A pop-up group of 6,000 cyclists in the Capital – Londoners on Bikes – has told BikeBiz "Boris Johnson has lost the bike vote."
Pledging support for the candidate most likely to make roads safer to cycle on, the group has relayed to supporters that Johnson's policies are unlikely to halt the rise of deaths or serious injuries occuring in the city.
The announcement came after the cycling hustings hosted by transport charity Sustrans and The Times yesterday, where Boris Johnson’s performance was dubbed “embarrassing” by a Londoners on Bikes spokesman, and “insulting” by the family of Ellie Carey, who was killed while riding her bike in Southwark last December.
Highlights from yesterday's hustings can be found here.
Londoners on Bikes today recommended that cyclists give their first preference vote to Green Party candidate Jenny Jones, and their second to Ken Livingstone.
In a hustings where the Mayor repeatedly appeared to be on the ropes as he was challenged on his claims about the number of deaths and serious injuries to cyclists under his leadership, he defended his policies of prioritising “smoothing traffic flow” over the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, and argued that boosting the number of cyclists was a good way to improve safety.
Alistair Carey, father of Ellie Carey, the London Metropolitan University student who died after being hit by an HGV while riding her bike in Southwark said: “I was insulted by what Boris Johnson said. There seems to be cross-party agreement among all the other candidates that far more needs to be done to improve safety for cyclists – only Boris disagrees.”
Londoners on Bikes spokesman Julian Sayarer said: “Today confirmed what those who ride bikes in London already know: highly visible and very expensive projects such as cycle hire have given Boris Johnson good publicity on cycling, but he has shown no interest in taking the steps which would be needed to save cyclists’ lives.
“Boris’s closing speech –which turned into a confused rant against lycra-wearing cyclists, dreadlocked hippies and green extremists – would have been angering had Boris not appeared so utterly incoherent. It only proved his complete failure to engage with the real issue of the urgent need for better cycling infrastructure."
The audience included at least two Londoners who have lost family members to traffic accidents.
Jenny Jones said that she was “hugely flattered” to be endorsed as the candidate for London’s cycling community.