Across London’s roads last year, cycling levels were the highest they have been since records began. The number of cyclists on roads in Westminster increased by 20% from the previous year and the uptake is predicted to grow further next year.
It is easy to see the appeal - regular cycling can help you improve fitness and is an easy way to fit exercise into your daily routine and is also a greener and more economical mode of travel.
Despite this, the number of people attending free City Cycling Courses on Westminster roads has not increased on a similar scale. Group training for novice cyclists has increased by 20%, while the uptake of free one-to-one training has decreased by 15%.
Commenting on the disproportionate uptake in training, Cllr Heather Acton, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Parking, said: “We are delighted that more people are cycling in Westminster; our 2014 Cycle Strategy aimed to open the city up to more cyclists and it seems to be working.
“However, it is a real concern that the increase in number of cyclists on our roads does not correlate with the uptake of free cycle training. We'll continue to urge cyclists to register for our free cycle training, which is open to anyone who lives, works or studies in Westminster, so that they feel equipped to enjoy their bikes on our roads in this unique area.”
Westminster City Council has produced videos of real cyclists on Westminster roads. In a series of nine videos, cyclists ride about Westminster streets on their every-day routes with their bikes fitted with cameras, capturing the scenarios cyclists find themselves in.
The videos also offer commentary on the situation, giving practical advice. The nine cycle safety videos produced illustrate:
The aim of the videos is to display the practical skills taught on the courses and help foster mutual understanding between all road users.
Highlighting the situations that may arise on Westminster roads, Westminster City Council are encouraging cyclists to brush up on roads skills and increase their confidence on the bike with a free group-to-group or one-to-one City Cycle Course.
The courses are free and open to anyone who lives, works or studies in Westminster and teach the techniques needed to cope with traffic, road positioning, signaling and general cycle safety. Courses take place in various locations, and complete novices can join a free group training session to build up confidence in an off road area.
Commenting on the videos, Cllr Heather Acton said: “These videos offer a unique perspective from the cyclist, showing real situations that happen on our network of roads and junctions. They are intended to help increase cycling awareness for all road users.
"Westminster City Council is investing £40 million in the Cycle Strategy on improvements to create a better and safer pedestrian and cycling environment. The Strategy includes free City Cycle courses and we hope these videos encourage cyclists to sign up, by highlighting to them the skills needed for cycling on our roads".
View the videos below and find out how to book a free City Cycle Course.
Westminster City Council recommends the use of a helmet when cycling but recognises that it remains a matter of personal choice. Advice on helmets is part of the training that is offered on our City Cycling Courses.