Bexley council issued a press release last Tuesday about their being shortlisted for a slice of Boris Johnson’s ‘Cycling Vision’. It, along with Ealing, Enfield, Kingston, Merton and Newham will be seeking a share of Boris’s £100 million. Possibly Richmond and Waltham Forest will get a look in too.
There is no denying that Bexley council’s provision of cycle friendly routes goes no further than a contract with a purveyor of green paint. Their cycle lanes variously head for nowhere, stop and start without obvious reason, direct cyclists through 90º bends from pavement to road, include halt signs randomly, go down the middle of the road or circumvent bus stops and litter bins; now they are aiming to be more ambitious.
If Boris Johnson on LBC radio this week was not hallucinating, Bexley council has been somewhat carried away with its blue sky thinking. Their plan involves “power assisted bike lifts” up hills. According to Boris, there could be more than one winner. At a cost of £100 million there will certainly be a lot of losers!
I wonder which hills are to be so blessed. Knee Hill sounds appropriate for a leg powered vehicle. Gravel Hill sounds rather inhospitable for bikes. Maybe giving all cyclists a little engine to strap on the front wheel would be cheaper than bike lifts. Then they could add an extra couple of wheels to minimise falling off. Something more comfortable than a hard saddle wouldn’t be a bad idea. Maybe call it a Bexley carriage, Hackney has got one, why not us?
Bexley council - Greater London Authority - Evening Standard - This is London - LBC Radio