Jagonari Cycles wins Award

Sustainable Transport Award for Jagonari Cycles! Community Project

Jagonari Cycles!, a project that is training local Bengali women in Tower Hamlets how to ride bikes, has won the best 'good going' event at Transport for London's Sustainable Transport Awards.

This project was launched in March 2005 and developed by the Jagonari Women’s Resource Centre and London Cycling Campaign’s Community Project.

It uses money provided by local LCC group Tower Hamlets Wheelers and a pool of bright orange Dutch-style bikes that were provided by the ‘good going’ campaign to offer free cycle training to women in the local community.

Other nominees in the best event category included a walking festival and a ‘Walk to Work’ project.

Lucy Davis, community cycling officer at London Cycling Campaign said: "Jagonari Cycles has made great use of the resources available to craft a cycling project that suits and is tailored to meet the needs of all involved."

Patrick Allcorn of TfL said: “The Jagonari Cycles! project has been successful in working towards sustainable travel awareness in a community often considered as’ hard to reach’ and uses practical demonstration to explore new transport options.”

Training has been underway since March with eight women trained so far and many more taking part in the regular Tuesday and Thursday training sessions.

The project initially aimed to get the members of the Jagonari Young Women’s Project cycling and then hoped they would encourage some of the older women to give it a try. To everyone’s delight and surprise it is in fact the matriarchs who are leading the way forward and the waiting list for training is growing.

Most of the women have decided they prefer to train in pairs and Cycle Training UK are now providing women trainers. The group rides will build the women’s confidence to use their new-found cycling skills.

BBC’s Radio 4 programme ‘The World Tonight’ covers this LCC-assisted cycling project for local women in Tower Hamlets.