A police initiative to teach deaf children to ride bicycles is among five projects that will be recognised this evening in the annual London Cycling Awards.
Other winners of the awards, announced at the annual general meeting of London Cycling Campaign (CLC) and sponsored by Evans Cycles, include an off-road cycle route linking Camden with St Pancras, a training scheme in Lambeth that brings HGV drivers and cyclists together, an initiative to promote cycling on three housing estates in Hackney, and a re-thinking of a hazardous junction in Islington.
Clare Neely of LCC, who chaired the judging panel, said: “It’s a pleasure to see that not only is cycling soaring in London but that the standard of and number of projects nominated for the London Cycling Awards is growing.”
With unprecedented numbers of nominations in the four award categories, judges faced a hard task in deciding the winners. Indeed, the standard of entry was such that the award for Best Cycling Facility went jointly to two separate projects, details of which are shown below, together with the full citations for all winners.
LCC’s Campaigns and Development Manager, Tom Bogdaowicz, said: “The winners in each category show that outstanding new ideas and clever engineering solutions are being developed across London and that they are worth the effort.”
The awards are designed to showcase best practice in cycling initiatives in London and further afield, and the winning projects, together with the judging panel's citations, are as follows:
Best Initiative for Children or Young People
Metropolitan Police, Regent’s Park Safer Parks Team
Blue Wheelers project at the Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children
"This project is a great example of a group of police officers going beyond the call of duty to help pupils at a nearby school for deaf children learn cycling and road safety awareness. Unlike most children at mainstream schools, some deaf children miss out on cycling because existing facilities do not always cope with their specific needs. The officers, from the Regent’s Park team, showed sensitivity, taking time to meet and work with the children at the school, and dedication, by learning to sign as a means of communication. The police team have also put to good use abandoned bikes that might otherwise have been thrown away. This project is supported by the Community Cycling Fund for London."
Best Community Cycling Initiative
Bikes on Estates Project
"The STA Bikes team are at the forefront of innovative community cycling projects. The Bike on Estates Project, based in Hackney, took cycling into three housing estates where cycling is not usually a popular activity. The estates had different project designs: one worked primarily with mothers, many from ethnic minorities, through Saturday morning training and maintenance sessions. It included installation of bike parking and bike and bike loans.
Another project was for young people working on safety skills and bike repair. The third project responded to a concern that some young people could be recruited into gangs and developed regular bike maintenance sessions at an adventure playground.
Participants in the projects ranged in age from 4 to 80 years old. Funding was provided by the Lottery Fund, the Community Cycling Fund for London and Hackney Safer Neighbourhoods. The scheme was praised for bringing to together so many local agencies in such as positive way."
Best Cycling Facility (2 winners in this category)
London Borough of Camden
Agar Grove – Camley Street Link – (TfL funded)
"Camden Council developed the Agar Grove – Camley Street link in response to long term lobbying by the Camden Cycling Campaign as well as the council’s own ‘cycling tsar’ Paul Braithwaite. They were fortunate in securing Transport for London financial support for the scheme.
The cleverness of the design is that it handles a 5 metre drop from Agar Grove, a key cycle node in Camden, to the Camley Street connection to King’s Cross/St Pancras with a minimum of fuss. One judge described the connection, as ‘a sudden arrival on a country lane with no motor traffic.’ Another enthused about all the connections the seemingly secret link completes including routes northwards to Islington, Haringey and Tufnell Park."
Hyder Consulting/Transport for London
Redesign of the junction of Pentonville Road and Penton Rise
"The second winner in the facility category, Pentonville Road/Penton Rise was designed by consultancy Hyder with Transport for London and was praised by the judges for resolving problems at a difficult traffic junction on this busy main road in Islington.
By allocating more road space to buses, cycles and pedestrians the design reduces road danger and makes it easier to negotiate what used to be a challenging road crossing. An LCC member supporting the design notes that it caters for different types of cyclist ‘by providing an off-side lane and a toucan crossing.’ The unusual ‘off-side’ bus and cycle lane enables cyclists to position themselves correctly for going straight down the bus lane in Pentonville Road."
Best Workplace Cycling Initiative
London Borough of Lambeth
HGV Driver-Cyclist Awareness Project
"The Cyclist and HGV driver awareness project.is a unique workplace initiative in Lambeth. The project educates both HGV drives and cyclists in order to reduce the number of collisions on the roads. Cyclists are invited to sit in a lorry and see the road from a driver’s perspective, while drivers are given a chance to see what it feels like to be a cyclist through discussion and a practical cycle training session. Both drivers and cyclists have praised the project.
One judge said ‘it’s impressive that Lambeth has done this proactively – it needs to be duplicated in all other boroughs.” Another noted the accompanying ‘road danger reduction strategy’ in Lambeth which prioritises reducing danger to vulnerable road users."
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.