A £20 million injection into cycling has been promised for our borough over the next five years, which is not before time.
Ranked near the bottom of the league tables of cycling uptake, Croydon needs drastic action to encourage its citizens to take to two-wheels.
Included in the strategy are:
• Feasibility studies on trialling a dockless bike hire scheme this year
• Cycle routes on less busy, residential streets, including from Thornton Heath to Croydon town centre
• Extra secure cycle parking for council tower block residents; over 200 secure spaces have already been installed in South Norwood, Waddon and Shrublands
• Promoting with local businesses the use of cargo bikes, which are funded via section 106 developer contributions
• More Brompton bicycle hire docks
• Promoting the take-up of electric bikes, especially among non-cyclists who are put off from navigating the borough’s steeper streets
• Requiring major commercial developments to include a cycle-friendly travel plan for staff
• Encouraging more council staff to cycle to work – around 190 do currently
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Did you know that some of the highest points in the Greater London area are in Croydon? It might be an urban area, but there are steep hills around these parts and e-bikes are designed to make cycling accessible even when the gradients become gruelling to ride up.
That’s why we’re happy to see council support for electric bikes. If they’re serious about getting people cycling, there is nothing more effective at moving someone from ‘I should cycle more’ to ‘I will cycle more’.
Cleaner, quieter, friendlier…
Imagine walking around town and going to cross the road. Instead of peering out from behind a large delivery vehicles that’s blocking the kerb, and waiting as countless emission-burping motorbikes and vans charge past with their cargo, you see deliveries being made by cargo bikes.
The air would be cleaner, there would be less noise and the roads would be friendlier for more pedestrians and cyclists alike.
Electric cargo bikes – like the one we supplied to Croydon Urban Mushrooms – are versatile, eco-friendly and cost-effective utility vehicles. They are gaining support around the world for urban logistics and so called ‘last mile deliveries’.
We might not have huge numbers of cyclists in Croydon, but we do have passionate support for cycling, from the local branch of the London Cycling Campaign, outreach organisations like Croydon Bicycle Theatre, and people within the council who understand the transformative power of the bike.
Cycling Made Easy will be working with some of these organisations on events and campaigns this year because we know this borough can benefit from more cycling. Look out for more news on these collaborations on this website.
We look forward to the changes that will make this borough a more cycle-friendly place. It won’t just benefit cyclists, it will benefit everyone.
Will the strategy work? It must. In a ‘non-cycling’ town like Croydon, even a small increase will make a huge difference. Will it work? Let’s make it work.
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