Every year, LCC hands out campaigner awards to not just its own borough activists and groups, but to other organisations and those working across London to make our city and boroughs better for walking, cycling and wheeling. The awards this year are a testament to the changes being brought forward in an increasing number of boroughs taking bold action on climate emissions reduction and active travel. It would nigh on have been unthinkable a few years ago that some of these boroughs would be winning awards.
The winners were announced at a ‘lavish’ (or fun-packed at least) awards ceremony on 6 December and are as follows…
“For collaborating with other borough groups and reaching out beyond our groups to wider communities.”
The Wheelers, our LCC group in Tower Hamlets, have faced a tough last few months as the winning Aspire Party and Mayor Lutfur Rahman have sought to fulfil manifesto pledges to rip out schemes and roll back progress on active travel. The Wheelers have been pivotal in helping a broad coalition of community organisations respond to the evolving issues across the borough. We really hope 2023 is when Aspire move forward on reducing car use and enabling alternatives rather than back – but we know that whatever comes next, the Wheelers are standing firm for Tower Hamlets.
Haringey Cycling Campaign – for joint rides with other boroughs and for working with lots of other active travel groups in Haringey around Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) particularly.
Enfield Cycling Campaign – for reaching out to Haringey on a regular basis including on cross-border mentoring on LTNs, and as well as ongoing work in their own borough.
“For sustained relationship-building with officers & councillors”
For decades, Haringey Council has lagged behind other neighbouring boroughs on active travel delivery – but not any more. A new leadership team is moving forward schemes at an incredible pace right now having learnt from their neighbours. And our Haringey group has been championing their work, acting as a ‘critical friend’ and building links across the community, despite frequent vocal opposition. They’ve acted coherently and built bridges with councillors and officers.
Camden Cycling Campaign – for sustained relationship building leading to a council that arguably outpaces nearly all others, but without the opposition or noise.
Westminster Cycling Campaign – the Westminster group built the best relationship they could with the previous Conservative administration, but they persuaded the new council to take the Climate Safe Streets (CSS) pledge before the May elections and have been building a close, constructive relationship ever since.
Newham Cyclists – for shifting political hearts and minds in Newham to start delivering big schemes and in the Olympic Park too.
Hounslow Cycling – for building friendly and close relations with councillors, organising effectively and enabling their council to deliver big, bold changes.
H&F Cycling – for helping shift a previously sluggish administration into delivering at pace and with a unique but bold approach.
“For the group or individual working in imaginative ways to communicate the group’s aims, and boost community support for new schemes”
Steve has been making excellent videos to promote cycling in Islington and the new infrastructure there that makes it possible. His latest was the video for the Make the Lane protest near Old Street.
Brent Cycling Campaign – For their amazing images of the north circular and other locations produced using Beta Streets during the CSS campaign.
Haringey Cycling Campaign – for family bike rides calling for safer cycle infrastructure and working with other community social media accounts including @HappyHaringey, which gives a voice to residents who support new LTNs by telling their stories.
“For growing a group, recognising groups that have made dramatic improvements in the last year, whether that is group engagement and organisation to council”
Westminster Council has been one of the most consistently opposed to doing anything for cycling. So it’s been an uphill battle for campaigners there to keep the group going for many years. But several new active members over the last few years have made the group more dynamic and diverse. And as a result, an organised one-to-one ride with Westminster Labour leader Adam Hug before the May elections turned into a CSS pledge from the new leader and meetings since with the leader, cabinet and senior officers for the first time in history in this borough.
Redbridge Cycling Campaign – for vastly improving group vitality, with now twice-weekly rides for most of the year, and the start of constructive relationships with a council shifting (hopefully) towards delivering well on active travel.
“For the campaigner or group doing most to bring people physically into cycling and boosting joy – for rides, cycle buddies and/or group events.”
On top of his own job as a cycle instructor, David has not only organised popular rides for Better Streets for Enfield including joint rides with the Haringey equivalent, but given hours of his time to Londra Bisiklet Kulübü to help with their cycle lessons and rides, and volunteered as a ride leader all over London. You only have to think ‘I wish I could ride a bike!’ and suddenly David will be there at your side!
Ben House, Haringey Cycling Campaign – an excellent calm and friendly leader of Haringey Cycling Campaign. Not only teaches Haringey’s children how to ride a bike he also comes to all our events as Dr. Bike, Bike leader or First Aider. He dedicates a lot of time to the cause of cycling and without him many events would simply not be possible. Plus big family bike rides recently.
Ealing Cycling Campaign – Since 2011 the group has run (typically twice per year) a “Gears Without Tears” event at which attenders learn how to use gears to make riding easier: choosing a starting gear, changing down before stopping, going up hills and so on. Also “Looking After Your Bike” event to teach the simplest aspects to those who bought a bike during lockdown. And instigated first ever sunset ride to The Roebuck public house on Richmond Hill during Bike Week 2004 and has led a group ride there ever since, meeting riders led by numerous other LCC groups of west London. There’s real longevity of activity here and we like the way the events are so tied in with being able to ride, being able to enjoy riding, and enjoying riding in London.
Lewisham, Greenwich and Southwark Cyclists – collectively organised one of the most important CSS pre-election events: a three-way circular ride that followed a route through the three boroughs, all of whose councils need various prompts to go a step further. The ride was a great success logistically and politically with candidates joining in.
Wandsworth Cycling Campaign – for organising the Putney Family Fun Ride. This ride to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wimbledon and Putney Commons was delayed by lockdown. When it finally took place Fleur Anderson MP led the ride and 100+ cyclists of all ages joined the ride, and the ride has fostered good relations with the Conservators who manage the commons.
“For the campaigner or group that went above and beyond during our Climate Safe Streets campaign.”
We know how hard it is to achieve anything in some boroughs, and a change of administration in Harrow’s local elections risked making it more difficult. Katherine has nonetheless thrown herself into improving conditions for cycling, helping people to discover cycling and support them, and we know from elsewhere that showing latent demand really is one of the things that councils do eventually respond to. As our new Pathway approach highlights, raising the profile of a group to residents is vital when you’re struggling to get off square one. Katherine has helped make sure Harrow knows how positive cycling can be.
Marc Rothman, Westminster Cycling Campaign – As Westminster’s CSS champion, Marc helped the group secure pledges from party leaders, including from the Labour leader Adam Hug who went on to win the election. He and the group spent hours on social media, flyer design, handing out flyers. Marc in particular pulled together the CSS hustings, which all four party leaders attended. The group is very grateful he’s stayed on as Secretary!
“To celebrate an individual LCC member who has shown innovation, creativity or endurance in campaigning for cycling improvements in their area.”
Camden Cycling Campaign – Working at all levels, Jean & George tirelessly campaign (49 consultations in 2021 and 40 this year so far!), audited schemes and written detailed responses that are relied on by officers and have together developed numerous tools for data visualisation and junction expertise that are used by Camden Transport planners and others across London and available as resources for other local groups frequently.
Haringey Cycling Campaign – For her innovative and creative use of social media, bravery – and leopard print! in getting across the benefits of the new Bounds Green LTN in Haringey and encouraging council leaders to keep going. Despite some very unpleasant and personal opposition, Carla has always stayed positive, used her humour to great effect and never once given up.
We highly recommend watching Carla’s fantastic acceptance speech, about why we do what we do, and why we’ll never give up:
I was really honoured to be a joint winner of “Campaigner of the Year” award at the LCC this evening, along with Jean and George from Camden cycling campaign 🥳🥳
Here’s my speech- it was weirdly emotional!! Cycle campaigners I think you’ll feel me on why it can be!! … 1/6 pic.twitter.com/amTLUOnw0H
— Carla Francome (@carlafrancome) December 7, 2022
Jono Kenyon Hackney Cycling Campaign – Jono was one of a core group who transformed the Hackney group into the focused and effective force it is today and brought a whole council on a big journey to delivering at pace and on main roads.
Alex Raha, Lewisham Cyclists – from rapid action on the controversial and complex Lee Green LTN scheme to the elections and now into a hopefully new era, Alex has been a vital part of Lewisham Cyclists’ efforts to win political will.
Of course, as above, not all good campaigning comes from within LCC’s ranks – and we want to celebrate those on the active travel journey alongside us…
“Recognising the ambition and delivery of bold cycling schemes in last 12 months from councils and other delivery partners”
Joy Riders appeared in Waltham Forest as the mini-Holland schemes started rolling out – a group of women riders, drawn primarily from Muslim backgrounds at the beginning, tackling the additional barriers some women face to riding, with joy and laughter – and now rolling out branches across England.
Chisenhale Primary parents – when recently re-elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman stood on a manifesto to rip out LTNs, no one thought he’d apply the same retrogressive logic to School Streets. But when officers turned up to rip play equipment and parklets out of the Chisenhale Primary School Street, parents and kids were so incensed they rushed to turn out to physically protect the kit and street from such vandalism. Kids on barricades drew national news coverage and have put egg on Rahman’s face. The kit was eventually removed at 1 am on a cold morning. But Chisenhale kids’ example means Rahman and Aspire party know they’ve got a fight on their hands if they really want to make their borough worse for pollution, road danger and children.
Londra Bisiklet Kulübü – This incredible community initiative only started in 2019 and goes from strength to strength in serving London’s Turkish-speaking community and beyond. This year alone, LBK provided hours of cycle training, especially to women and children, set up a new bike loan scheme in Edmonton with the council, and organised bike maintenance events as well as bike rides. LBK received 168 bikes from a German bike company with the help of LCC, and this year donated more than 72 of them to low-income women, refugees and a range of community centres, schools and a hospital. A big shout out especially to LBK’s awesome women instructors, like Menekshe, Sibel and Belzigar!
“For the non-LCC campaigner who has done most alongside us.”
An award to Cllr Adam Harrison, the cabinet, and highways and design teams for the continuing rapid roll-out of cycling and related schemes including Healthy School Streets (6 in 2021, 24 in total, 12 new ones consulted in 2022); dangerous junctions (Holborn’s Southampton Row/Theobald’s Road complete, High Holborn/Procter Street designed, funded and in consultation; Grays Inn Road at Sidmouth and Guilford Streets, Agar Grove at St Pancras Way); banning parking within 10m of junctions (203 streets so far); cycle tracks (4km in 2022, 29 km total, including north of the borough via Haverstock Hill and 7 km made permanent, upgraded); routes through LTNs (C50 through Camden Square LTN; C6 extension through East Kentish Town and Savernake LTNs; Brunswick Square to Holborn through Red Lion Square LTN); Removal of motor traffic (Albert Place and Tottenham Court Road except buses, completion of West End project); Two east-west cross-Camden cycle routes (in early planning stage) and much more.
Delivering four major LTNs in as many months, Councillor Mike Hakata, Deputy Leader and cabinet member for Climate Action, Environment and Transport, has particularly been not just keeping colleagues on board, being a front face of the council with leader Peray Ahmet, but meeting residents face to face and engaging with humility, clarity and determination despite strong opposition.
“Recognizing a group from outside of the LCC network enabling a wider range of everyday cycling or active travel.”
We want to recognise Özgür for his superhuman efforts, along with the LBK team, to smash the barriers to cycling that so many women, children and minority groups face in London. Özgür is the driving force behind many of the LBK initiatives mentioned earlier. Özgür has also advocated for LTNs in the Turkish / Kurdish community and been published in a Turkish newspaper explaining the benefits. He has faced a lot of flak for this but we think he’s a hero!
Miss Omar – Auntie Kay started cycling in lockdown and she’s shared her inspiring personal experiences on twitter. From riding in London and to work (through a less friendly borough – we’re working on it) she found a Brompton cycling club and now explores outside London, on much longer rides, and now takes any excuse to explore wherever she goes. We have loved sharing her smiles over the last couple of years and look forward to many more.
Basil Clarke – his enduring and passionate support for active travel through his Palmers Green Community website. Basil is an excellent journalist who writes several well-researched, balanced articles a week, including on healthy streets schemes, and is a true ‘local hero’. He was also interviewed at short notice when the Evening Standard’s Ross Lydall visited the Fox Lane LTN in Enfield and wanted to interview a resident.
We’re absolutely gutted to be losing Suami from the LCC staff team – for now. Laidback first impressions are misleading – as Suami has not only been an absolutely pivotal team member during the fraught and fast-paced CSS campaign, recruiting new blood to many borough groups, but Suami has also emerged as a passionate, organised and effective advocate for active travel in his own right. A cycling instructor, a dad, a union organiser, a Kiddical Mass stalwart, a doer and go getter. Hopefully he’ll be back in at LCC before long – but whatever he does, we’re absolutely sure it’ll be great!
Hop on over to our Flickr page to view and download all the pictures from the awards!
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