Jenny Jones: London Assembly Member
More cycling has a massively positive impact on all aspects of life
Jenny is a politician who is particularly keen on cycling. Jenny has always cycled and grew up with cycling as part of her childhood; Jenny's dad cycled to work everyday of his working life. However, Jenny's commitment comes from a sustainable transport perspective, so she is keen to ensure that Mayor Boris Johnson delivers on cycling. Jenny has been outspokenly critical of the Mayor’s strategy on cycling and sustainable transport. Although Boris is a cyclist himself, Jenny feels that many important schemes that would produce a growth in cycling have been sidelined.
In particular, many projects planned for the outer London boroughs have been dropped which seems illogical to Jenny: "There is real scope to develop this area in the outer London boroughs as a lot of people do not want to use their cars. More cycling means a healthy population, more road space, more space on public transport and has a massively positive impact on all aspects of life. And more cycling makes it safer for everyone."
A committed cyclist and pedestrian, Jenny talks of the tyranny of motor cars. One thing that Jenny is proud of is how she brought up both her children to cycle and her grandchildren now cycle too. And what's more, they see it as a normal activity, not an oddity. Some of Jenny's best memories of cycling are when her children were young and they used to cycle at weekends as a family: "there was an element of cycling being associated with a treat."
Jenny speaks to a lot of people about cycling and she notes that particularly women can be put off by safety concerns. Jenny feels that along with bike theft these are two of the biggest barriers to cycling.
In her own experience of cycling, Jenny recognised that she became more risk adverse after the birth of her first child. However, she thinks that cycling can make mothers' lives easier; many women are still in lower paid jobs and it helps financially. It also frees up time that can be so precious.
Jenny was knocked off her bike by a car last year and although she broke her wrist and sustained some painful injuries she is back on a new lighter bike that her daughter purchased for her. Jenny acknowledges that the crash has caused her to have an edge of nervousness, but she continues to cycle and advocates the myriad of benefits associated with cycling.
To Jenny's mind, the more women you can get cycling, the more children will cycle and then you will really begin to get a modal shift in transport. There are several measures that Jenny feels would also help bring about this change: completion of the London Cycle Network plus; repealing the legislation that allows motorcycles into bus lanes; ensuring that motorcycles do not use advanced stop lines; targeting women's groups and rolling out cycling initiatives.
In the 2008 London Cycling Awards, Jenny Jones was awarded a special LCC 30th Birthday Award for Services to Cycling.