Our ref: MW/CE
Date: 28 September 2001
From: Ken Livingstone
To: Lynn Featherstone
I am writing regarding the 'Take-a-Bike' cycling initiative forwarded to my policy adviser, Mark Watts, by Denys Robinson, RSO to the Liberal Democrat group.
I share your view that cycling has a specific role to play in increasing the overall effectiveness of London's transport systems, in particular by offering an additional choice for those working in and visiting London. An early task for the Cycling Centre of Excellence (CCE) is to develop an action plan to guide the introduction of a range of cycling initiatives during the Mayor's first term of office, and a key issue will be the measures that are needed to provide for [an] increased use of bicycles in central London.
A new approach to the management and delivery of the London Cycle Network has been agreed with the London boroughs. In the current financial year a high quality, high profile cycle route is being developed from the Elephant and Castle to Euston. As part of the Mayor's plans for congestion charging TfL is looking at boundary points on the Inner Ring Road and how onward travel from [the] central London stations might be developed. The initial focus of the station demonstration programme is Waterloo and Liverpool Street.
To assist those new to cycling, or to cycling in London, TfL is supporting the publication and provision of free cycle maps. The full range of London Cycling Maps, which have been developed in close collaboration with the London Cycling Campaign, will be launched in the spring next year. There is a strong market research base for this initiative.
A number of individuals and organisations have put forward ideas for developing a 'town bike' and a smart card based parking, rental or hire scheme for central London. I understand that Mr Parker has already discussed his ideas with my colleagues at Street Management. Before I am able to recommend that TfL give support to a scheme like 'Take-a-Bike' which is likely to make considerable demands on the use of public space, I need a better understanding of the market potential and the likely impact and the effectiveness of different proposals when introduced in London. Please be assured that CCE is now investigating radical measures to raise the profile of cycling in central London. It is already clear that once the costs, benefits, implications and take-up are better understood, and wider support secured, introduction could be achieved relatively quickly.
Mayor of London