Mayoral Debate – Friday 29 April

Final hustings of the mayoral campaign

The Mayoral Debate 29 AprilNick and Ruth from KCC were in a packed audience at the cycling (and transport) hustings held at The News Building this morning. You may have already seen our tweets at #asklondonmayor and now you can watch the debate on Facebook.

The Deputy Editor of The Times, Emma Tucker, chaired a panel featuring most of the main candidates: Sian Berry (SB), Zac Goldsmith (ZG), Sadiq Khan (SK), Caroline Pigeon (CP), Sophie Walker (SW) – all of whom have signed for cycling – and Peter Whittle (PW). George Galloway has also signed for cycling, unfortunately he couldn’t be there.

After introductions the candidates were asked to outline their solutions – see the LCC website for these and their answers to questions submitted at the door and from the floor and the Chair posed some direct questions which only needed simple answers:

Would you appoint a Cycling Commissioner?

  • SB: yes – improvements for cycling and walking will help everyone in the long run
  • ZG: yes – Andrew Gilligan has done ‘a magnificent job’
  • SK: yes and we need a Cycling and Walking Commissioner
  • CP: yes and would move cycling and walking out of the Bus directorate
  • SW: would be more interested in someone on the board representing women and the disabled
  • PW: would get rid of the existing six deputy mayor roles and would not be willing to make any new appointments

Would you extend 20 mph zones?

  • SB: yes – it should be the default
  • ZG: let the local community decide
  • SK: yes – currently doing this in Tooting
  • CP: roll them out over London
  • PW: let the local community decide
  • SW: ‘I agree with Peter’

How did you get here today?

  • SB: Northern Line tube as she worries about getting ‘stranded’ in places she doesn’t know – she added that she does cycle to work
  • ZG: got a lift from a volunteer – takes a train from Barnes or goes to the District Line tube to go to work
  • SK: he walks to a bus stop or takes a tube
  • CP: walked and got a train – as Co-Chair of the Transport Committee she wanted to add that she uses various forms of transport: bus, tube, cycling, walking and the Thames Clipper
  • SW: Northern Line tube – but when travelling with her autistic child she ends up using her car
  • PW: walked to the DLR then took the Jubilee Line tube – said he’d got rid of his ‘old banger’ because the expense wasn’t worth it!

If you had one ‘vanity project’, what would it be?

  • SB: ‘lovely’ walking and cycling bridges in East London
  • ZG: an electric car club across London
  • CP: more ‘limited edition livery’ hire bikes to put the fun back
  • PW: couldn’t think of anything because he is ‘without vanity’
  • SK: ‘I am vain…not in favour of vanity projects…[but] we need more cycling bridges’
  • SW: ‘a sanity project’ – making cycling more accessible to disabled people

Miniholland

Mini-holland campaigners from Kingston, Enfield and Waltham ForestAnswering a question about whether the cycle superhighways should be fully within the Mayor’s remit, Zac Goldsmith mentioned there had been ‘not one letter of complaint about Kingston Mini Holland’. Good news, but with four consultations to come over the next few months, let’s hope this continues.

After the debate we met up with fellow mini-holland campaigners from Waltham Forest and Enfield. We shared ideas and frustrations – and briefly, a platform. We’ll keep in touch!

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