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Cycling

Part of Backbench Business — Private Members’ Bills – in the House of Commons at 8:27 pm on 2nd September 2013.

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Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison Conservative, Battersea 8:27 pm, 2nd September 2013

I am afraid not, as so many Members have prepared speeches and want to get in.

Wandsworth has come a long way. One of the pleasures of the summer was going to a meeting of the Wandsworth Living Streets campaign and seeing the genuine engagement between them and Councillor Russell King, the cabinet member who covers strategic transport issues. I certainly see that as a positive movement since I first came to Battersea in 2006.

In last year’s debate I talked about the need to champion engineering solutions, something we have always been good at in Britain. Again, my council is working with Transport for London to bring forward plans for Dutch-style roundabouts, one of which is planned for my constituency. Elsewhere in London we are seeing other plans for engineering solutions, such as bike boxes and signal control junctions with advanced stop lines. ASLs help motorists and cyclists by providing an area for cyclists to wait in front of traffic when the lights are red, making them more easily visible to motorists and giving them the space to move off when the lights turn green. We are also seeing plans to introduce Dutch-style segregated sections of cycle superhighway to increase safety—we have heard a lot about Holland in this debate and paid tribute to its great cycling efforts—which will see one of the longest continuous segregated sections through the heart of London and on to Canary Wharf and Barking. It will be very interesting to see how that develops and whether it could be replicated in other cities.

The Mayor of London is looking to spend significant sums of money on cycling. The need for leadership has been mentioned, and Members on both sides have been generous in paying tribute to him for his leadership on cycling. London’s cycling budget will double to almost £400 million over the next three years, roughly two and a half times what was previously planned. He is investing almost £1 billion in London cycling over the next 10 years as part of the “Vision for Cycling” published in March. That will mean spending £145 million a year on cycling by 2015, which equates to roughly £18 per head, which is similar to the amount spent in Germany and almost on a par with the debate’s favourite country: the Netherlands. It is good to see both Dutch-style engineering coming to London’s roads and Dutch levels of spending per head on cycling.

With regard to enforcement, one of the debates we are having locally is whether 20 mph zones can be enforced. We are at least seeing TfL, the Met police and the City of London police stepping up the enforcement of safety zones for cyclists and clamping down on people who jump red lights. I hope that we will return to this topic and have regular cycling debates. I hope that in a future debate we can look at some of the other issues that affect cycling, such as planning and residential developments with safe cycle storage, which is a problem in flats. In particular, there are high levels of cycle theft. I have constituents who have lost five, six, seven or even eight bikes in a few short years. I hope we can visit those topics in future.