In The Times (£), Lord Rogers' predictions for the future of the city are described:
Lord Rogers predicted that small electric vehicles would become commonplace across the country and said that increasing the number of cyclists will solve the capital’s congestion problems. “By the year 2033 — my 100th birthday — you’re looking at a widespread ban on cars, certainly in the centre of town,” he said. “There will be a major change in the power and form of cars everywhere, with electric rickshaws and devices that resemble Segways a common sight.”
Future fact, or future fiction? Certainly the term 'electric rickshaws' reminds one of the future presented in Blade Runner.
However, the ideas are sound. In 1999, A Car Free London was launched, calling for similar ideas. 200 finished proposals were put forwards, many of which have now seen the light of day in some form or another.
The Mayor is putting the increased use of cycling front and centre of his new transport plans. Nothing he has proposed is as bold as Reconnect's winning entry (pdf download) for the A Car Free London competition, or Lord Rogers' vision above. However, times are changing.
15 years ago, who would have predicted such an emphasis on cycling, an increase in river services, or a cable car scheme running in the Capital?
There is a place to be bold in transport planning. It's been a while since the Mayor talked about his plans for elevated cycling paths. Perhaps it's time that he dusts off the plans, invites in Lord Rogers and a few others, and spends a day thinking the unthinkable?
The next generation of Londoners just might thank him for doing so.