Above: Cllr Heather Acton attends the Cycle Station outside City Hall.
Westminster City Council is prioritising making London a greener city by encouraging more people to take up cycling. The council is creating new cycle routes, increasing safety measures on our roads and raising awareness of the advantages of biking to work, for exercise or for fun.
To mark Bike Week (11 to 19 June 2016) Westminster City Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking, Cllr Heather Acton, attended a “Cycle Station” outside Westminster City Hall on Monday 13 June from 4pm to 7pm. Cllr Acton encouraged passers-by to get their bikes safety checked, find out about our free city cycling Courses and discover the ways in which we are helping create an environmentally-friendly city.
The number of cyclists on Westminster’s roads increased by 20% in 2015, a year after the council’s Cycling Strategy was launched. Uptake of our cycle safety courses has also increased by 25% on last year. The council is also active in identifying and implementing solutions to prevent accidents on busy stretches of roads.
The increasing demand for cycling in Westminster has been met with a £40 million investment from Transport for London (TfL) to improve conditions for cyclists. The council is now working to create more cycle routes across the borough, as part of the Central London Cycle Grid. This network will link key destinations with the aim of helping less confident cyclists take up biking.
Cllr Heather Acton recently visited Copenhagen and saw how cycling has become the preferred mode of transport in the Danish capital. She said: “London has immense potential for being a world leader as a greener and more sustainable city, and cycling is one of the key ways of making this happen. Pedal bikes provide a cleaner, pollution-free mode of moving around and enjoying all that Westminster has to offer. We offer great choice in cycling and are working hard to put in place more routes, more events that encourage people to take up cycling and more courses to keep people safe on our roads.”
The Cycling Strategy includes the “Cycling Means Business” initiative to highlight the proven benefits for both businesses and employees. This goes well beyond saving money and time on commuting and includes healthier and happier employees as well as helping reduce carbon and particulate emissions in the capital to create cleaner breathable air.
There are also plenty of activities going on for those who want to cycle for fun and discover London’s most iconic and unusual sights. Visitors and residents alike can enjoy more themed biking tours led by qualified instructors which take in celebrity sights, the finest chocolate outlets and renowned antiques and auction houses.
Westminster City Council's Greener City Action Plan (GCAP) was launched in 2014 and sets out how the council is leading the way to become a more sustainable and liveable city. As well as increasing cycling and encouraging more walking, this includes addressing the issue of drivers idling engines unnecessarily, bidding for a Low Emission Neighbourhood in the local area around Oxford Street and Marylebone Road, and reducing freight movement, encouraging car clubs and also setting planning policies that reduce emissions from buildings.
Our Cycling Strategy is a £40 million investment on improvements to create a better and safer pedestrian and cycling environment. This includes creating a Central London Cycle Grid road network, free city cycle courses, increasing the amount of cycle parking, encouraging businesses to become cycle friendly and free monthly mechanical repairs with Dr Bike.