Cycling organisations invent network of London cycle routes

First they invented the wheel. Next they invented the bicycle. Now, two major cycling organisations have once again announced an historic breakthrough in transportation.

The invention of a network of cycle routes for the capital promises to encourage locals and visitors to make more journeys by bike.

Narrowly ahead in proclaiming this great leap forward was Sustrans with their campaign for a ‘Connect London Network’. 'You heard it here first', says their website proudly.

But with special added features including ‘Quietways’, ‘Superhighways’, and the ‘Bicycle Crossrail’, it is Transport for London’s ‘Central London Grid’ which has really made the headlines. The public will no doubt soon be calling it the ‘Boris network’. 

Not all commentators, however, have been so impressed.

There have been murmerings that a London Cycle Network was invented decades ago. There have also been reminders that millions of pounds have already been spent developing this network, giving it a range of thousands of kilometres.

Some sceptics have even alleged that this development is ongoing. There is talk, for instance, of a truly groundbreaking ‘London Cycle Map’ to improve navigation and safety for people using the London Cycle Network (although even this map seems to have been re-invented).

For now, though, the national mood is one of elation. In celebration, Cycle Lifestyle magazine is running a spot the difference competition.


Ben, I think I have spotted

Ben, I think I have spotted the difference, all history is revisionism and forgetting is as important as remembering. About 25 years ago I joined the London Cycling Campaign, an organisation which is owned, managed and largely financed by its members who are people who enjoy riding bikes in London. On joining LCC I remember being given a free map of routes through central London and I heard about the members planning and lobbying for a network of 'Star Routes' connecting all of London.
Does the fact that I still remember all these things mean that I am a Trotskyite and that I should be rubbed out?

All history is revisionism?

All history is revisionism? Don’t be silly. To take an obvious counterexample: you wrote a comment on and no amount of revision will ever change that historical fact.

As for whether I think Trotskyites, or members of the LCC, or anyone, should be ‘rubbed out’ – of course not! I’m afraid you have rather missed the point.

My point is precisely that it is wrong for anybody to try to rub out history.

It is wrong for governments to do it.  

It is wrong for journalists to do it – especially since journalists are there to hold governments to account.

And it is wrong for campaigners to do it. Indeed, it seems bizarre that campaigners do it. Presumably they don’t think that dishonesty and unprofessionalism are going to help make the world a better place.

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