Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Calling London's Professional Institutions: Support Proper Space For Cycling

I am probably repeating myself to some extent, but this post is essentially an open letter to my professional institutions who are based in London, asking for their support the North-South and East-West Cycle Superhighways.

I posted abut the deeper benefits to developing these schemes last month and since then I have tweeted requests to my London-based professional institutions asking them to support the proposals. The targets of my tweeting have been the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation, the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institute of Highway Engineers. I have had a response from CIHT, but not of the others, so here is my open letter. If you are a member of a professional institution in London, please badger them for support too!

The east-west route passed right outside ICE HQ!
(Image adapted from TfL consultation drawings)


After years of stop/start funding, debate, tinkering and disjointed approaches to design across London, the Mayor of London is consulting on two new cycle superhighways, one running east-west and one running north-south. We have often struggled to provide decent protected cycling infrastructure in the UK, but this is a golden opportunity to show what can be done, especially against the backdrop of a growing city with falling car use - colleagues on our various technical panels can demonstrate this as fact.

I am not asking for you to comment on the details of every junction and cycle track, but to support the concept of providing safe and direct protected space for cycling on London's streets. I know that CIHT are very supportive of cycling and even this week announced new guidance (although I haven't chased down a copy to read just yet!) and I know you are reviewing the Mayor's proposals in a more general sense. 

I know that ICE has a cycling and walking policy and these schemes fit right in with these aspirations. It was just about a year ago when 250 of us joined a panel of experts to debate how infrastructure will power the cycling revolution.

IHE - you are the industry experts on traffic signs and traffic signals. You understand the technical and legal issues of getting things changed to give designers tools which will help us design new layouts which feel safe. You also award professional certificates in traffic signals, traffic signs, cycling infrastructure and indeed maintenance - all vital areas of work which will contribute to providing proper protection for people riding bikes.

The institution HQs are all within a mile and a half of both schemes and for the ICE, the east-west route runs right past the front door of One Great George Street! You employ lots of staff who need to travel and they will benefit from these schemes. You host meetings, training and seminars all of which could be made more accessible if you support these schemes.

So please respond to the consultations at least in principle, the links are in the first paragraph and as employers, add your voices to dozens of diverse companies and organisations who have already come out in support

More than ever, London is at a transport crossroads. Do we keep providing for cars which are not being used as much as they were even a decade ago, or do we sign up to changing this city for its people - whether they live here or work here. Your powerful and influential support is vital and will help London's transport compete at every level with every other world city. 

You have until 9th November to respond.

Your loyal member,

The Ranty Highwayman


  1. Thanks for the idea - it didn't occur to me to contact my Institution (I'm MIET, C.Eng) and the EW route goes right by their building at Savoy Place (although it is shut for a refurb at the moment)

  2. This is also now 'live' on the ICE Facebook page. Please share with Civil Engineers to like/comment and share - it puts pressure on them to respond: