Dream a big dream
No more near misses
Yesterday Sacha was fortunate to present a new project at the Cycle County Active County conference in Oxford. It’s an annual conference that brings together Government, local authorities, the professional sector and campaigners as the UK scales up to deliver decarbonisation, levelling up and inclusivity strategies. It’s a great conference and Sacha came away feeling very energised after spending all day with lots of people who were incredibly passionate about getting people out of cars and onto active modes of travel such as cycling, walking and wheeling. Reducing car usage is of course a key way of reducing air pollution.
The conference was opened by Chris Boardman who gave a great talk about focusing on what you might gain, rather than what you might lose. The fear of loss is one of the biggest barriers to people giving up their cars. But what might people gain? His presentation only had one slide: that of two teenagers cycling, laughing and having fun. Who wouldn’t want this for their family? Being able to get around in a healthy and sustainable way, developing their independence at the same time - the big dream. But how many people with children could say they are 100% comfortable with their children cycling by themselves on the streets of London?
Try catching me on a bike
The main barrier to people cycling is the perception that it is too dangerous. In 2020, the third National Travel Attitudes Study showed that 66% of adults in England agreed that “it is too dangerous for me to cycle on the roads”.
If we are able to tackle the perceived and actual risks around cycling, maybe we can help the next generation to build cycling habits early on that will endure. Sacha works for a company called Beryl, who provide bike, e-bike, e-cargo bike and scooter sharing schemes across the country. His talk was about how to use sensor data from their vehicles to measure unreported accidents and near misses, to allow local authorities to focus their investments in improving cycling infrastructure. You can read more about it here.
Meanwhile we are still struggling to get the monitoring node installed at the Rec. A little reminder of the potted history - the programme kicked off in January and the node was delivered in March. However, at that time, the Rec was changing its management from Better to Lambeth Council. We were told to wait till that had changed over; but more recently we were told that the fact the Rec is a listed building was causing problems. It's hard to know what to make of this as we aren't getting any information on why or what to do about it. But today the nursery updated us that they have had further discussions and hope to have a way ahead. It's been an interesting lesson in how nothing is straightforward, even installing something smaller than a shoe box with its own integrated power supply!
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