London? Made for cycling? Really? I moved to London six months ago, so this campaign is new to me, but apparently it’s a revamp of an ongoing summer campaign by the Mayor of London. Having recently lived (and regularly cycled) in two other cities far better equipped for cyclists, I find it laughable that this campaign could even suggest that London was suitable for cycling, let alone made for it! Potholes, uneven road surfaces, a plethora of inadequate cycle lanes, the hostile/aggressive attitude towards cyclists by other road users (including TfL’s own staff), the demonisation of cyclists by local media etc., all lead me to one conclusion – that London was made for nothing like cycling!
These adverts are everywhere, the first one I saw was at a bus stop outside the entrance to Borough Market on the approach to London Bridge. Upon seeing the poster, the irony of it struck me hard as I had just made my way rumbling and juddering down Borough High Street. I am flabbergasted by this campaign – does the Mayor of London seriously think that people are taken in by this nonsense? You can say that London was made for cycling as many times as you like, but it doesn’t make it true. And it’s simply not true. Thank goodness, London is actually planning on investing in it’s cycling infrastructure, the London Cycling Network, and by 2010 this advert might be a little more convincing.