Police project for deaf children among the winners of the London Cycling Awards 2009
photos Belinda Sinclair Winners of the Best Project for Young People, the Regent’s Park Safer Parks Team
An innovative project run by the police teaching deaf children to cycle was one of the five winners in this year’s London Cycling Awards.
Other winners were a missing off-road bike link providing a connection from north London to St Pancras, a redesign of a dangerous road junction in Islington, an imaginative HGV driver-cyclist training scheme in Lambeth and a pioneering scheme that brought cycling to three Hackney housing estates.
The chair of judges Clare Neely said, “It’s a pleasure to see that not only is cycling soaring in London, but that the standard of and number of projects nominated for the London Cycling Awards is growing.”
LCC organises the awards to spread best practice across the capital and beyond. The London Cycling Awards were kindly supported in 2009 by Evans Cycles.
Best Cycling Initiative for Children or Young People
WINNER Metropolitan Police, Regent’s Park Safer Parks Team
PROJECT Blue Wheelers project at the Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children
This project is a great example of a group of police officers going beyond the call of duty to help pupils at a nearby school for deaf children learn cycling and road safety awareness.
Unlike most children at mainstream schools, some deaf children miss out on cycling because existing facilities do not always cope with their specific needs.
The officers, from the Regent’s Park team, showed sensitivity, taking time to meet and work with the children at the school, and dedication, by learning to sign as a means of communication.
The police team have also put to good use abandoned bikes that might otherwise have been thrown away. This project is supported by the Community Cycling Fund for London.
Best Community Cycling Initiative
WINNER STA Bikes
PROJECT Bikes on Estates project, Hackney
The STA Bikes team are at forefront of innovative community cycling projects. The Bike on Estates Project, based in Hackney, took cycling into three housing estates where cycling is not usually a popular activity.
One project worked primarily with mothers, many from ethnic minorities, through Saturday morning training and maintenance sessions. It included installation of bike parking and bike and bike loans.
A second project was for young people working on safety skills and bike repair.
The third project responded to a concern that some young people could be recruited into gangs and developed regular bike maintenance sessions at an adventure playground.
Participants in all projects ranged in age from 4 to 80 years old. Funding was provided by the Lottery Fund, the Community Cycling Fund for London and Hackney Safer Neighbourhoods. The scheme was praised for bringing to together so many local agencies in such as positive way.
Best Cycling Facility
JOINT WINNER London Borough of Camden (TfL funded)
PROJECT Agar Grove/Camley St link
Camden Council developed the Agar Grove/Camley Street link in response to long-term lobbying by the Camden Cycling Campaign as well as the council’s own ‘cycling tsar’ Paul Braithwaite. They were fortunate in securing Transport for London financial support for the scheme.
The cleverness of the design is that it handles a 5 metre drop from Agar Grove, a key cycle node in Camden, to the Camley Street connection to King’s Cross/St Pancras with a minimum of fuss.
One judge described the connection, as ‘a sudden arrival on a country lane with no motor traffic.’ Another enthused about all the connections the seemingly secret link completes including routes northwards to Islington, Haringey and Tufnell Park.
JOINT WINNER Hyder Consulting/Transport for London
PROJECT Redesign of the junction of Pentonville Road and Penton Rise
The second winner in the facility category, the junction of Pentonville Road and Penton Rise, was designed by consultancy Hyder with Transport for London.
It was praised by the judges for resolving problems at a difficult traffic junction on this busy main road in Islington.
By allocating more road space to buses, cycles and pedestrians the design reduces road danger and makes it easier to negotiate what used to be a challenging road crossing.
An LCC member supporting the design said, "It caters for different types of cyclist by providing an off-side lane and a toucan crossing."
The unusual ‘off-side’ bus and cycle lane enables cyclists to position themselves correctly for going straight down the bus lane in Pentonville Road
Best Workplace Cycling Initiative
WINNER London Borough of Lambeth
PROJECT HGV driver/cyclist awareness training
The cyclist and HGV driver awareness project is a unique workplace initiative in Lambeth. The project educates both HGV drives and cyclists in order to reduce the number of collisions on the roads.
Cyclists are invited to sit in a lorry and see the road from a driver’s perspective, while drivers are given a chance to see what it feels like to be a cyclist through discussion and a practical cycle training session. Both drivers and cyclists have praised the project.
One judge said. "It’s impressive that Lambeth has done this proactively – it needs to be duplicated in all other boroughs.”
Another noted the accompanying ‘road danger reduction strategy’ in Lambeth, which prioritises reducing danger to vulnerable road users.