London’s walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman, has expressed concern at the diversity of the current cycling community that is dominated by white, middle-aged men. As a result, he is considering introducing diversity targets to encourage more women and people from ethnic minority groups to cycle.
Speaking to The Independent, the commissioner 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.”
When considering the reasons for the lack of diversity, Norman said: “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.”
A number of projects have been revealed to address the problem, including cycle training, promoting electric bikes, grants for certain community groups and expanding cycle routes. Quietways is a secondary cycle network that supports the primary network, offering cyclists alternative routes that are less-busy.
While Norman highlighted that the Mayor is fully committed to delivering cycling projects, he admitted that more can be done.
“Is it ambitious enough in the longer term? I think we need a higher level of change,” he said.
“The target that we have set out in the mayor’s transport strategy is over that 25 years we want to shift to 80% of journeys to be walking, cycling or by public transport.
“That is a much more ambitious target and really is fundamentally rethinking the way that we move around our city.”
Mr Khan has promised to spend £169m annually on cycling schemes over the next five years. This compares with an average yearly spend of £91m promised during the previous mayoralty under Mr Johnson.
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Source: story first published by The Independent on 28/05/2018