Archive for the ‘Mayor of London’ Category

Following the money: how does Boris Johnson’s TfL value cycling?

June 27, 2011

Transport for London have this week published their Annual Report, Statement of Accounts and Commissioner’s Report. This avalanche of financial data provides an excellent opportunity to get a sense of their priorities.

The documents contain funding information about Cycle Superhighways, Barclays Cycle Hire, Biking Boroughs and the Community Cycling Grant. Unless otherwise stated, all figures below are for the financial year 10/11.

Biking Boroughs

This flagship program appeals to the Mayor’s core Outer London constituents by providing funding to “harness the huge appetite that already exists for cycling in Outer London”.

Boris Johnson says, “My cycling revolution continues and I am determined to help more residents of outer London to take to two wheels. “

The numbers say:

Vive la Révolution

But maybe I’m being unfair. After all, I’m comparing the Biking Boroughs budget to huge projects, like the London Overground and the TfL PR machine.

How does it stack up against smaller items?

Kingston: His name is Rob Holden if you're looking to borrow a fiver.

Cycling Community Grant

These are grants funded by TfL to “fund events or start projects which promote the benefits of cycling”.

Boris Johnson says‘”This is all about helping the smaller cycling groups within London to pass on their enthusiasm for cycling to local people.”

The numbers say:

Just pension, not salary

Perhaps this is too harsh. After all, these are small grants but there must be hundreds of them, right? Unfortunately, no. There are 25 in total – less than one per borough.

Cycle Superhighways

These are part of the Mayor’s vision for a “cleaner, greener, safer city, where you have a cycling revolution.”

Boris Johnson says: “These radial routes are set to transform our great city into one where cycling is the first choice for many thousands of Londoners.”

The numbers say:

But £6.7m sounds great in a press release

Curious that the Bounds Green central reservation hasn’t had 5 times as much marketing as the Superhighways, as well as funding.

Barclays Cycle Hire

There has been some investment in Cycle Hire this year, but the London Assembly notes that the scheme is designed to break even over three years (p8 – although it looks like it will take a little longer). Just another example of how TfL doesn’t see cycling as a proper form of transport like trains and buses and cars, which all receive huge amounts of public money (yes, even cars).

Assuming TfL do hit their targets, the Cycle Hire balance sheet will look as follows over a three-year period.

Not accounting for inflation

Figures and sources for all of the above here (.xlsx).

With investment like this, is anyone actually surprised that London’s cycling revolution never happened?


A Conservative infatuation with Russell Crowe?

June 24, 2011

Consider the gladiatorial amphitheatre as a model for justice and equality.

A very fetching Ray Stevenson in HBO’s Rome

The warrior is not subject to the whims of an arbitrary or artificial power. He (and occasionally she) lives or dies by his own strength, agility and cunning. No liberal intervention will decry the acts undertaken as “brutal” or “disproportionate”. The fighter will not be interrupted by state-armed goons who consider it their duty to “police” the population according to some sort of irrational legal code. In many ways, the arena is the only example of an equal realm, and the most natural form of justice.

Is this convincing? It might have a romantic allure, but I’m not sure it should be the foundation of public policy.

The Conservative Party’s London Assembly Members seem to feel differently. This week, they distanced themselves from the rest of the London Assembly in a report entitled The Future of Road Congestion in London.

Neither the Mayor nor the Government should impose an artificial road user hierarchy as this inevitably has the effect of deliberately slowing down some users.

And in a comment on the Cyclists on the City blog, Tory Assembly Member Andrew Boff tells us:

It is true that we [the Conservatives] are, by instinct, anti-hierarchical and I agree with you that we should be making decisions to accommodate people’s choices not what we think their choices should be.

Street users, like those in the gladiator’s ring, are not created equal. Put them in a situation of conflict and some will suffer and others will thrive.

Sadly (and I mean this), most pedestrians are not Russell Crowe. Look what happens when there are more people than there is available space for them:

Stuck: trying to finish crossing a road in Hackney, yesterday

Is this an absence of hierarchy?

And when there are more motor vehicles than there are space for:

Image from Crap Waltham Forest

When a motor vehicle is in a pedestrian’s space, the motor vehicle wins. When a pedestrian is in a motor vehicle’s space, the result is the same.

The Conservative claim that they are anti-hierarchical is deceptive in two ways:

  1. It is based on idea that not explicitly creating a hierarchy of road users means that you will not end up with one naturally.
  2. Andrew Boff’s quote is even worse, because it is implicitly based on the premise that there are transport choices which are independent of (or prior to) infrastructure. People’s choices are what they are because of the streets which are available to them.

If you avoid an “artificial” hierarchy, you end up with a natural one. I’d prefer our streets to be designed for people who want to use them, than for us all to be subject to some sort of will-of-the-stronger struggle for power where, naturally, it is given to large, fast, heavy vehicles.

But I’m beginning to feel that we’re being left with little choice.

Cycle safety on TfL’s roads has flatlined since 2004

June 18, 2011

When challenged about the death and injury of cyclists on London’s streets, the mayor or TfL’s press machine come out with statements like

“Cycling in London is safer now than it was a decade ago.” – Boris Johnson

“The overall number of cyclist KSIs [killed or seriously injured] on London’s roads has fallen by almost a fifth since the mid-to-late 1990s (18 per cent).” – TfL press release

Safer streets? An extra traffic lanes and no advanced stop box in the Blackfriars plans

Both these statements are true. However, they are somewhat misleading.

I have spent some time “reverse engineering” the data about TfL’s own road network (the TLRN) from a November 2010 London Road Safety unit report (p7), using the GetData Graph Digitizer (h/t Drawing Rings). I have indexed the 2010 full year figures by mapping existing indexed values to actual figures from here, here and here.

With this new data set, it is possible to calculate the KSI rate on the TLRN. This is the number of cyclists who are killed or seriously injured in each year, divided by the total cyclists that year. This is what it looks like (setting the year 2000 value to 100):

Not a graph you'll find in a TfL report

The reason that cycling is safer than it was a decade ago is because, for some reason, there was a significant reduction in danger between 2000 and 2004. Since then, TfL have achieved nothing.

Actually, it is worse than having achieved nothing. Research has shown that as the number of cyclists increases, the number of accidents decreases, as driver awareness of cyclists improves, as does driver behaviour as they are increasingly likely to be cyclists themselves.

What TfL have managed to do since 2004 is to preside over a road network so dangerous that it actually cancels out any safety benefit of the 170% increase in people riding bikes on the TLRN:

With modelling which treats people on bikes as having the value of 0.2 people in cars, is this any wonder?

If TfL really want people to “catch up with the bicycle”, they have got to stop prioritising motor vehicle convenience at the expense of cycle safety.

If you would like to use the data I’ve put together, email me at the address on my About page and I will send it to you.

On campaigning

June 16, 2011

“Politically speaking, the man is still in the nursery who has not absorbed, so as never to forget, the saying attributed to one of the most successful politicians that ever lived: ‘What businessmen do not understand is that exactly as they are dealing in oil, so I am dealing in votes.’”

–          Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, 1942 (p285)

Why have we got anywhere with Blackfriars?

In February, TfL gave people 5 days to respond to their Blackfriars “consultation” about the right hand turn. People who cycle were enraged, and blogged about their anger – and the volume of these objections may well have contributed to what happened next.

But actually it was the Labour Party London AM Val Shawcross who met with TfL and managed to make them extend the consultation.

Since then, other politicians have raised the issue, the most recent news being that the Transport Minister Norman Baker is going to speak to TfL – although he has no formal power over their decision.

Why are politicians being so helpful?

Is it because they passionately believe in our cause? No, or there would never have been the political will to pass the thousands of anti-walking and -cycling decisions of this decade.

The next London Assembly and Mayoral election is May 2012 – only a few months after the Blackfriars redesign finishes. They want our votes.

I think this is clear if you look at who has been involved, when, and how vocal they have been.

After Val Shawcross, John Biggs quickly came on board. Is it a coincidence that they represent inner South and East London, areas with far more cyclists than most others? (See p27 here for stats.)

As it became clear this was larger than most cycling issues, Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon and then Tory Andrew Boff both spoke out in support. And why not? Still a relatively niche campaign – their presence might curry favour with some voters. Other than TfL, no one really seems to be in favour of the speed limit being raised to 30mph, so unlikely to hurt them. A safe issue.

Boff and Pidgeon are both London-wide representatives: the election won’t be decided on cycling conditions in Bromley or Edgware or Penge. This might explain why Boff’s support has been limited to an email – and why Boff was prepared to wash off the positive sheen he might have gained here when he walked out with his Conservative colleagues, rather than discuss this motion in the London Assembly.

Pidgeon has been a little more active, actually going on a site visit with TfL. But then she did stand as the Lib Dem candidate for the Vauxhall constituency in 2010 – cyclists’ votes may yet be important to Ms Pidgeon.

What now?

Some have suggested another event where we cycle slowly over Blackfriars Bridge, or maybe some other bridges. Others have suggested a co-ordinated commute. One thing seems clear to me:

If Blackfriars remains simply a cycling issue, then it by definition remains an issue that most Londoners either don’t care about or actively hostile towards.

If this is the case, we will not win this battle. Boris “I am TfL” Johnson has made his smoothing traffic flow priorities perfectly clear. Inner London Labour AMs and the Green Party (much as I admire them) are not enough to change the central tenet of TfL policy.

But Blackfriars is also about pedestrians, cleaner air and ultimately more pleasant streets.

So what do we do? Well, I’ve got a couple of ideas, but the responses I’ve had so far are “you need a slap” and “your mother will kill you”, so I’m going to research them a little more. Whatever we do, I think it has to fulfil two conditions:

  1. Media friendly – column inches are vote-winners.
  2. Inclusive – this is about making our city people-friendly. People who can participate should ideally include those who walk London, those who’d like to cycle but currently don’t, and in fact even motorists who also want London’s streets to be more pleasant.

Answers on a postcard.

TfL’s ‘smoothing traffic flow’ ignores pedestrians, cyclists and even buses

June 10, 2011

This has been quite the week for TfL. On Wednesday, a Conservative London Assembly walk-out put them under the spotlight for their Blackfriars plans which make the street better for drivers, and worse for everyone else.  Yesterday, the story broke that a new pedestrianised “civic square” in London’s Zone 1, at Elephant & Castle, is being blocked by TfL because “it would interfere with the traffic flow too greatly”. .

Elephant and Castle southern roundabout from Strata

Elephant & Castle: a jewel in TfL's traffic-smoothing crown

If we take a closer look at what this actually means, it quickly becomes clear that TfL are subjugating the needs of people who walk, bike and even take the bus, to those of people driving cars. Once again, this becomes quite technical I’m afraid, but the detail exposes some questionable political choices made by TfL.

What are TfL’s traffic flow obligations?

Transport for London have a legal duty to ensure their network of streets run smoothly.

As Cyclists in the City explains:

TfL’s obligation under the Traffic Management Act 2004 is to: Ensure the expeditious movement of traffic on its own road network; and facilitate the expeditious movement of traffic on the networks of others.

Under TfL’s current Chair, Boris Johnson, this translates into a policy called Smoothing Traffic Flow, which aims to ensure journey time predictably and reliability.

Who counts as traffic?

Legally, everyone, even people walking. It is explicitly stated in the Traffic Management Act 2004 that “traffic” includes pedestrians, cyclists and “motorised vehicles – whether engaged in the transport of people or goods.” (Traffic Management Act 2004, Section 31, and DfT Traffic Management Act 2004, Network Management Duty Guidance, DfT page 4, paragraph 10).

On TfL’s website, Boris claims to accept that smoothing traffic flow, “also includes smoother journeys for pedestrians,” although no mention is made of people on bikes or public transport.

As ever with TfL, we shall see that there’s many a slip twixt press release and policy.

What does smoothing traffic flow actually look like?

TfL’s Draft Network Operating Strategy (May 2011) explains how this Mayor’s Transport Strategy (MTS) objective is translated into reality:

The key measure for smoothing traffic flow set out in the MTS is journey time reliability .(p14)

And how is this measured?

Journey time reliability scope includes all classes of light good vehicles, Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV’s) and cars. (p14 – footnote 2)

So there you have it. Pedestrians don’t count. Cyclists don’t count. Buses don’t even count.

Kingsland Road Bus Park

Smooth as silk: Buses definitely not in traffic

Will asking for 20mph at Blackfriars help?

The prioritisation of cars, vans and HGVs by TfL is why schemes like Blackfriars Bridge and Elephant & Castle are inevitable. Not to mention other similar schemes all over London. Or Cycle Superhighways which disappear at junctions even though that’s where 4 out 5 collisions happen. Or people being killed by HGVs on roads that boroughs have begged TfL to make safer.

Asking for the speed limit to remain 20 at Blackfriars is like trying to cure chicken pox by lopping them off one-by-one.

So what next?

This is a problem that goes right to the core of TfL’s and ultimately the Mayor’s transport strategy. A complement of responses is required, some aimed at TfL and some at their political masters. For now, I’m going to suggest the former: take advantage of the fact that the Network Operating strategy is currently under consultation.

Responses needn’t be long. They simply have to say something like: the performance of the road network cannot be measured solely by smoothing traffic flow and by the speed of motor traffic, as is outlined in Chapter 3. The time of cyclists, pedestrians and people on buses is just as important as those in cars and vans.

Henly’s Corner: A walker’s paradise?

May 25, 2011

TfL have always been in favour of walking. Rarely do they release a marketing publication without several paragraphs explaining how pedestrians will benefit from the newest scheme designed to maximise the amount of traffic on London’s streets.

The current “improvement works” at Henly’s Corner in Barnet are, it seems, primarily being undertaken in order to “improve crossing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists”. This is a populous, residential area sitting roughly at the centre of a trapezium bounded by the following tube stations: East Finchley, Golders Green, Brent Cross, Hendon Central, Mill Hill East and Finchley Central.

The works have been running from February this year and are set to continue until February 2012 (details on p76). Let’s take a look at how TfL has left the conditions for their darling pedestrians during this time period:

Take a hike: the footpaths are closed for a year

Fair enough. Pedestrians are already selfless enough to choose not to use their cars. It’s a safe bet they’d be willing to go several hundred metres out of their way to assure the convenience of their neighbours taking the Range Rover to Waitrose.

(Well, either that or they don’t actually own cars, in which case they’re obviously alfalfa-eating freaks with no political clout who TfL and the Mayor would be wasting their time on anyway.)

Let’s have a look at how the junction on the map manifests itself in reality:

Photos courtesy of the East Finchley Beth Din

Note that the “You are here” sign on the above map is on Finchley Road. This picture is taken on the south side of Falloden Way, travelling west. From this direction, there is no warning for pedestrians that the footpath stops dead (or for cyclists – this is a shared use path).

Well, maybe it’s all worth it? What’s a year of being unable to walk or cycle if at the end of it a sustainable transport utopia is produced? Will the A406/A598 junction become the new Camino de Santiago?

Here is TfL’s CGI projection of what the completed junction will look like:

The A406 ramble? The Henly’s Trail?

Ah. Let’s see:

  •  Bus lanes: 0
  • Cycle lanes/paths:  1 “shared use” path running east-west (i.e. pavement with a white line down the middle) which disappears as soon as there is a conflict with an actual road. 0 running north-south.
  • Buses: 1
  • Goods vehicles: 6
  • Cyclists: 2
  • Cars: 25
  • Pedestrians: 5

And remember, this is the marketing image – the aspiration for this £8m junction. The reality is that no one who can avoid it is going to walk down this 8-lane turbohighway which requires pedestrians wishing to cross the road to do so in four separate stages.

So who is to blame for spending twice the entire budget of the Biking Boroughs entrenching infrastructure so deeply hostile to anyone not in a car?

In 2002, then mayor Ken Livingstone was pushing plans for this junction to be redesigned, with bus lanes and cycle lanes. However, Barnet’s then Cabinet member for the environment, Brian Coleman, led the council’s effort to block these plans under the premise that they were “inadequate to deal with the issue of endemic congestion.”

As we know, Ken was ousted by the Conservative contender in 2008 and true-blue Mr Coleman went on to become the mayor of Barnet in 2009. The bus and cycle lanes were subsequently removed from TfL’s plans, which were then agreed with Barnet, and as you can see the work is now underway.

Never let it be said, however, that Mr Coleman has forgotten the little people. He, too, is unhappy about the way that the works are being carried out. Writing to the mayor earlier this month, he complained that,

These road works are chaotic, causing huge problems for motorists and massive tailbacks.

So, while underway the works are causing problems for pedestrians, cyclists and apparently motorists. When completed, as far as pedestrians and cyclists are concerned, they won’t be much better.

So why go to all this trouble?

The important works at Henlys Corner will bring huge benefits to all road users along the A406 North Circular Road, and deliver smoother traffic flow along this key arterial route. – David Brown, Managing Director, TfL’s Surface Transport

Sounds remarkably familiar.

Whether it’s at Blackfriars or Brixton, Fulham or Finchley, Marylebone or Mitcham, TfL’s current priority remains the same: make travelling in cars easier and quicker at the expense of all other transport.

Except, in outer London, the situation is considerably worse. While people who opt not to drive are numerous and vocal enough to make a difference on Blackfriars Bridge (how much difference remains to be seen), cycling modal share in the outer London Boroughs currently sits at 1%.

Or forget modal share: TfL’s recent Analysis of Cycling Potential calculates that 250,000 trips a year in Barnet could be made by bike. How many of just those quick wins are actually cycled? Around 3% (page 27).

It suits TfL and the outer London boroughs to pay lip-service to cycling and walking while continuing to build motorways in the middle of residential areas (while closing bus lanes, cycle lanes and footpaths).

Will cheery copy and self-satisfied soundbites be enough to persuade the residents of Finchley and Golders Green to take a pleasant stroll or cycle through the new Henly’s Corner?

TfL wastes £5m of central government cash trying to launder London’s air

May 8, 2011

Note: This post is a little policy-ish and maybe not for everyone. However, it reveals TfL’s extravagant and astonishing attempts to cover up their failings on air emissions. The main points are as follows:

  1. The UK is failing to meet the EU’s air quality standards in London.
  2. In March 2011, the Department for Transport gave the GLA £5m to deal with the problem of emissions in London. The project is being delivered by TfL.
  3. TfL have devoted this money entirely to tricking the EU emissions counter on Marylebone Road, and to “power cleaning” the dirty air by repeated visits which cost up to £5k each.

Read on for more detail…

Garrett Emerson, the Chief Operating Officer of TfL’s London Streets department, is due to submit a report to the Surface Transport Panel on Wednesday this week. The report is entitled,


Its main purpose is setting out to the Panel how the Mayor is adapting said strategy now that the daily concentration of particulate emissions has consistently been above the limit set out in the EU Air Quality Directive.

Less road traffic emissions

Oh, really?

The report notes that, in March 2011*, the European Commission exempted Greater London from EU air quality standards until June 2011. This was on the condition that “the UK adapts its air quality plan for the area, setting out the steps to achieve compliance by 11 June and detailing relevant abatement actions.”

After this was granted, the GLA had the audacity to write to the Department for Transport (DfT) asking for funding so they might actually have a chance of meeting the targets. Obviously all the money originally in the budget had been allocated to projects more important than air quality targets, like anti-walking and cycling “improvement” works and schemes designed to maximise the number of cars on London’s streets (pdf).

Astonishingly, DfT acquiesced to the tune of £5million. (Or perhaps it’s far from astonishing that the current government does not want the Conservative mayor to face headlines about being fined for air quality a year before the next mayoral elections – it’s certainly not the place of this blog to hypothesise.)

Photo the property of JJWillow

So, what are TfL actually doing to achieve this aim? Essentially, the entirety of the £5m is being wasted on two things:

  1. Repeated, “cleaning” visits of air at “priority locations” which cost up to £5k a piece,
  2. Trying to reduce the emissions of taxis and buses specifically around the Marylebone Road air quality measuring station.

In detail: Tfl have agreed with DfT 6 priorities (point 3.5 of the report), which can be split into two categories:

  1. Prevention of emissions on Marylebone Road – more on these in a second
  2. Attempting to clean the dirty air – this is a range of measures from “power cleaning” tunnels (£3-£5k per tunnel) and flyovers (£1250 per visit), applying dust suppressants, and installing green infrastructure (don’t get excited) which means “green walls” and “vegetated barriers” (i.e. total greenwash).

The preventative measures are the following:

  1. Reducing idling of taxis near the air quality measuring station (or as the report puts it, “at priority locations” which just happen to be along the Euston/Marylebone Road where the station sits).
  2. Applying Diesel Particulate Filters to 71 buses on route 205, which travel along the “priority location” of Marylebone Road.
  3. Working with businesses to reduce their air quality emissions at, you guessed it, “priority locations”.

It is scandalous that £5m of DfT money is being squandered in this manner,  especially while other transport budgets are being cut to the bone. With Cycling England gone, the total budget for all of London’s ‘Biking Boroughs’ is £4m.

TfL’s report even goes as far as to admit that:

Road transport is the dominant source of PM10 emissions within central London, contributing around 79 per cent in 2008, 80 per cent in 2011. (Emphasis mine.)

And yet after being given £5 million to potentially deal with this, TfL’s plan does absolutely nothing to reduce road traffic.

Their paltry, reactive measures guarantee that London will fail to meet future targets. And no doubt, when we do, we will either be bailed out by central government (costing us money) or fined (costing us money).

And meanwhile, London’s streets will continue to be the same dirty, noisy, traffic-infested rat-runs and racetracks which deter simple, sustainable transport like riding bikes and walking. Good work, TfL.

*TfL’s report says that this happened in March 2010 but this is an error.

Boris’s new transport team

May 5, 2011

One of the key pieces of news I managed not to cover while on holiday is Boris’s massive transport team shake-up. However, this post feels timely as Freewheeler has just written a piece declaring Ken Livingstone an obstacle to mass cycling in London.

Do Boris’s changes make him any more attractive to those of us in favour of well-designed, segregated cycle facilities in London? Kulveer Ranger will finally be going from his post as Director for Transport Strategy, ostensibly “promoted” to the role of Director of Environment. Meanwhile, Isabel Dedring, the current Environment Advisor, is being actually promoted to shiny, newly appointed role of Deputy Mayor for Transport. As some have perhaps cynically noted, “two people can’t change jobs and both have a promotion”. Far be it for this blog to speculate whether the transport or environment brief is a more politically significant issue in London…

The other critical change is that Daniel Moylan, the Conservative Deputy Leader of Kensington & Chelsea Council who currently works 2 days a week as Deputy Chair of TfL’s board, is having his hours doubled.

Photo credit: London SE1

Isabel Dedring (left). Photo credit: London SE1 blog

Well, what does this mean for those of us who would like more people in London to cycle, and more journeys to be made by bike? One might be tempted into thinking that Dedring is a good choice. After all, someone who has held the environment post must at least be aware of some potential benefits of getting more people on bikes.

Having said that, since she took up the role in 2008, London has repeatedly failed to meet EU targets on air quality. A study commissioned by the Mayor’s office estimates that this has “an impact on mortality equivalent to 4,267 deaths in London in 2008”.

What else do we know about Isabel Dedring? Well, she is deeply ensconced she is in TfL culture. Prior to her environment brief she held the role of Director of TfL’s Policy Unit (2003-8) and before that she was Chief of Staff to Bob Kiley, TfL’s Transport Commmissioner.

OK, so simply working for TfL is not necessarily enough to incriminate someone. Let’s have a look at some of her policy work. In 2006, she was responsible for an illuminating document entitled Tackling Climate Change: How London’s Transport Sector Can Help (pdf) (section 4, pp8-35).

The document is a bit of a mixed bag, although overall far from impressive. On the one hand:

  1. The document notes that private motor vehicles are responsible for half (49%) of emissions in London (p31) and that this must be reduced.
  2. It is argued that “behavioural change measures are critical”. This is half the battle.

On the other, there are some negatives.

  1. Some of the claims seem to be deliberately misleading. It is repeatedly said that, “adding in London’s aviation emissions triples London’s total transport emissions.” (e.g. p8, p9, p24). This may be true, but the relevant measure for TfL is not London’s total emissions – no one holds them responsible for aviation emissions. The Mayor of London and TfL are repeatedly lambasted by the EU for failing to hit targets which will reduce the number of PM10 particles in the air. In 2006, when this document was published, road transport was responsible for 20% of these emissions. Air transport’s share was 0.07%. (Source). I find this kind of statistical sleight-of-hand highly irritating.
  2. On the point of behavioural changes, they simply do not go far enough. On page 9 the “opportunities to reduce emissions by mode” are listed for cars. What is listed is congestion charging, driver education, use of biofuels, hybrid vehicles and lighter vehicles. The document points out, “a Vauxhall Corsa emits 1/3 the CO2 of a Range Rover”. This is all well and good – but it’s the infrastructure, stupid. Any mention of this is notably absent.

Ok, so Dedring accepts that there are some problems, even if her solutions aren’t quite up to scratch. But perhaps trusty Deputy Chair Daniel Moylan’s increased hours will allow him to whisper words of wisdom in her ear?

Sadly, and somewhat surprisingly for someone in his position, when it comes to Surface Transport Mr Moylan only seems to have one policy idea: Shared space.

Shared space kruispunt (gelijkwaardig kruispunt)

In 2007, Mr Moylan wrote an article for The Guardian extolling the virtues of such an approach. In it, he says, “Coercive measures like 20mph limits are the wrong approach to road safety.”

It’s odd, but that’s the exact opposite of what the data from TfL’s own London Road Safety Unit data demonstrates. There is a strong positive correlation between lower speed limits and a reduction in deaths and serious injuries, particularly of vulnerable road users.

In any case, there are already examples of Shared Space in London. And look how well they work.

So, the depressing conclusion? Boris’s new clique might look greener, but peel back the foliage and find the familiar, regressive roots of the old set.