‘I have been commuting to work by bicycle ever since I first worked in London at the age of 17, now over 38 years ago. I was formerly a barrister working in Lincoln’s Inn and am now a High Court Judge based in the Rolls Building on Fetter Lane. The proposed new routes are therefore very close and very welcome.
‘I am sure you do not need me to tell you of the benefits of cycling both to the cyclist him- or herself (in terms of increased health, longevity, fitness, general well-being and happiness) and to society as a whole (in terms of reduced congestion, pollution and carbon emissions), or that the single greatest obstacle to increased cycling in London is the perceived, and actual, lack of safety, I personally regard myself as an experienced and confident London cyclist but I know many people who are put off by the fear of the dangers and as we are all aware there have been far too many instances of even experienced and competent cyclists being injured or killed on London’s roads. The optimum solution is, as it has always been, segregated cycle lanes, as are found throughout Northern Europe and in many of the more civilised cities in the world.
‘Segregated lanes both feel safer and are actually safer…. Our cycling infrastructure is a disgrace to what we rightly regard as one of the greatest of all world cities and the proposed new cycle lanes are a step in the right direction. The Embankment in particular is a nightmare for cyclists and although I use it regularly, I never enjoy doing so, although the number of cyclists on it show that it is a critical route for them (indeed since the Strand is even worse there are in truth few alternatives).
‘No doubt there will be those who will complain that it will take road space away from motorists and hence slow journeys for them. I would urge you to give little weight to such concerns. Central London was not designed for the car and as we know dedicating more road space to the car in the centre of cities simply leads to more traffic.
‘I do drive regularly in London, frequently using both the Farringdon Road and the Embankment, but I would willingly allow more time to do so if the benefit was having the new cycle lanes.