As you know, I’m a wide-eyed, trusting soul. (Stop laughing at the back).
And so, when the Mayor of London and Transport for London promised that they would do an urgent review of the Cycle Superdeathways, paying specific attention to the junctions thereof, and would report back on Bow Interchange/Flyover within a week, I believed them, and settled down to wait.
That week has now passed, and so has another one just for good measure, and still no report.
Now, why would that be, then?
1) It takes a bit longer than a week to do a safety audit on a hideous, sixteen-lane roundabout on steroids?
2) Nobody intended to do a safety audit at all, and just said they would to shut up people like John Biggs AM?
3) Transport for London have discovered that the only way they can make that junction safe for cyclists and pedestrians is to do what they have previously said they won’t do, and so are keeping quiet in the hope everyone will forget about it and go away?
I have seen people with pushchairs take the bus one stop so that they don’t have to negotiate that junction on foot. Fine if you have a travelcard, but it is ridiculous to have to pay out £1.30 on a single bus journey merely so you don’t put you and your child’s life in peril as you make your way around.
The situation is only going to get worse. In the last ten years, there have been several conversions of offices and light industrial premises round there to flats, and there are more in process and even more planned. The pedestrian use of that junction is increasing, because the nearest tube station for many of these flats is on the other side of the junction, an easy walk away if they didn’t have to dice with death on the way.
Well, we’re terribly sorry, Transport for London, and Mr Mayor, but we won’t forget about it, and we won’t go away, and we will wait for your report. To be honest, if it means you have to stop idolising the car, and realise that the priority for London needs to be providing safe, liveable streets for all, where the priority needs to be given to pedestrians, cyclists and mass transit at the expense of the car, well, tough.
London is choking to death on cars. People want to cycle, and they want to walk, but the layout of junctions and the prioritising of the car at the expense of everything else means that it is too difficult and unpleasant and, in some cases, downright dangerous for them to do so. And so they sit in traffic jams and metaphorically set fire to £50 notes because you think that cars are more important than anything else which moves around London.
Can you not see how utterly stupid this is?