H&F Council is failing to promote cycling

peddleHammersmith and Fulham Council’s Air Quality Commission has produced its report.

Quite rightly the importance of encouraging cycling features prominently. It recommendations include:

“More people to take up cycling to travel around the borough and beyond.”

I’m sure the Council will agree. The difficulty arises over what happens in practice.

While the Council has an annual Public Health budget of £22.7 million none of this goes on promoting cycling. The only money the Council spends on this comes from Transport for London.

Recently a request for modest funding to facilitate second hand bike markets was refused. Peddle My Wheels has hosted such events in Westminster and Lambeth. It includes a free service to check the conditions of the bikes and carry out repairs. There is also the chance to encourage attendance at cycle training events (which is already funded by TfL.) Typically half a dozen markets would take place a year around the borough in various school playgrounds. The cost to the Council would be around £4,000 with over 100 bikes being sold for adults as well as children.

The people who would benefit the most are those who can’t afford to buy a new bike. To buy a new kids bike might cost £100 or £150. A second hand one might be £10 or £20.

Holding these School Bike Markets each year would make the difference between hundreds of children and adults a year being able to cycle or not. It would also help reduce childhood obesity and avoid the cost to the Councils of piling out bikes onto landfill sites. The cost would be 0.02 per cent of the Public Health budget.

It’s all very well for the Council to appoint a Cycling Champion and to produce reports. But when it comes to doing anything practical the Council are hopeless.

 

3 thoughts on “H&F Council is failing to promote cycling

  1. LBHF spend enough time promoting cycling yet the whining cyclists are never happy. I have just read the response from some cycling big cheese or other on the consultation on the proposed dedicated cycle path across Hammersmith Broadway. You would have thought some words of thanks would have been appropriate but oh no, his complaint was that the council had said they would only consider schemes which would NOT increase traffic congestion – he actively wanted a scheme to do just that (to further hinder ambulances getting to Charing X presumably) – it is not enough for LBHF to favour cyclists, they also have to actively hinder motorists. Incidentally, not sure why they want a dedicated cycle lane across the Broadway, what’s wrong with them riding on the pavements and ignoring the red lights as they do now ?

    • Agreed. There is a prevalent view that “bicycle good, vehicle bad”. It ignores the utility of powered vehicles and the dramatic developments in cleaner, quieter engines of which we have hardly seen the beginning. Any attempt to improve road networks and reduce congestion is pushed away as simply ‘releasing suppressed demand’, as though there was something undesirable about that demand for people to be able to drive easily from point A to point B in safety and comfort, and perhaps even take some pleasure in the process.

      • The prioritisation of cycling is also ageist and ignores the needs of pensioners (and the disabled) for whom driving provides an enhanced quality of life. (The usual phalanx of young cyclists ignoring red lights on pedestrian crossings on the Broadway today – pity the council can’t fine them instead of relying on yellow box taxing of motorists).

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