Mayor launches online cycle training course for Londoners

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has today launched the first online cycle training course for Londoners to give more people the confidence to start cycling – whether they’re taking it up for the first time or returning to it.

The Cycle Skills course, which is available on the TfL website, supports the Mayor’s Streetspace for London programme which is rolling out more space for people to walk and cycle. The Mayor and TfL are committed to a green, sustainable recovery from COVID-19, and bold measures will reduce the risk of a damaging car-based recovery.

Cycle Skills is an online course that covers everything from getting your bike set up for your first ride to tips for cycling safety with children in one place, and is tailored to cycling in London. The series consists of:

– Get ready to ride: guidance for pre-ride checks to your bike’s tyre air pressure, brakes and chain, along with tips for basic control and handling
– First time on the road: practical advice for how to start cycling on the roads safely and responsibly while avoiding potential hazards
– On the road again: confidence-boosting tips for people looking to return to cycling after a long break, covering how to share the road safely and communicate with other road users
– Cycling with children: guidance for cycling safely with children and in a group

Everyone who completes the four training modules will be sent a free Santander Cycles 24-hour access code, enabling them to start putting the skills they’ve learnt into practice.

TfL has also secured £2 million from the DfT for cycle training in London, which will be delivered via the London boroughs. Each borough will be allocated £60,000 to deliver socially distanced Bikeability and Cycle Skills training from August onwards.

The Mayor announced the City Hall investment during a visit to Pimlico to try out the upgraded newly segregated cycle route between Chelsea Bridge and Lambeth Bridge. Streetspace funding has enabled pole cones to be added along the 2.4km route to protect people cycling from other traffic.

This upgraded route will play a vital role in allowing thousands more journeys to be made by bike. It is a key corridor for people cycling into central London and TfL modelling shows it has one of the highest potential demand for cycling of any road in the capital. During lockdown, a section of it was the third most popular UK route logged on Strava, with almost 50,000 journeys logged along Milbank Embankment.

17km of new cycle lanes have been created through the Streetspace for London programme so far, with a further 20km under construction. Segregated cycle lanes trebled in the first four years of Khan’s mayoralty from 53km to 162km.

“I’m determined to do all I can to ensure a green recovery for our city by building on Londoners’ record-breaking demand for cycling over the past few months,” said Khan. “I am proud that we are rapidly rolling out more space for walking and cycling and upgrading cycle routes to make them safer. But we also need to equip people with the confidence and skills they need to cycle in our city, so I’m delighted to launch the first online cycle training course for Londoners.”

Sophie Edmondson, principal sponsor for cycling at TfL, added: “Walking and cycling will be absolutely central to London’s recovery from coronavirus and our Streetspace programme is making sure everybody who wants to cycle can do so easily and safely. Our newly upgraded cycle route between Chelsea Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge will make thousands of journeys to and from central London safer and our new online Cycle Skills course will help people to cycle with confidence. We’ll continue to work closely with London’s boroughs to ensure everybody can benefit from extra space and improved infrastructure.”

Earlier this week, TfL announced that work has begun to transform one of central London’s major thoroughfares into a less intimidating place which prioritises walking and cycling. The new traffic restrictions between Shoreditch and London Bridge are a key part of the Mayor of London and TfL’s Streetspace plans, which will reduce levels of cars in central London in a step towards becoming “one of the largest car-free zones in any capital city in the world”. The new walking, cycling and bus-only corridor will connect major cultural and financial centres in the area, making it easier for people to walk and cycle as they start to return to central London offices.

TfL is also working closely with local boroughs to rapidly create space for walking and cycling across the city. This includes building a strategic network for cycling in London, transforming town centres and reducing traffic on residential streets. Boroughs have been issued with detailed guidance on how to apply for funding for schemes that will make a real difference in local areas, and around £30 million has now been awarded across all 33 boroughs for 859 schemes. Work on a number of new cycle routes is underway in Camden and Waltham Forest, with routes set to link Chalk Farm to Kings Cross and Blackhorse Road to Haringey.

London’s cycle hire scheme will celebrate its tenth anniversary next Thursday, 30th July. Since its launch, the scheme has gone from strength to strength, and high demand meant it broke three records in May including the highest number of hires made in a single week.

Read the July edition of BikeBiz below:

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