Friday, 6 July 2018


 SRS was among over 200 delegates attending the 7th Hackney Cycling Conference 2018 to hear experts from the UK and Europe speak about creating liveable cities and healthy neighbourhoods. We were particularly interested in learning more about Hackney’s pilot project to close school streets during drop-off and pick-up times. Schools can download the School Streets Timed Traffic Restrictions Toolkit for Professionals from July or email

Speakers and campaign groups were focussed on highlighting the substantial evidence which demonstrates that improving conditions for cycling goes hand in hand with creating safer surroundings for pedestrians and improving public transport and air quality. Low traffic neighbourhoods enhance community and diversity on the streets and improve mental and physical health.

Evidence demonstrated:

   The real danger on our roads comes from motor vehicles. This danger has not been reduced; instead we have removed other road users
   Creating safe conditions for cyclists means latent demand is unlocked and more people cycle. If cycling feels like an extreme sport, they won’t
   Improvements in cycling infrastructure in Copenhagen led to a 33% reduction in traffic
   11% of drivers on Quietway 1 now cycle. Quietways are popular
   Changing road layout in Salisbury Road, SE17 led to a 71% reduction in vehicle traffic, an 83% increase in walking and expanded green space
   Around 15% of traffic evaporates when the emphasis on public space shifts from vehicles to people. In other words, traffic isn’t displaced but people change to healthier modes of travel
   Emergency services do not complain about low traffic measures. Their complaint in fact is that sat navs are not updated
   Focussing on moving people and goods rather than vehicles maximises efficiency
   People who are not in cars use shops and spend locally, even in adverse weather. Footfall goes up
   Places good for people attract business and provide jobs
   Streets become places to spend time, not just thoroughfares. Children play in streets again
   Improving streets for people is politically popular

The themes that keep coming up: 

   The need for political vision, leadership and sustained investment
   The importance of complete networks - door to door
   Focus on moving people, not vehicles
   Importance of good design and maintaining infrastructure
   Provision of good quality, affordable public transport
   Air quality 
   Enforcement of road rules
   Huge latentdemandfor safe cycling and walking 
   Successful schemes are popular and reduce future opposition 
   Clear use of language and data so people understand the benefits

We got some ideas about influencing behaviour change: 

   Linking up separate campaigns
   Gaining the support of political leaders and a critical mass of local authorities to create active travel zones, clean air zones and safe networks
   Using videos of dangerous driving so parents and residents understand the real risks from which proposedsolutionsarise 
   Following up with packs including banners and post cards all emphasising the data and quality of life evidence
   Getting police on board to help with enforcement 
   Information packs to help plan routes
   Publicising cycling apps and travel planning apps
   Rewarding engagement, not just distance travelled

SRS was able to attend the conference due to the support of JAPS. Many thanks!