Yesterday I braved the cold, to cycle to City Hall and hand in our petition to make Mitcham Lane safe for all. Caroline Pidgeon AM, leader of the Lib Dem group at the London Assembly came out to show her support.
The specific petition ask was as follows:
We, the undersigned, call on TfL and Wandsworth Council to make changes to Mitcham Lane so that cycling can be an option for everyone, not just the fit and the brave.It was addressed to both TfL (hence handing it in at City Hall, as our current Mayor Boris Johnson is the chair of TfL) and Wandsworth Council. Almost 550 people had signed the petition, 547 to be precise.
In terms of what can be done quickly to respond to the petition, we need look no further than Camden and Royal College Street.
How this will make the street safer for all, is as follows:
People on foot:
The main roadway will be narrowed by the provision of segregated cycle tracks/lanes. This means that people on foot will have a shorter distance to travel to cross the road which is dominated by motor traffic. A narrower road-width for motor vehicles, will encourage by design, drivers to travel at lower speeds. This in turn will give people on foot greater time to be able to safely cross the street. Also this will reduce the potential conflict between people walking and people cycling as there will be a clear space where people should cycle along.
People using bikes/trikes, mobility scooters:
They will have clear dedicated space to be able to use without needing to share what is a busy road with speeding vehicles. This will facilitate opportunities for families to be able to cycle to school, and to the local green spaces without having to compete for space on the road with motor traffic.
The provision of cycle tracks will stop the people who currently leave cars with for sale notices along Mitcham Lane. In turn, this will also mean that sight lines for people exiting side roads which lead onto Mitcham Lane are clearer helping people to be able to judge when best to pull out. The narrower road width will as mentioned above slow down the top speed of motor traffic, resulting in drivers having more time to be able to enter the flow.
This is just one, of a series of local petitions that I'm running to improve our local area. Do check out the link on the top right of the blog to see what else you can support. It's only by campaigning together that we can make change happen.
Of late, too much blood has been spilt on our roads, we can, we must do something. We must no longer accept that avoidable death and serious injury on our roads is part and parcel of what goes with living in London. The answers exist. The only bit of the puzzle that is missing, is the political will to change.
If you'd like to help me bring about the changes we need do get in touch.