Tower Hamlets Wheelers release cycling manifesto ahead of May elections

Cyclist in Victoria Park. Picture: Hackney Cyclist

Cyclist in Victoria Park. Picture: Hackney Cyclist - Credit: Hackney Cyclist

A cycling pressure group have released a manifesto for cycling ahead of the May elections which contains pledges they are asking all Tower Hamlets mayoral candidates to agree to.

The manifesto says that cycling is “a major part of the solution for many of the challenges our borough faces.”

The Liberal Democrat candidate Elaine Bagshaw and the Green Party candidate Ciaran Jebb have already pledged their support. The group say they are awaiting a response from the other candidates.

The group argue cycling can improve public health, reduce pollution and save the council money.

Tower Hamlets Wheelers committee member Owen Pearson said: “Radically increasing the number of journeys made by bicycle should be a major part of the solution for many of the challenges our borough faces.

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“Cycling can help deal with all sorts of challenges such as inactivity, obesity, pollution, inequality, poor access to transport, a rapidly-increasing population, and congestion.”

One in 10 Tower Hamlets residents is a “frequent cyclist”, they claim.

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However new cycling infrastructure “should be sufficiently attractive to entice those who do not yet cycle, rather than merely making the roads safer for existing cyclists”.

The group are also calling for the introduction of ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’.

This can be achieved by strategically placing one-way streets and putting a line of bollards in the middle of cut through roads, meaning residents can still drive to outside their homes but motorists can’t use the road as a thoroughfare.

They are also arguing for bicycle parking, including bike hangars, and “significant new cycle routes.”

Committee member Alex Jenkins said: “We should be ambitious about the cycling rate which can be achieved. Around 41% of trips across Greater London could be cycled, and Transport for London analysis shows Tower Hamlets may have the highest potential for cycling of any London borough – which means our potential is even higher.

“However, current cycling rates barely scratch the surface of this.

“To unlock this suppressed demand, new cycling infrastructure in Tower Hamlets should be so attractive, safe and inclusive that it entices those who do not yet cycle, rather than simply making the roads safer for existing cyclists.”

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