Hackney has long been a cycling heartland for London and here at the Hackney Cycling Campaign (HCC) we continue to push for the borough becoming a haven for cyclists. We want cycling to be seen as both safe and fun which is reflected in what we’ve done over the past year, and you’ll find some of our highlights from 2017 below…
HCC provided a voice for all cyclists in Hackney with the local council. This has meant that when key roads and junctions have been redesigned, the council has been asked to consider the needs of cyclists including particularly vulnerable road users such as children (a big thanks to Natalie and Harry in our consultation team). You can see some of this hard work now bearing fruit with the filters on Cycle Superhighway 1.
Where needed, we’ve also headed out onto the street to make the case for better cycling infrastructure. On Bath Street our rallying of support ensured that a counterflow cycling track was introduced enabling cyclists to avoid some of London’s less hospitable main roads around Old Street.
Anyone passing by many of London’s schools during the start and finish of the day will be all too aware of the impact of the school run. All too often this phenomenon leads to unnecessary congestion, air pollution and an exacerbation of the growing issue of childhood obesity. We’ve pushed for the introduction of a pilot School Streets programme to some of Hackney’s schools as part of a move to encourage more children to walk and cycle to school.
We’re also been keen to help more families enjoy the convenience, speed and ease of getting around the borough by bike. A key initiative has been the launch of the Hackney Family Cycling Library in conjunction with Carry Me Bikes and with funding from TfL’s Cycling Grants for London, The initiative provides local residents with the chance to try out and borrow child bike seats, trailers, tag-a-longs and cargo bike for free, which in in conjunction with quarterly themed group rides and cargo bike sessions has provided an important stepping stone for young families considering taking to Hackney’s streets by bike. It was great to see Ruth-Anna and Alix’s tireless work being recognised with the Best Family-Friendly’ Award at this year’s LCC Campaigner Awards.
We also want to celebrate the wonderful contribution that cycling makes to the Borough. Among the events we led or took part in were the Midsummer Bike Social, Bikers Breakfast, Ride London and Burns Night. But my personal favourite would have to be London’s inaugural Cargo Bike Championships at the Finsbury Park Festival of Cycling where we blessed with one of London’s more magical summer days.
Whilst the above paints a pretty rosy picture of life in Hackney, there’s still lots more to do as and we’d love to have your support. Try joining the London Cycling Campaign, come along to one of our monthly meetings at the Pembury Community Centre and help us toast the haggis at the upcoming Burns Night fundraiser.