The CEO of Microsoft UK, Michel Van Der Bel, gave his support today to the Mayor of London’s ambitious plans to build two new Cycle Superhighways. He joins an extraordinary coalition of businesses urging Boris Johnson to build the routes.
Microsoft joins over 120 employers who have sent letters of support for the Cycle Superhighways – including RBS, Unilever, Orange, Deloitte, Coca-Cola, the Financial Times, and law firms Olswang, Allen & Overy, and Herbert Smith Freehills.
The two superhighways will join up existing and planned cycle routes and will have the capacity to move 6,000 people each hour; the equivalent of 20 extra Tube trains or 82 additional London buses.
Microsoft UK CEO Michel Van Der Bell writes : “Other cities that have invested in segregated cycling infrastructure have seen dramatic increases in cycling and reductions in injuries as a consequence. We want to see the same benefits here in London.” Microsoft employ 2,200 people across 5 London offices.
A recent YouGov poll of over 1,000 Londoners from all backgrounds found massive support for the cycling plans, with 73%* of residents in favour, even after learning that a lane of motor traffic will be reallocated to cycles. (*Excluding Don’t knows).
Transport for London estimate approximately 600,000 cycle journeys take place in London every day. This is more journeys than on the entire London Overground. In a reflection of London’s changing streets, bicycles now make up a quarter of all traffic in central London during the morning rush hour and half of all northbound traffic on Southwark, London, Blackfriars, and Waterloo bridges. (Source)
Support from both businesses and residents is building as London prepares to mark the first anniversary of a spate of deaths in the city, when 6 cyclists were killed over a two-week period last November. A total of 14 London cyclists were killed in 2013.
Campaigning group CyclingWorks.London is coordinating business responses to the proposals. Spokesperson Chris Kenyon said:
“One business after another has come out to say how important these Cycle Superhighway plans are to them. It’s not just about keeping their existing staff and customers safe, many of whom already cycle. They also want to attract the best new talent to work and live here in London. It’s almost a year since 6 London cyclists lost their lives over two appalling weeks. The Mayor should take the support of these companies as a signal to build his Cycle Superhighways without delay.”
Transport for London’s consultation on the Cycle Superhighway proposals runs until November 9th and can be found online along with mock up images of the scheme: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/campaign/cycle-superhighway-consultations
CyclingWorks.London encourages businesses to respond to Transport for London’s plans for cycling infrastructure in central London. Over 120 leading London businesses across technology, finance, property, entertainment and law have now stated strong support for the plans.