Sunday, 15 October 2017

Letter to Helen Hayes

We sent the below email to our MP Helen Hayes following the DfT's 28 September statistical release, 'Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: 2016 Annual Report'.

Dear Helen,

Firstly, thank you for attending our meeting last month. We very much appreciated you joining us and for all your hard work in mediating between the many parties involved in current issues affecting local transport and travel.

Unfortunately, I must now turn to a much less happy matter.

I am writing to you in order to express the forum's grave concerns regarding the fact that pedestrian fatalities actually increased in 2016 and that 26% of these fatalities were children aged under 15.

We especially wish to highlight the cases of Esme Williams and Georgia Addy, two of the school children killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions last year.

Esme was killed by a van driver whilst scooting to pre-school. Georgia suffered life changing injuries after being struck by a van driver as she walked home from school. Both girls were on the pavement when they were hit yet neither driver received a custodial sentence.

As you are aware, the schools in the forum work hard to promote active travel to families in our community. We strongly believe active travel is vital to the health and wellbeing of our young people, but clearly this is absolutely dependent on our roads being safe for vulnerable users.

Following the coverage of the Williams trial, Daniel Hewett, a local parent, tweeted the Safe Routes account, writing 'Trucks mounting the pavement typifies our daily walk to school along Bowen Drive SE21'. This echoes the concerns of other parents in our community; they feel that not only our local roads, but even our pavements are too dangerous for our children to use safely.

We ask you, Helen, to please call on Government to prioritise improving road safety and to make clear what their plans are to ensure walking is a safe choice for our children and young people.

We do not wish to see another increase in such awful statistics. 

We look forward to hearing your response to our letter and of any steps you take to support our call. 

With thanks

Amy Foster

Dulwich & Herne Hill Safe Routes to School Group
c/o Alleyn's Junior School
Townley Road

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Mayor's Transport Strategy

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, published his draft transport strategy in June. You can read the strategy summary and full draft here.

The consultation closed on October 2nd and SRS submitted the following comments:

1) London faces a number of growing challenges to the sustainability of its transport system. To re-examine the way people move about the city in the context of these challenges, it is important that they have been correctly identified. 

We see the school run as having a huge impact on the morning and evening rush hours. We feel that at present parents don't have enough options available to them on how to get their children to school safely and on to work. Road traffic collisions remain the biggest cause of death for young people aged 11-18, with many of these deaths occurring during the evening rush hour, when they are returning from school. We believe safe walking and cycling routes to school should be a first step to tackling some of the issues around rush hour congestion as if parents feel they can safely cycle with their children to school and then onto work, or even that their children can complete the same journey independently, they may choose to do so over the car or public transport, easing the pressure on the network.

Steps to achieve this vision:

The public health issues around childhood obesity and air quality are a major concern and focus for our group. We support all measures that seek to improve active travel options ( even if that is the walk to the bus stop or train station). Furthermore, we support accessibility at stations as travelling with multiple children is another barrier to parents choosing public transport over the car. Investment in public transport (including trams) improves the range of options available to parents and school children on how to complete their journeys.

Healthy Streets

We would like to see the healthy streets agenda being rolled forward with a particular focus being placed on healthy school streets. This is as we feel the impacts of both inactivity and air pollution on children's health is at crisis point and needs to be addressed immediately.

 The Mayor’s draft plans to reduce road danger and improve personal safety and security

We very much support the 20's plenty campaign and would like to see TfL follow suit in reducing the speed limit on all of their roads too, as the authorities in New York have.  We do not believe it to be fair that roads with faster speed limits (the arterials), given that nearly every road in the capital has some residential housing on it, where children may be living.  The suggestion seems to be that only those who can afford to live on quieter streets can afford for their children to be safe when crossing the road, which to us is an injustice.

The Mayor’s draft plans to ensure that crime and the fear of crime remain low on London’s streets and transport system  

Research shows communities develop more readily on streets with less motor traffic . We believe blocking more roads to through traffic and reducing traffic speeds would allow children to play more safely in their neighbourhood streets, creating links between local residents and families. Strong community ties create safer communities.

 The Mayor’s draft plans to prioritise space-efficient modes of transport to tackle congestion and improve the efficiency of streets

Cycling and walking are the most efficient ways of using road space to transport people. However, children need segregated cycle tracks or traffic free routes if they are to travel by bike. We firmly support the creation of new protected cycle tracks, across the capital, so that all children are able to travel safely in the capital.

The Mayor’s proposed approach to road user charging 

At present, there are few disbenefits to driving, especially outside the congestion charging zone. It can be cheaper than public transport for peak time journeys. We support congestion charging, increased permit costs, limits on off-road parking and the removal of on street parking.

Parking is one of the key aspects that makes walking or cycling dangerous with younger children. Drivers can pull out of driveways without anticipating small children in their path and parking limits the visibility and ease with which it is possible to cross the street, especially when one has a buggy. Driving needs to be made less attractive if other transport methods are to be seen as beneficial.

The Mayor’s draft plans to protect the natural and built environment, to ensure transport resilience to climate change, and to minimise transport-related noise and vibration

We very much welcome the creation of parklets and new open green spaces. Our children need to be active and inviting places in which to play are central to encouraging this.

The Mayor’s draft plans to provide an attractive whole-journey experience that will encourage greater use of public transport, walking and cycling. 

Many parents have to drop children off or collect them at the start or end of a journey. Being able to combine modes makes it easier to complete these things efficiently, without having to use a car.

The Mayor’s draft plans to improve rail services by improving journey times and tackling crowding 

Reliability is a key issue for our network, where many services are served by Southern and frequently, and severely, affected by the industrial action. We would welcome efforts for the network to be brought under the Overground umbrella.

The Mayor’s proposed approach to responding to changing technology, including new transport services, such as connected and autonomous vehicles. 

 It does seem autonomous vehicles could offer a means of reducing car ownership. We would wish to point out that this does not indicate a reduction in traffic volumes and may do little to improve road safety for children and families.

Are there any other comments you would like to make on the draft Mayor’s Transport Strategy?

The aims are commendable. However, we would like to see real improvements to walking and cycling being made now in outer London in the near future, with the creation of segregated cycle tracks and modal filtering being used more widely near schools. We are deeply concerned that the health and well-being of our young people isn't valued highly enough to put some of these ambitious policies into action immediately.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Early Years Event at Herne Hill Velodrome

On Wednesday 21 June the iconic Herne Hill Velodrome hosted, on behalf of Dulwich & Herne Hill Safe Routes to School, an Early Years Sustainable Travel Event with support from Southwark Council.

The event aimed to promote and encourage road safety and sustainable travel to Early Years’ families (under 5s). Eight schools and nurseries from the local area: Bessemer Grange Primary School, DUCKS, Dulwich Prep London, Dulwich Village C of E Infants’ School, Dulwich Wood Primary School, Herne Hill School, JAPS and Nelly’s Nursery, took part and their pupils had the opportunity to have balance bike, bike skills and pedestrian training.

There were lots of other fun activities taking place; families brought their bikes for a safety check by Dr Bike, drank smoothies blended by the ‘smoothie bike’, made badges and coloured in travel related arts and crafts, as well as enjoying a performer who walked around entertaining the children.

Parents who owned cargo bikes and tag along bikes were invited to display them for other families to trial as well as being able to enjoy the newly opened cafe!

This community event was organised by Dulwich & Herne Hill Safe Routes to School to promote active travel and to enable children to get to and from school safely.

We work to make our neighbourhood healthier, safer and more pleasant for everyone.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

SRS in the London Cyclist

A version of this post first appeared in the Autumn 2017 edition of London Cyclist, the magazine of the London Cycling Campaign.

Women and Cycling: The impact of the School Run

Currently, the biggest killer of children aged 10-18 in the UK is road traffic incidents. Parental fears around road safety are not unfounded.
If it isn’t safe for children to get to school independently, parents’ lives end up revolving around school pick-up and drop-off times, adding to stress levels in already busy lives.   
Schools do need to do all they can to work with their communities to make their local areas safer for cycling.  I’m extremely fortunate to work supporting schools in Southwark; we have a fantastic school travel team, a supportive borough group and a council that is looking to develop its cycling infrastructure.  I’m also proud of the work of our Safer Routes forum and our collaborative achievements across the nineteen or so schools we represent.
I would love to say that our council has been bold enough to push for ‘School Healthy Streets’ as we have seen emerging in Camden in Hackney, but for now we have to look on admiringly at the hard work and dedication put in by all involved to create safer walking and cycling routes for the families at those schools.
We are far, far more fortunate than many schools in London.  We have a fantastic traffic free cycling route passing with a few metres of our school, which many of our families use to get to and from school. However, it is terrifying that a ‘healthy’ school run remains a matter of luck and we must do all we can to work together to ensure safe, connected cycle routes exist across the capital.

Amy Foster, Southwark Healthy Schools Champion and chair of the Dulwich and Herne Hill Safe Routes to School forum.
A Bessemer Grange family riding to school. Photo credit: Leo Shum

Friday, 21 July 2017

Ride South London: Saturday July 29th

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted the chalk messages and posters on Green Dale advertising the Ride South London information. Here are the details from their website: 

Saturday 29th July is the Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle, now in its 5th year.

It’s a unique chance to experience central London on two wheels without the noise, danger and pollution of motor traffic. The eight mile closed road loop takes in sights like Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and views along the Embankment. There’ll be music, sights, food and fun – and the whole thing is free.
Getting there from South London on a bike can seem pretty daunting to the uninitiated – especially if you’re travelling with kids in tow, or aren’t as nimble as you once were. It’s not all that far – even the outer reaches of our route are just seven or eight miles from the centre of town – but if you don’t know where you’re going, it can be a confusing tangle of busy main roads and unfamiliar neighbourhoods.
So we’re teaming up with an array of community groups, cycling advocacy organisations, schools and bike shops to bring you.. the RIDE (SOUTH) LONDON COMMUNITY FEEDER RIDE.
Just turn up at any one of our ten designated start points across south London. Bring a working bike (please get yours checked by a mechanic if it’s been in the shed a long while) and a few other bare essentials – water, snack, maybe sunscreen – and we’ll escort you to the main event through parks and along quiet back streets and traffic free cycle paths.
See you on the 29th – if you’re coming, please RSVP on the Dulwich page (there are also Crystal Palace, Peckham and Camberwell pages if the locations below don't suit). 
Approximate distances including one lap of the FreeCycle circuit:
Dulwich Kingsdale – 20 miles (recommended minimum age 7) 9.15am
Dulwich Common – 18 miles (recommended minimum age 7) 9.30am 
Dulwich Park – 17 miles (recommended minimum age 7) 9.45am
Dulwich Green Dale – 16 miles (recommended minimum age 6) 10am
To sign up and find out more, please visit

Monday, 12 June 2017

The Big Shift at Dulwich College

Across Dulwich College’s five schools we made a dedicated effort in the second week in May to change the way we travelled to school, following the SUSTRANS blue print of ‘The Big Shift’ – an active shift towards more active and sustainable travel.  All staff and boys were asked to make a pledge to make a conscientious effort to change during that week.  It was recognised that many families couldn’t change their means and route to school (as they have to use the Foundation Coach Service or lived too far away) so they were equally valued if they managed to change their travel over their weekend. The pledges for more sustainable and active travel have rolled in and lots of boys have walked and cycled to school over the course of this week (see pledge wall photo here). Such is the commitment that one boy, who lives very close to the school and who normally walks, said that he became more active by 'sprinting' to school instead.

In addition to the pledges we had a number of other events to promote better ways of coming to school and travelling.  In the Junior School and at DUCKS we had a  Bike Breakfast which allowed any boy who had made a difference in their travel to enjoy a pain au chocolat and an orange juice. For example there were many stories of boys cycling with their parents, car sharing, taking the bus, and walking to football club!

At DUCKS there was a bikeability programme for young riders and Dr Bike came to repair and tune the children’s bikes.   Also all the boys in Year 6, and many from the rest of the school, attempted the Rollapaluza static bike racing event. A wonderful burst of 15 – 20 seconds of energy (actually feels a lot longer than you think!) which is the equivalent of racing 250m – i.e. once round a velodrome. There were prizes for the first three boys in each year group.  Also there was a puncture repair competition (the fastest being 1 min 14 seconds!).

We had the Met Police bring in an HGV to show the boys about sight lines from a lorry cab to help cyclists and pedestrians as part of their Exchanging Places programme. They also brought their bike-marking team to help register lots of the boys’ bikes - 29 were done in all.
In several assemblies across the school, Jem Stein from Bike Project talked to the boys about his project of donating bikes to refugees.  By the end of the week 24 bikes had been donated.

Finally, in assembly at DUCKs and the Junior School we heard from 20 year old Abi Von Twisk who grew up training at the Herne Hill Velodrome and is now a professional cyclist with the DROPS pro team. She talked about how she became a professional, the sorts of racing that she does and what life as a professional cyclist with warm weather training in Australia feels like.

Friday, 9 June 2017

National Clean Air Day: June 15th

June 15th is National Clean Air Day.

Schools, communities, businesses and individuals can all take part.  Pledge to leave the car at home for the day to reduce the amount of pollution you create and join the movement.

The website ( has free toolkits available for download that schools can use to encourage their pupils to make clean air pledges.

The day is supported by various public health authorities across the country and is well worth getting involved in. We at SRS very much support all clean air initiatives, knowing how badly air pollution affects children's health.

The link to the schools toolkit is here.

Please do tweet us any images you have of school pledges made as part of #NationalCleanAirDay as we'd love to know what changes you'd make.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Policy Exchange Symposium

Amy and I attended a Public Policy Exchange Symposium on boosting cycling activity and improving safety on Thursday 16 March. Below, I have attempted to share a little of what we took away from the day.
The morning commenced with an introduction for the Chair, Adrian Lloyd, who is Associate Director of Phil Jones Associates and has had over 20 years consultancy experience in developing strategies and infrastructure to encourage walking and cycling.
Roger Geffen, Policy Director of Cycling UK was first to talk. He gave a brief outline of Cycling UK’s work and then went on to talk about attracting funding and support for local cycling. He gave details about the exiting Cycling Walking and Investment Strategy (CWIS) which is a Government strategy to create a walking and cycling nation through planning, investing and building infrastructure to generate a behaviour change with the ambition to normalize walking and cycling by 2040. He then went on to discuss the need for protected spaces and other cycling road safety initiatives as well as a need for national design standards for active travel.
Next to speak was Richard Owen, Operations Director of Road Safety Analysis. He clarifyed the statistics behind safety in numbers for cyclists in England and demonstrated the relationship between cycling risk and cycling levels. (The cycling exposure or level = number of cyclists per 1,000 population and cycling risk = proportion of casualties out of cycling exposure.) Cities where there was good infrastructure and high levels of cycling i.e. Cambridge and York had low levels of crashes whereas cities such as Liverpool and Bolton which have low levels of cycling and lacking in infrastructure have more accidents. These statistics help inform considerations when designing cycling strategies.
Andy Summers, Cycling Strategy and Planning Manager for Transport for London, gave a very interesting presentation about promoting the benefits of cycling and highlighting the advantages of cycling for our health, the environment and the economy. London’s population is set to increase by 2030 to 11 billion people with a large increase in traffic congestion. 19.8 million trips are made by London residents each day and 13 million of these are by motorised modes. 8.17 million journeys could potentially be made by cycling which would counter the future traffic increase due to population growth. It would also help the promotion of local business, global investment from companies who admire the new London cycling infrastructure, not to mention the enormous health benefits with exercise as pollution reduction and cost reductions to the NHS for treating illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and depression as well as many other ailments.
Andy advised when tackling the misconceptions or myths about negative impacts of local cycling infrastructure changes or schemes it is important to have statistical analysis, images and evidence and be able to monitor and benchmark behaviour changes with a baseline. It is more helpful to call schemes ‘healthy streets’ without such an emphasis on cycling and more on the overall positive environmental impact of the change to the community. Andy kindly shared the TfL document, 'A Better Southwark' with us and it is available to download here.
After lunch Dr Robert Davies, Chair of the Road Danger Reduction Forum, gave a talk about close passing policing and the policing we need. Close passing policing was introduced by the West Midlands Police in 2016 who are and award winning Police Force for their education of motorists about the safe width for overtaking clearance of 1.5m. This is helping to educate and inform a cultural change about the need to consider cyclists as road users. He explained there is a need to challenge the background assumptions of a car-centric culture i.e. driving is seen as normal and cyclists as a problem or hazardous.
 Dr Robin Lovelace from the School of Geography, University of Leeds, demonstrated the Propensity to Cycle Tool (see, a nationally scalable interactive online mapping application (Lovelace et al. 2016). This tool models sustainable transport uptake and visualizing transport futures.
Xavier Brice from Sustrans showed us, with his presentation, the positive impact of community engagement, individual behaviour change and changing the built environment to the benefit of local communities with sustainable travel initiatives. By working in partnership with the community and empowering individuals to have an influence in local infrastructure issues, it can create higher cycling and walking, improve safety,  reduce traffic and enhance the local environment.  
Last to speak was Dr Steve Melia from the University of West England. Steve is a Senior Lecturer in Transport and Planning. His talk was about creating an environment which encourages cycling, redesigning roads, streets and communities. He felt the key principles of infrastructure in successful cycling cities (and countries) were: Effective three way segregation on main roads with priority for cyclists over side roads. Filtered permeability. Joined up continuous networks. Consistent design standards, continuous improvement replacing ineffective compromises.
As you can see from the abundance of information provided during the day, there was much discussion and sharing of information. Amy and I left having found the day fascinating and came away full of ideas, interesting material and statistics that we hope we can put into good use with Dulwich and Herne Hill Safe Routes to School initiatives.

Image used with permission. Transport for London, Healthy Streets for London (2017)
Polly Twisk, DUCKS Executive Assistant and Registrar

With thanks to the Dulwich Society for their generous support in funding our places

Highlighting the advantages of cycling

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Early years road safety & sustainable travel event 21 JUNE

Dulwich and Herne Hill Safe Routes to School would like to hold an Early Years Event on the afternoon of Wednesday 21 June from 1.30 to 3.30 pm, promoting road safety and sustainable travel to Early Years’ families (0-5 years). The Herne Hill Velodrome have kindly offered to host the event; a stunning venue, especially since its renovation and building of the new pavilion. The Velodrome already runs initiatives for very young children and has excellent coaches, bikes and resources. 

The event planning is in the very early stages so all details will be confirmed after the Easter break. However, please pencil in the date for your Early Years’ pupils. There will be balance bike training, a bike obstacle course,  pedestrian training, Dr Bike and other activities taking place.  This event is being organised for the participation of local nurseries and primary schools but parents/carers and younger siblings are welcome to come along too. 

If you would like further information, please contact Tracey Greenwood on 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Greening Grey Britain

As someone with a rather unloved front garden, I've loved watching Joe Swift on 'The Great British Garden Revival' encouraging us all to cover the concrete with pots and planters and am keen to finally play my part in the RHS' 'Greening Grey Britain Campaign', by digging up some paving slabs and finally being able to do something to make my street a little bit greener and a little bit more attractive.

This did mean I was a little surprised (and rather annoyed!) to see an episode of 'Homes Under the Hammer' in which the advice, given several times, was to pave over the front of one of the properties to create space for a car to 'add value'. Is it really more valuable to turn our gardens into parking spaces? Can we be bold and say that paving over entire front gardens is making our streets look ugly, damaging our local environment and making pavements unsafe, all for the sake of personal convenience?

We were fortunate enough to attend Southwark's 'Transforming London's Streets' conference in September and one of the speakers, Rob Cowan of Urban Design Skills, promoted the view that councils could be bold and refuse new applications for dropped kerbs and that we should instead be promoting the view that greener, planted gardens create better community spaces. One of his arguments for this view is that our pavements would become safer if they stopped becoming access points for parking spots and were transformed into safe, communal spaces.

I must agree that I worry many streets aren't safe enough for my daughter to scoot or ride on ahead of me due to the number of driveways she'd have to cross. Is digging up our driveways the way to create more safe place for play?

Agreed, it would be inconvenient not to be able to park exactly where you want, when you want. But perhaps, if we couldn't, we might start considering options such as car clubs, more seriously. Or perhaps, we may even consider the 5 minute journey to pick up the car enough of an inconvenience to consider ditching it altogether to get the bus or train instead. And from there it could even get us walking and cycling more.

Obviously, for some of us, parking nearby is essential, as even short journeys on foot are impossible. But I do wonder; if our neighbourhoods were designed differently, would we see more octogenarians cycling regularly, as the Dutch and Danish communities do? Wheels for Wellbeing, our local inclusive cycling charity, has long called for infrastructure that would let users of adapted cycles get around as safely and easily as those on two wheels.

Granted, we don't all wish to cycle, wherever we go however, we should all feel we can do so, if we so wish. This isn't the case as present, which is perhaps why removing parking spaces from our homes seems to many a ridiculous thing to do.

Ralph Buehler, an urban affairs and planning academic, recently gave a presentation to the London Cycling Campaign's policy forum. He presented research he'd conducted in cities that had had great success in affecting large modal shift away from the car, to walking and cycling.  Buehler's work revealed his interviewees had two common points of agreement in how this shift had been produced; make parking more harder and invest in public transport.

So if are going to become a city in which we walk and cycle more than we drive, perhaps we will have to make some tough decisions. And perhaps moving our cars away from the front of our homes is the first step to doing this.

Photo copyright the RHS: Greening Grey Britain

RHS front Garden Guide available here.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Sustainable Transport & Health 2017

This weekend saw 2017's Landor Links 'Sustainable Transport and Public Health' summit in Bristol which I attended on behalf of the SRS forum.

My arrival in Bristol coincided with Storm Doris' and the city tour, led by Jessica Read (an engineer and urban planner working on 'healthy cities), was a somewhat blustery start to proceedings!

The tour started with a simple question; how many of us had known anyone who had died before their time from heart disease? Or cancer... or dementia... or a respiratory illness? Coronary heart disease is one of the biggest causes of premature death, yet an active lifestyle  reduces the chances of having a heart attack by 30%. It seems a no-brainer to suggest we should all be walking and cycling on a daily basis, yet the reality is that many of our roads simply aren't safe enough for our most vulnerable citizens.

The biggest cause of death of children aged 10-18 is from road traffic accidents.  Read highlighted the fact many parents don't feel safe enough allowing their child to walk on their own to the shops, and statistically, they are right to be worried. It is much riskier for a child to cross the road on their own in the UK, than it is to drive them where they need to go. Yet, walking is a habit and if children don't grow up seeing walking and cycling as 'normal' modes of transport, they will be unlikely to choose to do so as adults.

And equally, elderly people surveyed reported that the threat of being knocked over by a cyclist was enough to deter them from walking even short distances, despite the fact that walking, which maintains bone density and muscle mass, would actually reduce their risk of falling.

Read's point was that we need suitable infrastructure for pedestrians and separate infrastructure for cyclists. Segregated bike lanes  keep faster moving bikes on the road, away from walkers and safe from traffic, while clear, safe crossings are essential in order to make walking as attractive as cycling.

Making people feel invited to walk or cycle was a point picked up again and again over the two days. References were made to Lucy Sauders' 'Healthy Streets' approach and lots of inspiring global case studies were shared, proving it is possible to make huge changes, such as those made by Mayor Bloomberg's team in New York.  These transport case studies were presented alongside presentations from public health experts, including the World Health Organisation's Francesca Racioppi and Public Health England's Dr Ann Marie Connolly, on the benefits of active travel on mental and physical health, as well as of the disbenefits of poor air quality and lack of exercise.

The summit rightly raised many concerns about the future health of our young people. It does seem like an insurmountable challenge at times. However, there was much to be positive about; Solihull Council seem set to follow the Healthy School Streets model adopted in Edinburgh and Camden and hearing the team at Living Streets speak about their work across the country was inspiring.

However, the conference left me in no doubt that Safe Routes to School must do all it can to support fellow organisations campaigning to improve road safety.  The 20's plenty campaign has been hugely successful across London and is making a real difference in Southwark.  We will continue to support the 10% by 2020 campaign, as proper investment in cycling and walking infrastructure is needed if we want to build a future in which our children can walk to the shops on their own. Safely.

Saturday, 11 February 2017


The 'Stop Killing Cyclists' campaign group held their '10 by 2020' march to the treasury on Saturday 11th February. The event was also a vigil for the three cyclists killed on London's roads that week and a very poignant statement from the husband of Anita Szucs, who was killed in an apparent hit and run, was read out and the dangers of poor air quality were emphasised alongside that of road safety for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Wheels for Wellbeing is an inclusive cycling charity based in Herne Hill (using the veldrome for all ability sessions) and we are vocal in our support of their work.  Abigail Tripp, one of their team, also spoke at the event and we were extremely saddened to hear that she has been severely injured in a cycling accident earlier this year. We wish her a swift recovery and wish to thank her for sharing her experiences with us at #10by2020.

On a more positive note, we would like to think that the commitment made by Edinburgh Council to allocate 10% of its transport budget to improved cycling and walking infrastructure is an exciting move. Edinburgh Council's 'School Streets' scheme has already set a precedent in London as has now been taken up by one school in Camden and another five more in Hackney are promised (and who knows, one day perhaps, even Southwark?)  Let us then hope they can set another excellent example with their commitment to increased infrastructure spending and that this will indeed lead to safer streets for all.

Half-Term in London

Active Travel Events

There are many events for families interested in active travel this half-term.  Today (Saturday 11th February) sees the Stop Killing Cyclists vigil and family-friendly march, calling for increased spending on walking and cycling, following UN recommendations. The Southwark Cyclists will be leading a guided ride from Peckham Square for anyone unsure of how to ride into the National Gallery, where the event begins.

Throughout the week, Cycle Confident will be running free Bikeability courses for anyone aged 6  and over in Dulwich Park.  To sign up visit

Herne Hill Velodrome is running their children's cycling sessions throughout the week and the Lee Valley Centre offers Athletics Master classes as well as track or mountain biking taster sessions at the Velo Park.

Brockwell Junior Park Run is open for all 4-14 year olds looking to get PBs on 2km courses.  The next one will be Saturday 19th at 9am.

Equally, if anyone's on the lookout for a new bike, the London Bike Show is on from Thursday 16th. 

There will be stalls from family cycling specialists including London Green Cycles, Isla Bikes and a 'Street Velodrome' with children's team cycling competitions for 3-11 year olds and individual competitions for 12-16 year olds. Enter online here.