn or change lanes.
Most drivers fail to pass cyclists at a safe distance.
Most drivers ignore speed limits.
Most drivers don't stop for pedestrians waiting at zebra crossings.
Most drivers yell abuse to cyclists for no reason.

Are you upset at those claims? Because I don't actually think any of the above things are true -- just like how 'most cyclists' disregard traffic lights and the highway code and purposefully rundown pedestrians is far from true.

Unfortunately the small proportion of bad cyclists and bad drivers make things seem a lot worse than they are. In my experience, most drivers are courteous and most cyclists ride safely.


Well made point.


Yes but most drivers have insurance and are accountable for their actions. Try living in London and commuting around Liverpool Street - unfortunately there are lots of bad cyclists who are not insured or accountable for their actions, they abuse pedestrians, abuse the highway code and pay for NOTHING!!! Car owners are the ones paying road tax - cyclists should be held accountable and should have some form of insurance and recognition - otherwise when they do wrong, they just cycle off through the traffic!! I am not against cyclists, I would prefer no cars, just cyclists and pedestrians but we all have to share these tiny roads - make your mind up we can't all share the same space!


Road tax?


Totally agree - my 11 year old was hit by a cyclist as she crossed a zebra crossing - she was bruised and shaken up - what did the cyclist do? He rode off and to add insult to injury he verbally abused her too!! I am sick of cyclists - something that I actually agree with as being better than cars but cars are insured and generally accountable for their actions - 7/10 cyclists I witness on the road DO NOT follow the Highway Code and there is no-one to enforce it - I believe cyclists should be insured and identifiable so the "bad" ones can be held accountable for their actions, just like "bad" drivers are!!


So now you have the results of your survey, what happens next? Or is conducting a survey enough action for the Mayor's Office? Perhaps if you didn't pledge to support the garden bridge vanity project, you'd have more money to spend on London's infrastructure ..............


Hear, hear!

I despair at the same old ant-cycling sentiments being trotted out. They are mostly ill informed and all refutable but there is only one real problem and that is the natural resistance to change embodied in motorists and pedestrians who have for so long been the primary road/path users. As cycling becomes ever more popular it will be seen more and more as a norm. Let's get on with improving the cycling infrastructure and in a few years the co-existence of all three modes will not be an issue (apart from the few bad drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and on-line moaners there always will be).


Within 5 years our family had 3 bikes stolen where we live so we were delighted when TfL funded a new state-of-the-art secure storage facility on our estate of 421 households. It is very disappointing that housing officials have locked it up out-of-use since October 2016 because they can't agree who pays for the lighting.


Why has TfL not enforced the use of cycle lanes when they are available? My bus is constantly held up on Vauxhall Bridge going north to Victoria by slow cyclists who do not use the very expensive and massively wide cycle highway on the bridge so the bus has to go into the only other lane on the bridge to overtake them. Please can someone do something about this?


Little mention of speed. What's happened to the "20's Plenty" campaign? A 20 mph limit between, say, 7 and 9:30 in the mornings would make everyone safer, particularly cyclists and pedestrians. The lower kinetic energy from lower speeds means that impact injuries and risk of death are considerably reduced and anyway collisions will be less likely because that essential thinking time for everyone is increased. Also the awkward differential between cars at 30 mph (often more) and cyclists at 15-20 mph would be reduced.

As the average speed across London is much less than 20 mph anyway, its introduction would not reduce this. Indeed it may improve average speeds, because (a) there should be fewer bad accidents which always cause long tailbacks, even gridlock; and (b) people will feel cycling is less dangerous so more will cycle, hopefully some getting out of those idling cars in long queues.

The problem of speeding could and should be addressed with GPS technology. Anyone convicted of speeding should have their vehicle modified so that it cannot exceed the speed limit they are in. This technology is well proven. Using it could also remove the need for speed humps, which are as much a pain for cyclists as they are for car drivers.


The comments on cycling topics suggest that one of the biggest challenges City Hall faces is a cultural one. All these debates turn into a match of "us vs them", where people identify themselves base on their mode of transport and see other modes as the enemy.
In countries which have made the transition to a less motor-centric infrastructure, they've managed to overcome that sort of thinking, where all road users are seen primarily as people, rather than "cyclist" or "motorist".


I totally agree!


I have recently been in Vietnam and Cambodia.
At most traffic lights I saw that there is a countdown of the number of seconds green will last and also how long red will last. A very simple solution to help traffic flow. if 3rd world countries can do it so should we in the UK be able to.

Miguel Silva

Good but has to be done in conjunction with measures to stop people going on a car ALONE to central London , polluting and making chaos, increase in Taxi fares and make all taxis to be 0 emissions, so more space and more safety will be allocated to our streets.


As a female non-lycra cyclist of over 35 years in London (and bringing up two children to be independent cyclists too), I am afraid that the best places to cycle remain back streets where intervention needs are low, and the pattern of streets and simplicity of junctions are easy for everyone to understand (pedestrians, cyclists and car drivers). Segregated cycleways on main roads are a terrible waste of money and the junctions are invariably dangerous because they end up being too difficult for anyone to understand. When using such routes a huge amount of care is needed and they do invariably lead to increased congestion which is bad for everyone (cyclists have to breathe too, along with pedestrians). And it is even worse for residents living on those streets… Segregated cycling also sadly leads to a lack of tolerance and anger between different users of the street because everyone gets held up (including cyclists!). More cycle training along with more signposted low-intervention Quietways on back streets would be better for everyone! And be cheaper and quicker to be completed.


I increasingly see adults cycling fast on pavements and on pedestrian paths in paths. Recent experience indicates these people require pedestrians to move quickly out of their way. I would like more action to prevent/deter cyclists on pavements given this is the only place available for those who cannot see, disabled, elderly, children etc. I agree with proficiency tests being mandatory, it would give me some feeling of confidence if I knew I was up to standard, and then I may take up cycling. But I also think there should be some sort of number plate which cyclists would be required to display clearly e.g. on the cyclists posterior perhaps? Cyclists that break the highway code or act in a dangerous manner should be caught and treated the same as any other owner of a vehicle.


I don`t cycle on the pavement.
I do have a driving license though, and if I feel like killing children I just rent a van (with number plates and everything), and just aim at one on the pavement.

Also, if you feel like, you can kill a cyclist. So next time one of us will result in being "too annoying", just run him over and say that you don`t know how it happened.

What`s your point again?

Terry Vaughan

Naturallybornbad, thank you. A bit of reality for some people commenting here.


We keep on reading that we want London to be a world class business centre and yet we are
only,it seems,investing in cycle lanes! We also read that London's population is rapidly ageing-for the elderly and the infirm investment in facilities should also be made;Green cities can be
created-look at Singapore which has invested in new infrastructure,including massive amounts
in landscaping and computerised signalling and not a cycle in sight !


Mandatory cycling proficiency is a good idea - then persistent offenders could lose their cycling licence, and be forbidden to cycle at peak times, or on busy roads. This probably is a minor issue, raised by motorists who see themselves as competing for road space, but it does warrant further examination.


The bicycle in the picture for this is not secured. In most areas of London or any other metropolis this would be gone in moments. This picture is not a good advertisement for proper cycling and securing.

On the subject of cycling, that is all well and good, but cyclists should still obey the laws of the road. I have many times almost been knocked over by them jumping red lights.


I am opposed to increased cycle-use unless the police will prosecute for:
1. cycling on the pavement; which they ignore,
2. cyclist going through red lights; which they ignore,
3. cyclists riding abreast which prevents other road users from passing; which they ignore,
4. cyclists riding on pedestrian-only roads such as North-End Croydon; which they ignore,
5. cyclists riding over pedestrian/zebra crossing against the Highway Code; which they ignore.


I want better cycling facilities whether or not the police attend to the points listed. At the same time I agree with all the points listed. It is not much use though hoping that the police will enforce them. When did you last see a policeman on the street?

Terry Vaughan

Lankyman, I'm opposed to increased car use. Are you in favour of that? Do you imagine that people cycling are the only ones who ignore the law and highway code?

And I'm opposed to more walking too, unless pedestrians stop dreaming along on their phones and stepping off the kerb without looking and crossing the road when the light is against them.

But as this discussion is about the provision of safe cycle tracks, which would go a long way to reducing the sort of cycling you describe, your comment seems somewhat irrelevant.


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