Over £400,000 of a £500,000 pot from TFL’s walking and cycling kitty has been awarded to 60 community and not-for-profit groups to encourage locals to walk or cycle.
This is the first year that the grant has been open to walking projects, with 26 of the 60 projects focusing on walking, helping people to connect with their local communities, learn new skills, get active and improve their physical and mental health.
While not the primary objective, TFL’s walking and cycling pot has granted cash to many projects which aim to broaden the base and demographics of those cycling, which is good news for the industry.
Cash has gone to the likes of Striderz n RiderZ – the Hope of Childs Hill in Barnet, which will run regular cycling and walking sessions for over 50s prone to loneliness. Dare to Ride, run by Wheels for Wellbeing, will help disabled people who currently ride exclusively at their sessions to gradually build up stamina and confidence to participate in a cycling event, such as RideLondon. Money has also gone to the likes of Cycling for Children with Coordination Difficulties, run by the NH is Haringey, helping children with dispraxia and Down’s Syndrome cycle to overcome their high risk of being excluded from physical activity. Likewise, Cycle Sisters Redbridge encourages cycling among Muslim women with a women-only cycle group offering led rides and cycle training.
Liz Bull-Domican, Fundraising Officer, Wheels for Wellbeing, said: “Dare to Ride will encourage Disabled people who currently attend our off-road inclusive cycling sessions to take up a new and exciting challenge. Through a comprehensive training programme, our participants will be able to experience the joy of cycling in parks and on roads whilst also building up their fitness and stamina. We will encourage them to partake in events such as RideLondon, with the ultimate aim of demonstrating to both Disabled and non-Disabled communities across London that cycling exists beyond the two-wheeled bicycle!”
Sarah Javaid, Founder of Cycle Sisters, said: “We are really excited to be awarded a Walking & Cycling Grant. The funding will enable us to set up a new Muslim women’s ‘Cycle Sisters’ group in Redbridge and offer culturally sensitive social led rides alongside cycle skills training. With our community-based approach we are able to break down many barriers to cycling for Muslim women and by extension enable and inspire whole families to get cycling. This is important as we are helping to make cycling more inclusive and ensure the life-changing benefits of cycling reach across communities.”
The news comes days after the London Mayor approved the controversial Silvertown Tunnel, which has been criticised for its potential to significantly increase traffic and pollution in East London.