LBRUT Cycling Champion Press Release

Post Updated – 21 November
The London Assembly Transport Committee has released the report from its Cycle Safety Consultation and it’s pretty hard hitting. An article by BikeBiz can be found here and you can read the full report here. It is worth a read, particularly in the context of our campaigning to get a safe and inviting Twickenham. Two interesting statements (among many) are:

Outer London is home to the majority of London’s cycling potential (54 per cent). Half of all trips in Outer London are less than 2 miles, but only 5 per cent of ‘cyclable’ trips are cycled. Increasing cycling – and reducing car traffic – can have multiple benefits: it can work to improve air quality, ease congestion, and deliver an economic boost to local shopping centres

and

Cycling will not increase without political leadership which treats cycling as a mainstream form of transport

Coming as Richmond Park MP, Zac Goldsmith, has sponsored an Early Day Motion to “embed cycling into the heart of transport, planning and other relevant policies”, we hope that LBRUT will take this opportunity to take on board our concerns and those of other cyclists in the borough. A simple start would be to restart consulting RCC on road consultations again and unlike their latest two consultations, ensure that they consider the impact of any road schemes on pedestrians and cyclists from the outset.

Post Updated – 22 July
The first public meeting of the London Assembly consultation on cycling safety took place on Thursday 12 July. Local father of two Tim Lennon spoke eloquently about the barriers to his daughter cycling to primary school and London blogger David Ardetti has an excellent analysis on some of what was said.

Following on from that, we received another press release from LBRUT’s Cycling Champion which we’ve copied below in full.

PRESS RELEASE: SAFETY FEARS IGNORE SAFE CYCLING FACTS
Katharine Harborne is the Cycling Czar for the London Borough of Richmond, where she is also a councillor.

Katharine said: “We are still some way from getting cycling accepted – and more people to choose to cycle. In fact British Cycling research shows that nearly a million women would like to start riding a bike but many are put off by safety concerns, which are, worryingly, on the increase.

“In 2009 only a quarter [27%] of non-cyclists claimed to be put off by safety concerns but (and despite millions of pounds from 2009-2011 being spent on cycling super highways and measures to make London’s roads less dangerous) , safety fears have in fact increased by half [to 52%] in that period.

“In fact safety concerns are now the main deterrent preventing non-cyclists from cycling with the latest report (2011) showing that almost half [48%] of occasional cyclists think safety is a big issue. This despite the fact that less than a quarter [23%] of regular cyclists think it is.

“Of the six cycling deaths in London this year so far none has involved a lorry. By this time last year (2011) there had been 13 deaths, five by lorry. So things have certainly improved.

“If we want to encourage more people to cycle let’s stop saying it isn’t safe – because it isn’t and we’re just putting people off.

“Making London more cycle-friendly isn’t just about cycling superhighways, or giving tipper trucks and skip lorries respect at junctions eg 24% of people who commute in London could cycle, but don’t.

“Many don’t because they have nowhere to shower or get changed so we should encourage employers to provide more shower facilities. Maybe cyclist showers should be an important consideration in planning applications and instead of turning old public lavatories into wine bars and bistros, let’s turn them into shower suites with lockers.

“What about encouraging businesses that are better equipped to Share A Shower – allowing cyclists from other firms to use their facilities?

“My borough, Richmond, is doing all it can to promote cycling with Strictly Cycling, a bike hub at Richmond station and a partnership between Twickenham Cycling club, LBRuT, NHS Richmond, British Cycling Met Police. Bike Fest championship, Sky Ride Richmond and Breeze Rides (rides for women).

“NHS Richmond is sponsoring this because cycling is good to helping people with mental health, obesity and heart disease.”

Original Post – 11 July

We received a press release from the Borough’s Cycling Champion which we’ve reproduced in full below. You can see previous conversations we’ve had with the Cycling Champion here and here as well as some context from the recent Cities Safe For Cycling Campaign by The Times. The press release has also been picked up by the Cyclists in the City blog. We also have details on the London Assembly consultation mentioned within the press release.

PRESS RELEASE: SAFETY ISSUE CONTINUES TO DOMINATE CYLING DEBATE
Katharine Harborne is the Cycling Czar for the London Borough of Richmond, where she is also a councillor.

“We have no family car and never have,” she says. “Cycling gives freedom to me and my family – and keeps me fit. My teenage son is working to get on the Olympic cycling programme.

“But we are still some way from getting cycling accepted – and more people on their bikes. In fact research from British Cycling found that nearly a million women would like to start riding a bike, but many are put off by safety concerns.

“Despite millions of pounds being spent making our roads from 2009-2011 less dangerous, safety fears have in fact increased by half in that period.

“A 2011 report reveals that almost half [48%] of occasional cyclists think safety is a big issue and yet less than a quarter [23%] of regular cyclists think it is.

“So if we want to encourage more people to cycle maybe we should stop going on about how dangerous it is because, frankly, it isn’t and we’re just putting people off.

“Making London more cycle-friendly isn’t just about cycling superhighways or giving tipper trucks and skip lorries a lot of respect at junctions – 24% of people who commute in London could cycle, but don’t.

“Many don’t because they would get to work sweaty and have nowhere to shower or get changed. So why not encourage employers to provide more shower facilities or encourage businesses that are better equipped to Share A Shower – allowing cyclists from other firms to use their facilities?”

DETAILS
Date/Time; Thursday July 12 (10am start)
Venue: Chamber, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London, SE1 2AA.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>