Bemused tourists peered out of their bus-tour-supplied plastic ponchos to see London's biggest ever cycle protest on Saturday, as an estimated 10,000 men, women and children braved the near constant rain to call for Mayoral commitment to 'Go Dutch' and make London safe for cycling.
The peloton stretched from the top of Park Lane to Piccadilly Circus (though, had the same number decided to go by car, it'd have been from Park Lane to Upminster [average car length, bumper to bumper] - and might have got more press, as some have pointed out).
Best of all were the team of fearless lollipop people jumping into the road with their 'stop/go' (shame it wasn't 'carry on', or 'hammer time'...) signs at each pedestrian crossing. This was the best-mannered protest we've ever been to and we spotted only one dimwit having a cyclephobic outburst from the pavement (which is better than a normal day). Officers from the Metropolitan Police Cycle Task Force once again deserve our thanks for being terribly good at managing this sort of thing.
Saturday's ride was more of a lap of victory than a protest, as late on Friday Boris Johnson joined Ken, Brian, Jenny and Siobhan in signing up to the Go Dutch demands:
- Implement three flagship Love London, Go Dutch developments on major streets and/or locations.
- Make sure all planned developments on the main roads that they control are completed to Go Dutch standards, especially junctions.
- Make sure the Cycle Superhighways programme is completed to Love London, Go Dutch standards.
We'll be back with a more detailed look at what that means for the city in a future post, but this election has potentially changed the way London gets around before we even vote. All we need is a Mayor who can keep a promise...