London cycling scheme criticised by freight organisation

The FTA believes plans to improve infrastructure for cyclists in London doesn’t adequately cover the needs of all road users including hauliers.

With consultation already having begun on a package of cycling, pedestrian and road improvements reflecting the fact that cycling in central London has trebled in 15 years and the number of people commuting by bike will soon overtake the number in cars, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) says the Mayor of London’s proposals must consider the impact on all road users.

Among the proposals are plans to allow cyclists to travel on segregated tracks or low-traffic roads from Acton and Swiss Cottage to central London, Elephant and Castle and Canary Wharf.

The FTA supports the principle of safe, segregated bike routes both to improve safety for cyclists and to encourage car users to switch to bikes,  but this must balance the needs of all road users.

Commenting on the need for such schemes to be well thought out so they not only serve London today, but for decades to come, the FTA’s head of policy for London, Natalie Chapman said, “We are already seeing massive delays on Lower Thames Street due to the construction of the East-West Cycle Superhighway.  This is resulting in some companies putting more vans and lorries on London’s roads to deliver the same quantity of goods, either to comply with the maximum shifts required under EU Drivers’ Hours rules or to maintain customer service levels.”

Natalie Chapman concluded by saying that this isn’t good for emissions, congestion, transport costs or indeed safety and that this is not a temporary situation as the loss of capacity will be permanent.

According to the FTA, the new cycling schemes currently under construction were rushed through and the organisation is calling on the next Mayor of London to work with the freight industry and the businesses it serves to ensure that future schemes are better planned for the benefit of all road users.

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