THE GARCIA-AYESTA FAMILY
Thalassa (Daughter - aged 8)
What do you like most about cycling to School?
In the tube and bus I get crowded and hot. On the bike I get fresh air. I like that.
What do you like least?
My legs get tired of cycling and my fingers get very cold.
How many of your friends cycle to school?
Very few. Only one. She has the same bicycle as mine, but hers is pink, mine is turquoise.
How far do you have to cycle? How long does it take?
About two and a half miles from home in Little Venice to my school, St George’s, Hanover Square in Mayfair. We take about 20 minutes.
What would you do to improve cycling near where you live and go to school?
I would make a small road for bicycles to be able to ride safe next to the cars.
Enrique and Athina (Parents)
Why do you choose to cycle?
It is a nice “start the day” activity. It provides fun, quality time together for my daughter and I. It also shows her that there are other, cleaner ways to do things.
What is your experience of cycling in Westminster?
It’s 100% dependent on your street knowledge. Like "The Knowledge” for cyclists. If you know which small streets to take, all works well, cycling between streets with little traffic, safe for the kids. But on streets with more traffic, many Londoners in vehicles still have to learn how to drive in an increasingly bicycle dense city.
What improvement would you make to the cycling provisions in Westminster?
Westminster has a number of cycling “firewalls”, streets with such volume & assertive traffic that it is risky for an adult (and impossible for a child) to ride on or make it across in the same relaxed way as cyclists do in Amsterdam. To make cycling a overarching success this will be a key challenge.
Also deeper capillarity of docking/locking places for bicycles. For example not having one in front of schools (my daughter’s a point in case) prevents many kids from being able to cycle to school.
What impact do you think improving cycle provisions in Westminster will have?
The spirit of Westminster would change. Fresher, healthier, happier people moving around, not cramped in constraining, hot spaces, but enjoying the city without clogging it with cars, will change the way we interact & work.
TFL Transport Commissioner
Part of the Mayor’s vision is to create ‘Healthy Streets’ which aim to reduce traffic, pollution and noise, resulting in more attractive, accessible and people-friendly streets. This will include a clear emphasis on making cycling easier and safer in London - we want to make London a by-word for cycling around the world.
Cycling is now a major mode of transport in London. Over 645,000 journeys are made every day by bike – equal to 20 per cent of all Tube trips. This is a 10 per cent increase since 2013, and over double the number of trips made in 2001. Much has been done – but there is more to do.
In central London, we want to complete a cycling grid to enable quick and convenient cycling trips around Zone One.
We are continuing our Cycle programme to introduce more segregated cycle tracks to London’s streets to help commuters. We will also open up more Quietways, providing an environment for new users to cycle with confidence and help people make the most of the city’s green, attractive places.
Encouraging more Londoners to cycle by making it safer and easier helps the whole city. It cleans up London’s toxic air pollution, improve our health, and helps reduce cars on our roads. We want to significantly reduce dangerous emissions to improve air quality for everyone.
Crucially, Central London should be a place for people, not traffic. We want to improve the environment, support local business growth and create better neighbourhoods for residents. Our partnership with Westminster County Council will deliver a transformation of Oxford Street and its surrounding district.
Grosvenor’s plans for cycling and public realm across Mayfair & Belgravia, two central neighbourhoods in the West End, help to bring us one step closer to realising our vision of ‘Healthy Streets’ right in very the heart of our city.