Last week, I waxed lyrical about some of the cracking new cycling infrastructure being built in Central London, although I did point out how the rest the area is really like.
This week, I'm back on the ground with a bump (not literally thank goodness) as the pledges of some of the Mayoral candidates drip out. By that I mean that beyond the manifesto headlines we are being subjected to campaigns becoming increasingly personal and less about what they are actually going to do. As you know, my interest is in making our urban places more liveable and so far, I'm not at all impressed.
I realise that policies are wider than transport alone, but transport touches pretty much everyone on a daily basis and so I think it is the most important issue for a city. Some candidates are doing really well on transport and some of the linked issues, such as the air quality emergency facing us, but others seem to be desparate to maintain business as usual by supporting big road schemes or pushing for anything other than walking, cycling and public transport. The Labour and Conservative candidates couldn't even make the Institution of Civil Engineers' infrastructure hustings.
To be honest, I made up my mind about who to vote for as a first preference a very long time ago. My second preference is another matter as this has fluttered over the last few weeks (although I think I probably now know who it will be). As well as the Mayoral elections, we have elections to the Greater London Assembly which consists of constituency members (i.e. where you live) and list members which represent more of the vote of London (and more likely to be minority parties). Full details here.
For me, the election is about local transport rather than the big ticket projects which politicians seem to flock to. In truth, it has always been about local projects for me as I probably have a vested interest in them for my day job! But it is about local journeys; the ones which people could walk or cycle which are the important ones. The election is about our children being able to travel independently, safely and without being subjected to the pollution and danger created by adults driving everywhere (at least in Outer London). So building bridges and tunnels over the Thames, providing free parking or allowing electric cars in bus lanes is bugger all use to them.
With this in mind, I will be casting my votes for the people I think are best placed to make change happen for my children. I am pragmatic, we will end up with a new mayor in any case and I think the hard work is yet to come as the game moves forward with campaigners, professionals and Londoners needing to hold whoever wins to account on their promises or try to push them towards making our city more liveable.
My main message for the candidates is that they need to listen to the children of London as their voice is simply being drowned out by the adults.