February 15, 2008
Go London. Frankly, whilst I love cars I’m realistic enough to realise that they take up too much space and are out of step and scale with both the people they are meant to serve and the environment we live in. There should be a better balance struck between the use of private cars and the alternatives, like public transport, walking and cycling. For our health and well being if not for the planet’s survival we have to act soon to reclaim the streets for people, not over-subsidised, over-weight machines. (And yes, we subsidise car production, distribution and use to an enormous extent, far more so than for any other manufactured good. If you think that’s not so, try reducing the subsidies and protections for car manufacturing, petrol refining or road building and see who squeals – you’ll find a lot of people are addicted to the free cash we dole out to the car industry in the name of “freedom to move”. So ‘Go London!’
The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said: “The aim of this programme is nothing short of a cycling and walking transformation in London. We will spend something like £500 million over the next decade on cycling – the biggest investment in cycling in London’s history, which will mean that thousands more Londoners can cycle in confidence, on routes that take them quickly and safely to where they want to go. “The cycle hire scheme in Paris has proved a huge success, and I have now instructed Transport for London to work with the London boroughs and interested parties to develop and implement a bike hire scheme in central London, accessible to all Londoners. By ensuring that Londoners have easy access to bikes in the centre of the capital, as well as making our city a safer and more enjoyable place to cycle, we will build upon London’s leading position as the only major world city to have achieved a switch from private car use to public transport, cycling and walking.