Ben, Marcia and Mary with representatives from St Matthew’s TRA & Cycle Confident
Ben, Marcia and Mary with representatives from St Matthew’s TRA & Cycle Confident

Bad air quality across London is a problem and whilst pollution doesn’t discriminate – over 10,000 people a year die of respiratory illness relating to toxic air. Reducing dependency on petrol/diesel vehicles to get around is one way of addressing the pollution we all breathe and helping people live healthier lives.

St Matthew’s Tenants and Residents Association, working with Tulse Hill Councillors led by Marcia, have secured nearly £9000 from Walking & Cycling Grants London (a partnership between Transport for London and the London Marathon) to launch the very first cycling club in Tulse Hill. The money will be spent over 3 years on providing free cycling classes and road skill training to improve confidence for cyclists riding on London’s busy roads. The classes will be run by Cycle Confidence and cycling more will also help towards improving the health and fitness of residents. Good quality recycled bikes can be provided for those who do not have access to a bike and more information on booking a class can be found here (change the location to Tulse Hill Cycling Session to quickly find the next session).

It is hoped that the cycling classes will support people to use bikes more for local journeys like the school run or trips to the shops instead of their cars. Fewer people using cars for short journeys means fewer people on the road and less congestion for those who need to use vehicles to get around, whether because they use a van for work or need a car because they have mobility problems. The number of people using bikes has dramatically increased over the last year as people seek to minimise the risk of catching coronavirus by using public transport less. In Tulse Hill, following the introduction of the Tulse Hill LTN, there has been an 59% increase in cycling on the roads in and around where we live – including a massive 337% increase in cycling on Josephine Avenue, 129% increase on Athlone Road and 124% increase on Cotherstone Road.

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