What are TfL hiding about the cycle hire scheme?

The Basket by James Cridland. Licenced by Creative Commons
[Photo: The Basket – James Cridland – Licensed by Creative Commons]

The cycle hire scheme has had a troubled birth with technical issues and escalating costs. While the users of the scheme undeniably find it useful, whether the scheme is value for money overall is open to question. The business case would help solve this but TfL are still seemingly unwilling to release it. This can only lead to people thinking they have something to hide.
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Posted in Cycling, Transport Geekery | 7 Comments

Must Try Harder – Oona’s Transport Policies

Any candidate for London Mayor will not deserve to be elected without a coherent and comprehensive vision for London’s transport system. The current Mayoralty’s policies have been hijacked by special interests and lack ambition. So any alternative candidate will need a compelling plan to get London moving in the right direction again. Oona King’s policies, whilst having some positive ideas, are too timid and derivative to set that direction.

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Posted in Labour Party, London Mayoralty | Leave a comment

Hooray for Oyster!

It’s easy to forget what an innovation Oyster was and in many ways still is. As well bringing convenience to everyone who use London’s transport system, it has undoubtedly increased the use of public transport. Whilst the rollout to National Rail is imperfect and has added complexity, the experience of other cities shows London has much to be proud of.

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Posted in Transport Geekery, Travel | Leave a comment

The Economics of Cycle Hire

Boris is about to launch his signature (and very expensive) cycle hire scheme. To assess what benefits this might produce I have asked TfL for some help with additional information. They seem to be taking longer than would normally be expected. I can’t help but speculate why they are taking quite so long.

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Posted in Boris Johnson, Cycling | 1 Comment

The Hidden Danger in Ending PPP on the Tube

The acquisition of Tube Lines by Transport for London effectively ended the PPP experiment on the Tube. There are potentially many advantages to the end of the deal, but has it left the Tube more exposed now to cutbacks on desperately needed upgrades.

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Time’s running out, Oona

Ken Livingstone needed a strong challenger with a coherent vision in the race for Labour Mayoral nomination. Whilst Oona King has many positive qualities she’s so far failed to articulate a clear vision for London and time’s running out fast. If she’s to stand a chance at getting the nomination (or my vote for that matter) she needs to quickly fill in the significant gaps in her policy positions and steer clear of recent personalised attacks.

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Posted in Labour Party, London Mayoralty | 4 Comments

Bus Lane Trial Should End Now

Boris’ scheme to put motorbikes into bus lanes was always ill-conceived. Today’s data from the first trial period shows its downright dangerous for many road users. He should swallow his pride and scrap the extension of the trial now before more people get hurt unnecessarily.

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Posted in Boris Johnson, Cycling | 4 Comments

How Not to Encourage Cycling

A house move and lack of internet connection are not conducive to blogging. So, its rather late but I thought I’d write a quick blog about Boris’s cycle hire scheme. Dave Hill had the details earlier in August. It is a subject that I am somewhat conflicted on. As I commented in the post itself, it seems rather churlish to have a go at a scheme which might increase cycling generally as this can only be a good thing. My problem isn’t really with the scheme itself but in why Boris has determined it to be a such a priority.

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Posted in Boris Johnson, Cycling | 4 Comments

Boris Wants You To Look The Other Way

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee published its report into the disruption caused to London’s transport system by the heavy snowfalls in February this year. Predictably its been fairly critical of Boris’s role in managing the impact of the incident. You’ll remember his appearance in front of the committee – its the occasion he threatened to flounce out of the meeting when the questioning got a bit too tough. So perhaps just as predictably its not a surprise that Boris has pronounced himself not too impressed with their conclusions. Calling the report

“partisan and wholly opportunistic”

the BBC also reports his spokesman saying:

“With the benefit of hindsight it is even clearer to the Mayor that putting buses on icy roads, which could not be cleared, would have been irresponsible, dangerous and potentially lethal. The Mayor is pleased that today we are arguing over a select committee report, rather than giving evidence at an inquest into why Londoners have been injured unnecessarily on the icy roads.”

Whilst the first comment can be dismissed as politics as usual, the second is a piece of deliberate misdirection that would make Derren Brown proud.

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Cycle-highways – just more paint on the road?

As you might have seen Boris Johnson, our cycling mayor, had a near-miss over the weekend. Along with Kulveer Ranger (his Transport Director), Peter Hendy (TfL Commissioner) and Lord Adonis (Transport Minister) he was on a scouting mission around London for routes for his ‘cycle highways’ policy. Looking at video of the incident, it looks truly horrendous and exactly the sort of accident that could easily have given rise to serious injuries, if not worse. So we should be grateful that nobody was hurt. I can certainly sympathise – as a daily cyclist from North into Central London I can attest that whilst potentially serious incidents aren’t common they are still too frequent for comfort.

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Posted in Boris Johnson, Cycling | Leave a comment