Friday, 28 June 2013

Yes, Yes, Yes - Come on Lambeth, Lead the Charge!

On July 8th Lambeth's Cabinet vote on a potentially momentous document  - their Lambeth Cycling Strategy (PDF). The more you do to tell your local Ward Councillors that you'd like them to back it, and tell the Cabinet members that you'd like to back it, the more likely it is to go through. This is the time to email or tweet them - and feel free to contact our Cabinet too if you live outside Lambeth and want a benchmark to be set for your council to emulate.

For once a cycling strategy is proposed by a local borough that is not some mealy-mouthed back-burner type of document. This is one that inspires change, a future where citizens of all ages, genders and backgrounds in Lambeth can move around streets without fear of being knocked down by motor vehicles weighing ten, twenty or more times what a person weighs. This strategy responds to a truly egalitarian vision that recognises the value to residents of making Lambeth a fantastic place for all to cycle around.

The vision is that "Lambeth will be the most cycle-friendly borough in London, where 8 – 80 year olds feel safe enough to cycle."

One great thing about the strategy is that there is some real understanding of what that means. Like, for example:
Aim 7: Increase the number of children cycling and make cycling to school the norm.

Because if streets are really cycling friendly what primary school child would rather take the bus? And which secondary school child wouldn't love to cycle along the road chatting with their mates as they cycle side by side.

This is what happens in the Netherlands, and it needs to happen here.

Lambeth would appear, in the form of Council Leader Lib Peck and Cabinet Members Pete Robbins and Imogen Walker, supported by other Councillors such as Nigel Haselden, to have the desire to make real change happen.

And they are likely to do this fully aware that big changes to our road culture and layout will be needed.
Aim 4: Reduce through traffic on residential streets where appropriate

I don't know about you, but I can't wait for the day when the children from Archbishop Sumnner, Walnut Tree Walk, Johanna, Vauxhall, London Nautical, Lilian Baylis and all the other local schools are cycling around without fear of motor vehicles, along with their mums and grannies, grandads and dads, brothers and sisters.

Bring it on, Lambeth!