You are here:

Lock and roll

The ongoing Mini Holland initiative has focussed the mind of many cyclists and prospective cyclists. Bikes all over the borough are being dusted off and wheeled out of sheds. Tyres are being pumped up. Squeaks are being oiled.


And the New Year is only adding to the clamour as residents resolve to get those wheels revolving and those pounds dropping off them. Cycling is of course a great way to keep fit and even if your motivation is not health related, financially it also knocks spots off the cost of public transport or petrol.


Not only will the £30million Mini Holland scheme bring about radical improvements to the roads and infrastructure of the borough, it will also help change the culture by encouraging those people who have wanted to cycle more but resisted because of safety and other concerns.


One of those concerns may well be what to do with your bike when you’re not riding it. Where do you park it when you go about your daily business? Where do you store it at night if you don’t have a shed or even a garden? How can cycling be made the preferred option of not just the enthusiast, but the average person who would like to cycle more?


“We want to really encourage as many people as possible to get out of their cars and to cycle or walk a lot more,” said Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment. “It’s important that we work to not only address the requirements of the cycling community as it stands, but that we work to increase that community and address all of the issues that might be preventing more people from taking to two wheels.”


One area the Council is currently turning its attention to is the need for cycle parking. While there is already cycle parking in every town centre, there is a recognition that not enough exists and that other areas might require more provision.


“We’re looking for residents to tell us where the gaps are based upon their experience of the borough,” said Cllr Loakes. “It might be that there isn’t anywhere to park a bike at your local doctor’s surgery, place of worship, pub, school or workplace. We have set a target of installing 1,200 new short term cycle parking spaces by 2017.”


Another area the Council recognises help can be provided to encourage more people to get on their bikes is around training. The Council offers free courses specialising in Cycle Confidence training available to those people who want to ease in and build up their pluck.


From 1 April to 30 November 2014  the Council trained 854 schoolchildren to Bikeability 1 or 2 standard, and on top of that a further 303 individuals (mainly adults) received training from the Council’s provider Cycle Confident.


This eight month period shows a significant boost from the whole of the previous year in which 464 schoolchildren and 231 adults were trained – an increase of 84 per cent and 31 per cent respectively even over that shorter timeframe.


The Council will also shortly be trialling the use of residential cycle lockers in ten separate locations around the borough. Cycle lockers take up a single car parking space and have room for six bikes to be stored safely. They are of particular use to residents who live in flats and apartment blocks where there is not room to store bikes.


For more information about where you can find cycle parking around the borough, see the map at www.walthamforest.go.uk/cycleparking. If you consider there to be any gaps in the parking network email miniholland@walthamforest.gov.uk with your suggestions as to where you would like to see more provision.


If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at media@walthamforest.gov.uk or on 020 8496 3000.