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£2 million boost for cycle routes in Islington

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Islington is set to benefit from £2 million of investment in cycle routes through a pioneering new approach.

The Council’s Executive agreed on 16th July to begin consultation with local residents on the cycle route plans. The proposals include:

  • A new east-west cycle route from Clerkenwell Road's junction with Farringdon Road to Old Street Roundabout.
  • A cycle route from Lloyd Baker Street, from the junction with Farringdon Road, to Arlington Avenue at the junction with New North Road.
  • A cycle route running from Bath Street from its junction with City Road to Finsbury Square at the junction with Wilson Street

Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Council's Executive Member for Environment (pictured), said: "We want to make Islington a safer, better place for cyclists and pedestrians.

"The Council has developed this pioneering programme, which aims to create new high quality cycling routes in Islington for residents, workers and visitors alike.

"It's essential that local residents and businesses have the chance to have their say, and there will be full consultation on the routes.

"We will continue to campaign for funding for our other proposed routes in Islington."

Funding for design, consultation and delivery of the routes will come from Transport for London's Central London Cycle Grid project.

Detailed plans will be drawn up before consultation begins.

More information about the proposed routes can be found by clicking here.

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commented 2014-07-28 22:43:00 +0100
Draft 2

I am delighted that Islington Labour is promoting cycling with this initiative. I think it would be a fabulous legacy for this newly elected council’s term of office if it could create the conditions for popular cycling in Islington. Islington has shown leadership in creating safer streets with the 20 mph limit and safer lorries initiative but most people still don’t feel that the streets are safe enough for them or their loved ones to cycle on. In some wards in the borough 10-12% of the working population commute by bike but, on the whole, cycling remains – and is seen as – a minority activity. As a keen cyclist myself, both in my working life as a local community nurse, and as father of two children who want to, but can’t really yet ride safely to school, I urge our Labour Councillors to use this opportunity. With your support we can bring the tremendous benefits of cycling to the majority, instead of a small minority, of Islington residents.

As other European cities have shown, the key to popular and sustainable cycling is infrastructure. More Londoners would cycle if there were more dedicated cycle paths. Closing off residential roads to through traffic allows for cycling, walking and outdoor play and creates more liveable neighbourhoods. If cycling becomes quicker and more convenient than other journeys and it feels safe, then people will just start cycling without the need for costly promotion or complex training programmes.
Cycling rates among children & young people are suppressed dramatically by safety fears. A determined attempt to get children & young people cycling to school and play would help to tackle the public health concerns of obesity and inactivity. Enabling young people to travel independently and explore their environment has developmental and mental health benefits. It helps young people to identify with and engage in their community. Older people, who are largely excluded from cycling by traffic fears, can maintain independence longer and prolong physical health through active travel. Safer streets where traffic is tamed reduce the social isolation of older people who become intimated from crossing the roads by fast traffic. Decent cycling infrastructure should accommodate people of all abilities. People with disabilities often face severe restrictions on their personal mobility but using bikes, adapted cycles or mobility scooters on safe cycling infrastructure can be liberating. To help those people who live in flats or housing that can’t easily accommodate a bike, the council could invest in secure lockers or on-street cycle parking. Extending TfL’s Cycle Hire scheme throughout the whole borough would also allow casual use by non bike owners.

There will, inevitably, be opposition to creating space for cycling. Roads tend to be designed and managed to support motor traffic first, though the majority of borough residents don’t have a car. Cyclists tend to be treated as a small outsider group, with every bike rider held collectively responsible for the misbehaviour of a few, such as red light jumping, pavement cycling etc. Understandably, any changes to local street use may be sensitive, but let’s not be distracted by road lobby arguments that don’t really stand up to close scrutiny. What is termed ‘balance for all road users’, tends to mean ‘keep things as they are for drivers’, forgetting that many cyclists are pedestrians and drivers too. Arguments that pitch the interests of each of these groups as opposing, are largely misplaced. Like jobs and housing, transport is an issue that affects all Londoners, especially Labour’s core community.

By creating Space for Cycling, we’ll enable those who are currently reluctant to choose a bike for their local journeys, and provide further encouragement for those who already cycle in Islington. Space for Cycling mean Dutch standards of safe cycling infrastructure and was supported by all parties in the election apart from UKiP. Boris Johnson is finally beginning to implement his Vision for Cycling, bringing a paradigm shift in the standard of London’s Cycling infrastructure.

Islington Labour should, in my opinion, be supporting cycling as a sustainable and resilient transport solution and making it accessible to the wider community.
But there is still time for Islington Labour to seize the initiative back off the Tories locally, by making Islington the leading borough for cycling, prioritising Labour values such as equality, fairness and community, making cycling accessible by people of all ages, abilities and communities.
published this page in News 2014-07-23 10:32:42 +0100

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