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London Mayoral Candidates Vie to Be the Most Bike-Friendly

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Boris's cycling superhighways aren't good enough, says Ken Livingstone. Photo: EcoBlog [2]

Remember the Times of London’s “Cities Fit for Cycling” campaign [3]? Earlier this year one of the most prominent dailies in the UK pulled out all the stops to make bicycling safer in British cities, promoting a comprehensive policy platform. The campaign is for real: The Times is now getting London mayoral candidates on the record [4] with their bike policy positions.

Here’s how this political slugfest is playing out. Tory Boris Johnson, the mayor who launched the largest bike-share system in the English-speaking world (so far) and built the first corridors in a network of “cycle superhighways,” hasn’t done enough to make cycling accessible and safe, according to his chief rival, Labor candidate Ken Livingstone.

Livingstone, who was ousted from the mayoralty by Johnson in 2008, made his reputation as a transportation reformer in his first stint as mayor. He instituted London’s congestion charge in 2003, completed a range of high-profile pedestrian reclamation projects, and initiated the idea of building high-volume bike routes. Now he’s attacking Johnson’s bike-share initiative for being out of reach to most Londoners, and assailing the cycle superhighways as little more than paint on the street.

A political campaign group called “Londoners on Bikes” is going to deliver a bloc of at least 3,000 votes to the candidate who commits to the strongest platform for bicycling. Here are some highlights from Livingstone and Johnson, according to the Times.

Livingstone:

Johnson:

Check out the Times coverage [4] for the complete platforms from Livingstone, Johnson, and the Liberal Democrat and Green Party candidates.