London cycling commissioner sets sights on diversity

London’s cycling and walking commissioner Will Norman has vowed to tackle ongoing diversity issues in the capital. 

He is currently weighing up the option of setting diversity targets for the cycling population to ensure progress is being achieved, and that emphasis would continue to be put on programmes to increase diversity.

Speaking to The Independent, Norman said: “There is a problem with cycling and the way it is perceived of getting middle-aged men cycling faster around the city, which is not the objective at all.

“It touches on something which is a real challenge for London cycling, which is diversity.”He said that the growth of London’s protected cycleways had not yet brought about a shift in cycling’s demographics.

"Even when we have seen the growth in the number of cyclists, we haven’t seen that diversity. There are a number of reasons for that. One is that safety is paramount for getting different people from different walks of life cycling: older people, younger people, those from different backgrounds.”

Norman added that cycle training courses, grants for community groups who do not typically cycle and the spread of "Quietways" will get more people from BAME communities to start pedalling. And Transport for London’s current promotion of electric bikes – in association with London Cycling Campaign and the ACT – will get older people cycling, he said.

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