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Wheels in motion for £600,000 Havering cyclist boost

PUBLISHED: 11:59 12 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:59 12 February 2014

Training wil be given in schools. Picture: Mark Sepple

Training wil be given in schools. Picture: Mark Sepple

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The Mayor of London pledged to continue his “cycling revolution” in December, and now Havering will benefit to the tune of almost £600,000.

What will the money go on?

New projects include:

n £40,000 a year being spent on training adults and children to become safer cyclists.

n £19,000 for training van and minibus drivers how to be cyclist-aware when driving.

n £9,000 a year in grants for schools to encourage safer cycling among young people.

n £57,000 a year to install cycle parking facilities at town centres across the borough.

n £34,000 a year spent on working with Sustrans on the Bike-It programme to encourage more parents and pupils to cycle to school.

The grant from Transport for London (TfL) will see cyclists across the borough boosted by a number of projects over the next three years, including bike parking facilities in town centres, and training for both bike users and drivers.

The money will add to the existing council programme which aims to encourage more people to cycle.

Regular cyclists have welcomed the £596,000 investment, particularly in training, which comes after six London cyclists were killed in the space of a fortnight late last year.

Danny Coyle, 33, of Romford, said: “I cycle to work several times a week from Hornchurch to Romford, so I’m glad to see money going towards training van and bus drivers to make them more aware of cyclists on the road.

Department of Transport advice for cyclists

- Ride positively, decisively and well clear of the kerb

- Avoid riding up the inside of large vehicles, like lorries or buses, where you might not be seen

- Always use lights after dark or when visibility is poor

- Wear light coloured or reflective clothing during the day and reflective clothing and/or accessories in the dark

- Follow the Highway Code including observing “stop” and “give way” signs and traffic lights

- Wear a correctly fitted cycle helmet

“It’s a great way to get some exercise in by building it into your daily routine.”

Richard Warnes, member of Romford Cycling Club said the investment “sounds promising” and was pleased to see young cyclists receive training.

“It’s nice to know they are putting it in place. Cyclists have to be aware as road users too,” he said.

In May, a £2 million project between Havering Council and sustainable transport charity Sustrans saw the creation of the new Ingrebourne Way 13-mile cycling and walking route from Lower Noke Close at Dagnam Park, Harold Hill to the River Thames in Rainham.

And the Sky Ride recreational ‘led-ride’ programme offers community bike rides, led by qualified Ride Leaders, to encourage people to get more active.

Cllr Barry Tebbutt, cabinet member for the environment, said: “This grant means we can continue our highly successful training programmes to encourage more residents to get on their bike and cycle safely.

“Havering has miles of cycle paths and scenic routes through our parks and open spaces which often link with cycle lanes on our roads providing a network that can be used by cyclists.”

Businesses in the borough that employ more than five people are also eligible for free cycle stands and support to get their workforce cycling.

Cllr Robert Benham, Cabinet member for community empowerment, said: “TfL’s Cycling for Business pack provides lots of useful advice and information for businesses wanting to encourage more of their staff to cycle and this grant will help us deliver some of those schemes.”

There were 14 cyclist deaths in London in 2013 and the same figure in 2012. In 2011 there were 16 and in 2010, 10.

In December, architect Sir Norman Foster unveiled plans for a £220m, 135-mile SkyCycle, which would see three-storey cycle lanes built above rail lines throughout London – accommodating 12,000 cyclists per hour.

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