Olympic cycling champion Nicole Cooke in the Times:
I certainly wouldn't fancy riding across Vauxhall Cross or Elephant and Castle in rush hour, and those are only two examples. If we want more people to ride their bikes, we can't have parts of the city where cyclists feel like they are taking a big risk just crossing a junction - it just shouldn't be that way.
Cooke's piece is part of the launch by the Times of its Cities Fit for Cycling campaign. This follows the serious injury sustained by one of its reporters, who collided with a heavy goods vehicle while cycling close to the paper's office.
Some of London top blogs have responded to the campaign. Cyclists in the City contrasts Cooke's remarks about the Elephant roundabout with Boris Johnson's insistence that "If you keep your wits about you it is perfectly negotiable." I Bike London says of Tower Hamlets in general, the borough where the Times is based:
I ride these streets every day and would like nothing more than to share them with children, young people, Mums, Grans, the less able and indeed everyone else. These people deserve the urban independence and benefits that riding a bicycle can provide, but most of all they need to be able to do it in a safe and secure way.
Kings Cross Environment, which has been advocating corporate manslaughter charges being brought against Transport for London over the death of a cyclist on a notorious junction there, remarks:
The people who work in and run our major civic bureaucracies know what needs to be done to make cyclists safer at persistently dangerous junctions. They just make the chilling choice not to do it.
Meanwhile, Green Party mayoral candidate Jenny Jones has extracted figures from TfL's latest annual Travel in London report to show that the rate of cyclist casualties per cycling trip has increased since 2007/08. The Guardian's transport correspondent Gwyn Topham has summarised these as follows:
Although Boris Johnson has been keen to push his image as a champion cycling in London, the trend for safer cycling has reversed since he came into office. The TfL figures show, I calculate, a casualty for every 58,000 cycling trips in 2007 to a rate of about every 49,000 in 2010.
Last year looks even worse, with deaths and serious injuries up from 358 to 407 for the first nine months recorded so far in the capital. While we don't have the numbers for the first three quarters of 2011 to make the same per trip comparison, the bare figures so far in London suggest it is set to be the worst annual toll since 2000.
Cycling is well and truly on London's political agenda - and not in the way "the cycling mayor" had hoped.