London Calling

'....yes, we ride fixies. It's pimp'

Today’s post has a bit of London-centric feel to it (if you hadn’t already guessed by the title and picture with rib-tickling caption). This feels a bit strange as I’m typing this in my home in Worthing to the melodic sound of nesting seagulls and an 8 month old boy who has reached the stage of Picking up Bright Object and Banging It Against Another Bright Object.

Firstly, the start up meeting of the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain is nearly upon us which will be held here. It turns out that Saturday 29th January is also the birthday of Mikael Colville-Andersen, creator of all things Copenhagenize and Cycle Chic. If he would like to attend, I may stretch to buying him a couple of drinks. Oh, alright, a couple of drinks AND a cupcake with a candle in it.

The Agenda is available here and our draft Manifesto and Mission Statement are also available for download from the Cycling Embassy website, so you may peruse and comment. The meeting will be followed by an informal chat and then an ‘Infrastructure Safari’ where we shall be taking in the delights of cycle facilities Transport for London style. The route is going to be the creation of Mark from ibikelondon (many thanks). On a related note, I am going to organise an Embassy field trip to the Netherlands later this year where we can go to Groningen and bemuse the locals as they watch a group of British tourists openly weeping.

Also, I would also like to remind Lo Fidelity Readers that have any connection with the City of London to write to the City before February 21 and object to the City’s local implementation (transport strategy) plan. According to Danny, scribe of the Cyclists in the City blog,

The reason is that the last LIP in 2005 resulted in only three submissions from cyclists with the result that, well, not much happened. So far, we’ve generated over 50 this year and want to encourage several hundred responses.

The City has the money to make a massive difference to cycling in London. But it’s transport plan is full of worrying compromise. For example, it undertakes

1) To ensure no increase in average journey times for car drivers (i.e. cars and taxis will continue to dominate the City’s streets)

and

2) That cycle infrastructure will be built with the needs of all road users in mind (i.e. forget improvements for bikes)

To my mind, this is a manifesto for car drivers, not for sustainable travel or safer roads.

Contrast the City LIP with Southwark, which explicitly states that car speeds will be subject to improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.

I’ve drafted a template which people can edit down and send to the contact names on this page here http://cyclelondoncity.blogspot.com/2011/01/go-for-it-register-your-concerns-now.html

A summary of the City’s transport spending plans here http://cyclelondoncity.blogspot.com/2011/01/spending-breakdown-of-city-of-london.html

And a comparison of the City vs Southwark here http://cyclelondoncity.blogspot.com/2011/01/southwark-vs-city-of-london-transport.html

Whatever your connection with the Square Mile, please send an email from your work (or play) address before 12 February and cc to cyclistsinthecity@gmail.com. Your input will be greatly appreciated.

For further writing on the subject, here is an article from the always sparkling ibikelondon

Get writing, and I look forward to meeting like minded souls from wherever you are on the 29th.

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