London Councils, which represents the capital’s 32 boroughs plus the City of London, is urging the city’s cyclists to take advantage of free or subsidised cycle training. The appeal has been made in response to The Times newspapers Cities Fit For Cycling campaign.
The training, supported by Transport for London (TfL), was provided to 8,350 people living, working or studying in the capital during 2010/11, a 42 per cent rise on the previous year, but London Councils wants to encourage even more people to benefit from it.
Delivered by accredited instructors, courses vary according to the cyclist’s age and ability and include, for example, advice on riding in traffic, including road positioning, as well as advice on cycle routes for regular journeys.
Some boroughs, such as Lambeth, Hackney and Hammersmith and Fulham, as well as the City of London, also provide cycle awareness training for lorry drivers.
Councillor Catherine West, Chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee commented: “The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on London’s roads has gone down by 17 per cent in the last decade. But sixteen cyclists died on London’s roads in 2011 and two more have died since the start of this year.”
Those two victims so far in 2012 are bike courier Henry Warwick, aged 61, killed in a collision with a coach in the City of London last week, and 44-year-old James Darby, who died on 22 January from injuries he had sustained nearly three weeks earlier when a motorist in Beckenham opened a car door into his path.
Ms West added that she welcomed TfL’s review into key junctions on both the Barclays Cycle Superhighways and the Transport for London Road Network, saying: “We are keen to educate drivers - and in particular lorry operators - to think about cyclists’ safety. We urge cyclists to take up training that is on offer for them from London’s boroughs and Transport for London.”
Most boroughs offer free cycle training, to adults and children, and where there is a charge, it is heavily subsidised to keep costs to a minimum.
Details of cycle training in individual boroughs can be requested via an online form on the TfL website.
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.