Our last meeting on 5th June was our Annual General Meeting. This was a time to reflect on our past achievements as a group and to further define our strategy for the year ahead. You can read the End of the Year Report which was presented by Sylvia Gauthereau, the current Brent Cycling Campaign Coordinator, who along with the rest of the committee members was re-elected.Coordinator-Report-2019
We welcomed a few new faces and examined the results of the survey we conducted earlier this year. The results within the context of cycling improvements, were not really surprising with respondents demanding more protected cycling space on main roads. Something we have been calling for many times before.
The biggest barrier preventing people from cycling more is the lack of suitable safe routes, something again that has been corroborated by a sea of evidence for years. This was quickly followed by a lack of a continuous network. This is an important aspect as the majority (37%) cycle for practical reasons such as going to work, to the shops or meeting up with friends.
Respondents want to see better cycling facilities on main roads including on Kilburn High Road, Harrow Road, Willesden High Road, Chamberlayne Road, Brondesbury Park, Kensal Rise, Wembley, Kingsbury, Northwick Park and Kenton Road. People would like to see better North/South connections within the borough as well connections with existing facilities in other boroughs. We have highlighted this severance issue for 35 years and more recently this year, to London’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner Will Norman.
This survey also confirms that disabled people do cycle. A very well known fact and evidenced by Wheels for WellBeing and others. However, the assumption that cycling is beyond reach to all disabled is sadly strong even at policy level. Our survey shows a very similar proportion of people who find cycling helps them with their mobility needs and easier than walking.Survey-BCC-2019
We are calling on Brent Council to make local streets safe and inviting for all people to cycle. Progress is far too slow to meet the Council’s own target of 5% cycling modal share by 2025. The local London Cycling Campaign branch speaks up for a greener, healthier, happier and better-connected borough, urging Brent Council to align itself with the core principles of the Healthy Streets approach as detailed in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.
“The case for active travel has been made many times over. There is a sea of evidence demonstrating that pollution and lack of physical activity will bankrupt local authorities for years to come, if not addressed urgently. Brent Council leaders must make active travel, including cycling, a top transport, health and environment priority now” says Sylvia Gauthereau.
Sylvia is the current Brent Cycling Campaign Coordinator. She is a Cricklewood resident and a cargobike mum of two.