Transport for London (TfL) has announced that the festival, RideLondon, will be returning from spring 2022 under a new partnership with London Marathon Events Limited (LME).
The 2020 RideLondon festival was cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and was replaced with a virtual event that raised more than £3 million for charities. The 2021 event has also been cancelled due to the pandemic. The new partnership with LME, which will run until 2031, will shape the event for the future, with a greater focus on inspiring Londoners from all backgrounds to start take up cycling as part of their daily lives.
In 2022, the festival will take place over one day in the spring with a consolidated format allowing even more families to take part. The festival is a hugely popular part of London’s event calendar and is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors from across London and the UK, helping to boost trade at local high streets and sustain the region’s economic recovery from coronavirus.
The women’s professional race – the RideLondon Classique – will be showcased in 2022. This professional event places women at the forefront of cycling, underpinning TfL’s ambition to get more people cycling every day, including women, who are underrepresented within the industry.
Work is now ongoing with stakeholders to explore options for new routes in 2022 and future years. Additionally, LME is currently looking for a new title sponsor. Full details of the new routes for 2022 will be announced in due course.
Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “RideLondon is one of the highlights of the year, so I’m really pleased that we have secured this 10 year partnership. Like many Londoners, I have really missed the real-life event so I’m delighted that the new, more family-focused format, along with the RideLondon Classique women’s professional race, will help RideLondon bounce back with a bang next year.”
Julie Dixon, TfL’s Head of Customer Information, Design and Partnerships, said: “RideLondon is a hugely popular festival in London every year, enabling thousands of Londoners of all ages and abilities to come together to celebrate cycling and enjoy traffic-free streets. Working closely with London Marathon Events Limited, we will deliver a festival for 2022 which builds on the event’s success and enables even more families to take part and look forward to a successful festival next year.”
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events, said: “RideLondon is the world’s greatest festival of cycling and London Marathon Events is committed to developing it further every year and inspiring more people to cycle more often. Globally, it is one of the biggest charity one day cycling events and we aim to engage more than 100,000 people on an extraordinary day when London celebrates cycling.”
TfL and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, have worked closely with boroughs right across the capital over the past five years to deliver extra space for walking and cycling at record pace. 100km of new and upgraded routes have been delivered, or are under construction, in the past year alone, transforming streets to support continued increases in the numbers of people getting around the capital by bike. During the first lockdown between April and June last year, nearly half of all journeys in London were made by walking and cycling, up from 29 per cent before the pandemic.
Previously, the levels of air pollution has nosedived alongside the RideLondon route on several occasions. Showing drastic improvement across all metrics, wide-ranging road closures during the event in the past shows ample evidence to support the case for lowered car use in urban spaces at a time when poor air quality is said to be responsible for the premature deaths of 800,000 a year in Europe and 8.8 million worldwide.