London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s new transport strategy ignores the benefits of powered two wheelers and in doing so puts riders’ lives at greater risk
Following a public consultation on the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, Transport for London (TfL) has decided to ignore the benefits of using powered two wheelers (PTWs). In doing so, it has placed the safety of hundreds of thousands of regular motorcycle and scooter riders at risk by disregarding calls to properly include them in London’s transport strategy.
In its war on motorised transport, TfL is lumping commuter motorcycles and scooters in with cars, taxis and construction traffic, despite the fact that PTWs significantly reduce congestion in the capital, take up less road space and are far less damaging to air quality.
Before Mr Khan was elected, he told rider groups and industry that: ‘It is absolutely right for us to enable PTWs to play their part in delivering a less congested road network’. (See notes for full letter).
Since being elected, the Mayor has failed to translate that promise into his transport strategy. This will result in more misery for London commuters and other road users. Whether the Mayor likes it or not, motorised road transport will continue to be necessary for the day to day functioning of one of the world’s largest cities.
With an ideological approach towards cycling, he has reduced lane widths on several major routes making it difficult and more dangerous for PTWs to filter. He has thus far failed to orchestrate a consistent policy on bus lane access for riders and will not recognise that most small PTWs, of any age, already meet the ultra-low emission criteria and in turn support their use accordingly.
The Motorcycle Industry Association believes that congestion, air quality and rider safety can only be improved if the needs of this vulnerable user group are factored into road planning and transport strategy, in the way cycling is. This proposition is supported in an industry whitepaper.
CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association, Tony Campbell, says:
“The Mayor clearly has his own agenda around motorcycles and scooters, which was not made clear to the riders who elected him following his promise to champion their contribution to reducing London’s congestion.
“At a recent meeting with the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCIA), the Mayor said that he agreed PTWs had an important part to play. In doing so he also agreed to review his Transport Strategy, taking into account the feedback he had received during the consultation period. To quote Mr Khan: “I have read through the industry’s response to my Transport Policy Document and can say I agree with most of what you are saying, not all but most”.
“Given this statement, it is more than disappointing that the Mayor has decided to yet again ignore what is clear common sense for transport policy.
“The MCIA strongly urges the Mayor to take another look at his plans to not only fulfil his pre-election commitment to riders and London voters, but also to honour his words at the recent meeting with Industry.”