Many trips are short enough to walk or cycle
Local shops mean local community
Health of people who walk or cycle like health of 10 years younger
Walking and cycling trips don’t pollute the air
Walking and cycling needs little road space
Haringey Council’s proposed activities are in the ‘pink stripes’ below.
Why would people chose to walk and cycle?
There are good reasons why. It is the only way to get around for the 75% of residents who don’t have their own car to use and may not even have access to public transport for necessary trips (Despite paying taxes for roads and putting up with air pollution from the traffic). There were 63,827 cars registered out of the Haringey population of 254,900. And the areas without good public transport can be seen from here at the ‘Haringey and low carbon buses‘ section.
For all residents the benefits and opportunities of walking and cycling for leisure cannot be understated either. Herewith benefits and obstacles:
+ Good for the Planet
+ Good for Health
+ Advantages over public transport
+ Cheaper per journey
These are explored below with ideas on how to promote walking and cycling and overcome the obstacles.
– Ill health or disability
– Never ridden a bike
– Considered to be dangerous on today’s roads
– Bikes too expensive, nowhere to keep one and could be stolen
– Too much to carry inc small children
– Need to arrive looking smart
– Need to get somewhere quickly
Haringey's actions in the Climate Change Action Plan - click each
There are good reasons for walking and cycling
+ Good for the Planet
The Committee on Climate Change advises the Government on reducing greenhouse gas emissions (measured in CO2 equivalent) It’s Surface Transport Sector Summary assumes that “5-7% of car journeys could be shifted to walking and cycling (including e-bikes) by 2030, rising to 9-14% by 2050.” As a consequence “Relative to the baseline, our scenarios assume that there is potential for a 1-4% reduction in total car mileage by 2030, and between 4% and 12% by 2050.”
This reduction in car mileage would deliver resultant reductions in CO2 emissions, but what would bring that about?
+ Good for Health
The Haringey Cycle Action Plan says that “research suggests that regular cycling can produce a number of impressive health gains, including protection against coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, stress, high blood pressure and obesity. On average, people who cycle 20 miles or more a week experience the health of people ten years younger. New cyclists covering short distances can reduce their risk of death (mainly due to the reduction of heart disease) by up to 22 per cent.” And also a “tenfold increase in cycling would result in a reduction of individual pollutants of several million tonnes each year.“
From the Healthy Streets for London Feb 2017.
And the accompanying text below at ‘Getting Around in Haringey’ shows how many trips are well within walking and cycling distance.
+ Advantages over public transport
Haringey’s cycle action plan “says that:
- “an average four-mile journey in Central London can take 40 minutes in a car, 30 minutes on the Tube, an hour on the bus and just 22 minutes on a bicycle.”
- cyclists are more likely to arrive at work on time, and are more productive and less prone to stress than their counterparts“
- “reductions in noise pollution and community severance from heavy flows of traffic and greater independence for children through, for example, safer routes to school and home zones.“
Once a bike has been purchased each trip is cost free compared with public transport or fuelling a vehicle.
The character map of Haringey opposite comes from the State of the Borough July 2020 (p44)
How far are typical trips in Haringey?
Very many trips could be by bike or by foot.
Overcoming obstacles - boosting walking and cycling
What we need
Getting down to basics, we’ll only move away from cars if we have:
• ROADS GOOD FOR BIKES AND PEDESTRIANS
• HELP TO GET BIKES
• HELP TO LEARN TO RIDE
What will achieve this?
At the UK Government level the Department for Transport (DfT) has the UK wide responsibility for road strategy. They say that they “support the transport network…. We plan and invest in transport infrastructure to keep the UK on the move.”
DfT’s cycling and walking plan for England – Gear Change. A Bold Vision for Cycling and Walking July 2020 set out a vision for measures to encourage uptake of active travel, whereby “The ability to deliver a right to cycle requires infrastructure and routes which are accessible to all regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or disability and does not create hazards for vulnerable pedestrians. Improvements to highways should always seek to enhance accessibility for all.” It set out a future in which 50% of all journeys in towns and cities are cycled or walked, up from 29% today.
To deliver this in London one initiative is Walking and Cycling Grants London a GLA programme which supports London’s diverse communities to walk and cycle more often and more safely. It offers grants to projects of up to £10,000 over a three-year period to community groups and organisations, to create projects and programmes that allow all communities across London to enjoy the benefits of walking and cycling.
Locally there are a plethora of schemes and many terms for all the initiatives going on in London – some popular and some controversial. For instance there are
1. Healthy Streets
2. Streetspace for London
(iii)Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
(iv) School Streets
3.Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN)
When roads feel safe
It was notable that road use during lockdown and following the easing of restrictions was significantly different to usual. “Cycling also increased significantly following the imposition of lockdown restrictions, with summer weekends seeing over three-times as many cyclists as pre-pandemic levels. Since the easing of lockdown restrictions, cycling levels have remained high. However, from late September onwards, although still mostly above pre-pandemic levels, the number of cyclists started to decrease.” (Committee on Climate Change)
These road schemes described below, should help to boost walking and cycling but, as well these Haringey residents also need:
5.Advice and subsidies for getting and storing bikes
6.Cycling lessons accessible for all
1. Healthy Streets
Healthy streets is the vision for London – explained by TfL to improve air quality, reduce congestion and help make London’s diverse communities greener, healthier and more attractive places to live, work, play and do business. The Healthy Streets indicators are shown in the Designing Better Streets panel below. The Mini Holland scheme in Waltham Forest and the Liveable Neighbourhoods trail in Crouch End are explored below.
Mini Hollands. The GLA explains the Mini-Hollands programme “is part of the Mayor’s Healthy Streets approach. Substantial investment – around £100 million – is helping three outer London boroughs transform into cycling hubs, equipped with high specification Dutch-style infrastructure. Changes include redesigned junctions that are safer for cyclists and pedestrians, segregated cycle lanes on busy roads and reductions in the amount of traffic using residential streets.” For details of the three Mini Hollands see:
2.Streetspace for London
Streetspace for London Transport for London manages some road directly eg Red Routes. TfL allocates funds to boroughs for roads controlled by them according to the following London Streetspace Plan categories:
(i) Pavement Widening– to enable social distancing in town centres, on approaches to stations, outside schools etc.
(ii)Temporary Cycleways– to improve the cycle network
(iii)Low Traffic Neighbourhoods – to protect neighbourhoods from rat running, traffic, air pollution and road danger.
(iv) School Streets– to enable social distancing, tackling air pollution and providing safer walking and cycling routes to schools.. In December 2020.
All the Haringey successful and unsuccessful bids for these measures are listed here.
3. Livable Neighbourhoods
Liveable Neighbourhoods in Crouch End Transport for London awarded Haringey Council £4.8 million for a Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme in Crouch End. “The scheme aims to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport for residents, business and visitors, as well as improving health and air quality and reducing car trips.” In October 2019 a two-week trial was undertaken, but in May 2020 work was stopped due to funding constraints as a result of COVD-19, with full details on the Haringey web page. Briefly the funding for Liveable Neighbourhoods Crouch End was to support:
• Improved walking and cycling in Crouch End town centre by improving pedestrian and cycling conditions
• Tackling congestion and improving air quality and residents’ well-being
The proposals still to be consulted on include:
• Creating a new square and public space around the clock tower, currently surrounded by traffic on all sides
• Segregated cycle routes to feed the town centre
• Upgraded more frequent pedestrian crossings along the Broadway
• Reduced traffic on residential streets by restricting general traffic
TfL’s funding for Your Borough says that this scheme can now continue.
4.Advice and subsidies for getting & storing bikes
Affording a Bike
Sustran explains the Cycle to Work scheme “The Cycle to Work scheme is designed to help you save money on a new work bike and spread the cost of the bike over monthly tax-free instalments through your employer.” The DfT ‘Gear Change and Bold Vision for Cycling and Walking’ p37 “We will establish a national e-bike support programme, which could include loans, subsidies, or other financial incentives, using the learning from other schemes in the UK and abroad for e-bikes, adapted e-bikes and other e-vehicles.”
The DfT announced a £2bn package to create new era for cycling and walking in May 2020. Some items include:
- Trials of rental e-scooters to be brought forward
- Vouchers will be issued for cycle repairs, to encourage people to get their old bikes out of the shed, and plans are being developed for greater provision of bike fixing facilities.
- We are amending secondary legislation to allow trials of rental e-scooters to begin across the UK.
Trying a Bike
Haringey is one of the Councils supporting the Peddle My Wheels scheme where you can book two 2-hour sessions for a range of bikes, including electric, adaptive and cargo bikes. You can try a brand new or nearly new bike for a small monthly fee, (which includes lights, lock, helmet) and is fully refundable if you buy the bike. It also includes free maintenance call out.
If hills or distance for usual journeys are a problem Peddle my Wheels also has ebikes to try out.
5.Cycling lessons accessible to all
Todays ‘Cycling Proficiency’
The Department for Transport announced funding in April 2021, managed via the Bikeability Trust charity. It is to”go toward delivering high-quality, practical on-road cycle training as a modern day equivalent of the ‘cycling proficiency’ scheme many parents will themselves have undertaken during their school days.” The Haringey courses can be found here.
• learning with an instructor (suspended during the pandemic)
• a Bikeability cycle training programme for children
Choosing and looking after a cycle
• looking after a cycle
• cycling safely
• keeping a cycle safely
• choosing a cycle
Haringey’s roads reimagined
Imagine a world where people, not cars, ruled our streets. Imagine our children being able to walk safely to school, to play safely in the streets. Imagine streets as pleasant places for everyone to walk cycle and enjoy without fear of cars. Imagine being able to breathe clean air instead of pollution that causes xxx deaths a year.
All this is possible, and more walking and cycling are part of it.
The first step is to redesign the streets and there has been plenty of research and discussion as to how to do this, it just needs leadership and action.
Designing Better Streets
In the new world of streets designed for people not traffic the mix of traffic will be quite different and will include pedal and (low carbon) electric power last mile delivery, trikes for the less able, ebikes and escooters.
• Low carbon deliveries – In 2018 TfL awarded funding “to six business groups to make deliveries more efficient and reduce congestion in London like micro-consolidation, cargo bikes and preferred supplier schemes.” But according to this press release from Caroline Russell in November 2020 these schemes were put on pause when funds were withdrawn. The Sun Rider featured below generated 50% electricity from the sun on an average day – 100% on a sunny day.
• Trikes for the disabled – Although some people are unable to walk or bike many more will be able to use a trike – if funds allow.
• eBikes – these can make commuting by bike far more possible, and work schemes can make them affordable. Prices range from several hundred poundts to several thousands of pounds. With a Swytchbike conversion kit any bike can be converted to an electric bike.
• eScooters – these could be very popular, but would not be welcome on pavements and legislation is not currently enabling them on the roads – where riders seem very vulnerable (especially without crash helmets)