Lambeth plans pedal power for all

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By Saara Jaffery-Roberts 

Although Lambeth Council already claims to be a cycle-friendly borough, the authority wants to do more to engage the whole community in cycling.

Despite having the third highest rate of cyclists in London, it has been found that the majority of them tend to be white, male, and aged between 25-44.

Attitude surveys have found that people of all ages and backgrounds are keen to use their bikes more, but have concerns about safety and the lack of facilities such as secure storage.

In order to make cycling more accessible, the strategy sets out a programme of improvements which will make cycling safer and more convenient for everyone.

Less traffic congestion and pollution, greener and cleaner streets, multiple health benefits and job opportunities are just some of the positive outcomes that increased bike use would generate.

The proposed cycle strategy will be discussed in a council cabinet meeting tonight, and if approved, will form the basis for a bid for a share of the Mayor of London’s £400m funding for high quality cycle routes and supporting projects.


  1. Car Free Cycle Routes.
    Green cycle routes
    My idea is to create a network of car free roads right around London (& and the whole country).
    If cycling is to grow significantly and become the main preferred method of getting from A to B, then it needs to be invested in hugely.
    There are many suggestions about what needs doing but most are tweeking when what we really need is a complete re-evaluation of who gets to use the roads, we need to question the primacy of the car on our roads and maybe slaughter some sacred cows.
    Somehow the car has squeezed itself into every nook and cranny and having insinuated itself onto every road in existence continues to squeeze out other road users, making it less and less possible for anyone outside of a car to use the roads. Cars are either pumping out poisons, screaming by at lethal speeds or are left cluttering every road and many pavements. They are alternately dangerous or in the way.

    Harm from cars.
    The harm that cars do is manifold and accepted as inevitable. The sheer clutter on every road, the uglification of our surroundings, a continuos stencilled constant running through every scene bringing noise and danger at every turn, rising chronic asthma due to particulate pollution, and occasional sudden death (about 3000 deaths a year and uncountable amounts of minor accidents). Not to mention green house gasses, CO1, CO2, and climate change!

    The Tax angle.
    Drivers do not pay for the roads! So who pays for the roads?
    Road tax doesn’t exist. It’s car tax, a tax on cars and other vehicles, not a tax on roads or a fee to use them. .
    Motorists do not pay directly for the roads. Roads are paid for via general and local taxation.
    In 1926, Winston Churchill started the process to abolish road tax. It was finally culled in 1937.
    A child buying a sweet somewhere among the line, is paying for the roads. And yet it is car drivers that hog and dominate all roads.

    The Basic Argument.
    cycling has so many benefits. It could be characterised as a positive elixir, a simple solution to so many problems.
    Imagine, we need to get to mums, 5 miles away. Our group includes your 85 year old grand parents and my 5 year old children. Normally they all go in cars, gramps doesn’t like the bus, walking is too far and cycling on those busy roads is simply madness but in this story they all get on bicycles and cycle the whole way along quiet, car free, leafy Avenues only stopping at junctions only to let the cross traffic pass. We arrive calmly, relaxed, healthy, fitter and unharmed.

    “Ok nice story but that won’t happen”, I hear you say. Well let’s not write it of quite so quickly.
    There are many advantages to car free roads, many are very seductive and there are a lot of road use who presently can’t use the roads because cars are dangerous including Equestrians, walkers, stall holders, street foods, kids playing football. It must

    Desirable living spaces.
    People would like to live on these new cycle routes, indeed it could actually make the houses on those roads worth a lot more than the infernal combustion routes.
    The quieter, greener roads would be lovely places to live and work as well as places to travel through.

    House prices.
    Most of us would opt for those homes in quieter streets instead of those on busy routes, in fact it would probably increase the value of those homes.

    CO2 emissions.
    Transport accounts for about 50% of the CO2 we can get control of in our city’s. If we
    If we want to be safe in the future we can’t use the oils we have now let alone that which fracking etc can provide. Oil fuelled vehicles must be used less.
    If the Government were really serious about reducing CO2 emissions it would make it safe for all cyclist to use the roads. Therefore the government must make it safe for my 80 year old mother and my 5 year old daughter to cycle. Otherwise my mum will continue to drive and I will be forced to drive my children because I don’t want them endangered.
    Achieving this is actually quite easy but it’s scary for government and councils because it’s a big change in the accepted way of doing things.

    It is obvious the we all value our health and that the NHS has to fork out billions to help us when we are sick but if we did have greener, car free, cycle network we would cycle more. Cycling more will keep us fitter and that means we won’t have to visit our Dr quite so much.

    Wellbeing study’s carried out by the NHS have shown that living near green spaces has a definite, positive and measurable impact on our health. Green cycle networks would bring green space closer to all of us and we would all benefit from this.

    These Green Cycling Networks would not all be totally car free, after all we still need parking and GCNs can provide huge amounts of convenient parking for all.

    Access for cars.
    No one will be stopped from getting to their homes or stopped from parking outside their homes. The only thing that would change is that car could only enter and leave from one end of the road. This is all that is necessary for us all to have a far rosier future.

    More greenery.
    Having all these quiet roads would allow for a great deal more greenery, and flowers and fruit and many other things that are now impossible on our busy and overstretched.

    Would any one be forced to cycle?
    Certainly not. You can still drive your car from your house and park by your friends house just as before, it just that some roads would be for cyclists alone to travel through.

    Quality of life.
    This scheme would bring calm and joy and safety to so many people that that alone should be enough on its own. But the real pay back will be in many years time when the environment is not as damaged as it would otherwise would be.

    Who pays for the roads?
    Firstly, “road tax” does not exist, and has not existed since the 1930s. What drivers do pay, however, is Vehicle Excise duty. What you pay for is your car’s tax disc – it’s based on your vehicle’s emissions and since a bicycle creates no emissions, it is not liable for Vehicle Excise Duty.
    Also it is worth nothing that bicycles do not damage roads in the same way that cars and lorries do, thus the roads designated green way, calm ways or car free cycle routes will last many years longer and cost so much less to maintain.
    So if we encouraged cycling Instead of driving, we could all save a bit of cash.
    This has got to be a win.

    So who is with me on the these Green Cycle Routes?


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