I was delighted to join our mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, today as he announced that he has delivered on a key manifesto promise – to triple the amount of protected space for cycling in London since 2016, and ahead of schedule too.
This will make journeys safer and more convenient for those who ride bikes in London. It will also encourage more people to get out of their cars and onto their bikes, which is one of the most effective tools we have to tackle London’s toxic air.
As a cycling fan and co-chair of the cross-party parliamentary group on cycling, I know the benefits cycling can have on your health and fitness. But it has much wider benefits for society too, as demonstrated in the report published by parliament’s transport committee, which I sit on.
That’s why I’m so pleased to have a London mayor who has made cycling a priority, and that he is getting such impressive results. Sadiq’s action, which includes record levels of investment in cycling infrastructure, has led to more people than ever cycling in London, with journeys totalling an impressive four million kilometres being taken by bike across the city every day.
He is also making great progress towards his aim of 80% of all journeys to be made by walking, cycling or public transport by 2041. In stark comparison, his Tory opponent in the two-horse race that is the upcoming mayoral election, Shaun Bailey, is opposed to new cycling infrastructure and wants to rip up the new cycle superhighway on the embankment.
He has also opposed every single other action that Sadiq has taken to tackle air pollution in London, all the while defending the government’s repeated failure to act on the environment when they should be taking the action we desperately need.
But fortunately for Londoners, they have a chance to re-elect Sadiq as their mayor on May 7th. Because not only has Sadiq made it easier and safer to cycle, he’s also improving our city in a whole host of different ways. He has kept his promise to be the bus driver’s son who will make commuting more affordable by introducing the ‘hopper’ bus fare and freezing TfL fares, for example.
He has a plan to tackle violent crime, by being tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime – investing over £70m in community and sports projects to create more opportunities for young Londoners and funding 1,300 extra police by increasing council tax by 26p a week.
Whether it’s getting real results and improving cycling in our city, or taking the bold action necessary to clean up our toxic air, Sadiq is standing up for London and its values of fairness, equality and sustainability.