Really good news, I hope. Andrew Gilligan is to join the Prime Minister’s team as transport adviser. Previously, Gilligan was Johnson’s cycling commissioner at the Greater London Authority GLA. His new duties must including cycling and I believe that, with timely pressure from Stop Killing cyclists (at the 2012 TfL cycling protest) Gilligan was the prime mover in the switch from Phase 1 Slippery Blue Paint Superhighways to Phase 2 Segregated Superhighways.
Let’s hope that, with more pressure from 2019 National Cycling Protest on 7th Sept, we can have a UK-wide Cycleway Network programme funded at the UN-recommended rate 20% of the transport budget. This would be 155 times higher than the present UK rate of investment in cycle infrastructure (72p/head) But at £112/head/year, would only amount to the cost of three London cappuccinos per person per week for a year.
There is a real opportunity for change and we all need to support Gilligan in his coming battles with the Department for Transport. Gilligan opposes HS2. The new Minister of Transport (Grant Shapps) owns his own plane and may not have a deep committment to funding cycle infrastructure. We need Gilligan to focus on cycling. Compared to all other mechanised transport modes it is faster, cheaper, healthier, quieter and much more sustainable. Cycling is the mass transit system of choice for the cities of the twenty-first century.