There’s some good news for North London commuters as user-surveys back the extension of cycle routes on Hampstead Heath, but at the same time the budget for the national cycle network looks to be seriously threatened.
Despite the obvious green advantages of increased cycle use, environmental groups are upset because cyclists made up an unrepresentative number of respondents in the 2:1 cycleway improvement vote. However these concerns look like being ignored (thankfully) and the planners are now discussing how to implement traffic marking and speeding controls without spoiling the parks appearance. More information can be found at www.hamhigh.co.uk.
However the development of cycling in the rest of London looks to be in danger as a Budget and Business Plan for 2002/2003 leaked to the BBC states that the current £8 million per annum for the LCN is to be swallowed up by the £22 million allocated for walking/cycling and town centre schemes. However, the document then says that “if additional funding is not forthcoming”, then the money will be delayed or reduced by £20 million.
Peter Lewis, from the London Cycling Campaign, says he is “gobsmacked” by these draft budget plans.
“What is the point of all of the consultation involved in the Transport Strategy which suggested that cycling was important, when Transport for London then draws up a budget which doesn’t reflect that importance at all,” he said.
For more info see www.bbc.co.uk