New LCC campaign wants to make London a copy of the Netherlands

With a passionate speech and a huge round of applause the LCC Love London Go Dutch campaign was officially launched last Thursday.

I for one, am very pleased to see the London Cycling Campaign reaching out to its members and responding to cyclist concerns. Namely a concern that goes a little something along the lines of: “we don’t feel safe”.

So what will the LCC be pushing for?

Essentially a London that looks a little more like this:

Parliament Square LCC

The famous Parliament Square. What should be a place designed around people is currently a horrible gyratory built around cars. The LCC wants to see it handed back to the people. Whilst gut response may be “but what will happen to all the cars?” what has been historically proven is that once you remove lanes traffic simply dissipates as people choose an alternative journey plan. As we were reminded in the campaign presentation: “No one has ever asked for Leicester Square to be re-opened to cars”.

Amongst the Dutch style re-envisioning of London the LCC has also considered the Olympic Park and Blackfriars. Both the designs make it easier for cyclists and pedestrians. This is part of a wider plan to create a safer environment for cycling.

So what are the odds of the dream coming true?

The LCC’s new single focus is likely to be far more powerful. It has been packaged up nicely, including nice visuals and important support through research. The campaign also has additional gravity thanks to the recent noise created by campaigns such as the one on the front page of the Times.

However, it still remain easy for the next mayor to say “yeah, yeah” then never get around to accomplishing anything. Ultimately, as the LCC recognises, these changes require vision and strong willpower from politicians. Otherwise, things will continue along their current uninspiring path.

For now it’s worth supporting the campaign by adding your voice to the petition here.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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3 Responses to New LCC campaign wants to make London a copy of the Netherlands

  1. Nick Gribble 13/02/2012 at 3:24 pm #

    Before you go campaigning for this, spend some time in the Netherlands as a driver and you’ll realise it’s not such a great idea. Cars are required to give way to bikes a lot of the time, and the bike lanes weave across the cars so that cyclists forget to look since, technically, they have right of way. As a driver you have to be constantly on the alert for a suicidal cyclist who can come from your blind side and cut across you, quite legally. I’m a keen road cyclist and I’m all for more safety, but before changing the rules just be absolutely clear what it is you’re changing them to.

    • Tom 13/02/2012 at 7:05 pm #

      I live in Lund in Sweden. About half the population here commute by bike (many of the rest by foot or bus). It is tricky to drive here – as you do have to watch out for bikes. However it is not that hard, you just have to drive more slowly and be more aware. I would love to see London go in this direction, there would be far less pollution, and people would be much fitter!

      • Andreas 14/02/2012 at 1:10 pm #

        I believe Tom a lot of people would agree with you. To get to that place I think it’ll take a lot of creative convincing of those who don’t believe we should make it harder to drive in London.

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