Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Boris still has much to learn

The photo on the left is of a billboard sign in the Netherlands which reads "Boris still has much to learn".

It's advertising for people to adopt a puppy as a way of donating towards training for guide dogs for the blind.

However, there's another Boris who also seems to have much to learn so far as transport policy in London is concerned. I read this morning that London is not to have a hierarchy of transport users but to just let everyone decide what to do. It's a recipe for chaos.

Cities have been civilized in this country by design, not just by letting people do what they want. What people want depends on the conditions they live in. By not changing the conditions, people will continue to want the same things.

London already has a much higher percentage of people using public transport than most of the UK because it works better than in most places.

Cycling has recently grown in London but it only looks good in comparison with how it was in the city. London is still well behind other European cities, and especially behind Dutch cities, because cycling in London still only appeals to the small percentage of people who are relatively easy to attract to cycling. Even they are under pressure, as you can see by observing the amount of safety gear worn. If it is to become a real cycling city, there must be changes in infrastructure that make cycling appeal to all.

Once you have that mass appeal cycling will flourish because people want to do it, not because they are priced out of cars through the congestion charge or scared from public transport due to terrorism.

No comments: