The capital’s schoolchildren are at risk of missing out on cycling training under new rules being introduced by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson according to new claims by the London Cycling Campaign.
The LCC says that in 2009/10, around £3 million was spent on cycling training in the city for both children and adults, but warns that funding could fall dramatically during 2010/11.
Previously, money for cycling training for schools and adults in the capital has been ring-fenced, but LCC says that funds are now being allocated by Transport for London (TfL) under general headings such as “smarter travel” and “corridors.”
That means that as long as councils follow the new Mayoral Transport Strategy, they are able to allocate funds at their discretion, which could include giving more money to cycling training, keeping funding at current levels, or allocating none at all.
According to LCC, that could result in new pupils in years 5 and 6 having no access to training, and the campaign group says that a school in South London is already rationing places on training schemes, despite the new rules not yet having come into effect.
The LCC is urging people to get in touch with their local councilors to request that the relevant council’s Local Implementation Plan contains specific allocations for cycling training for children and adults alike.
It also asks that people specifically request whether all schools that ask for an allocation of funds will receive them.
The availability of cycling training is a key part of LCC’s Manifesto outlining measures it wants to see adopted by politicians in London’s local elections on 6 May.
Other measures called for in the Manifesto include greater provision of cycle parking, improving local access for example through contraflow cycle lanes, and reducing the danger from lorries through initiatives such as driver-cyclist awareness programmes.
The Manifesto also seeks 20mph zones to make streets safer, investment to ensure the target of a 400% increase in cycling by 2026 will be exceeded, access to the Cycle to Work Guarantee scheme for council staff, and promoting bike-friendly events and allocating more road space to cycling and walking.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.