Ealing Council is offering active travel support to residents as we all look to boost our step counts and increase pedal power.
Whether it is to help lower carbon footprint or boost fitness, local people are choosing active travel options such as cycling, walking or scooting to get from A to B.
More than 20 schools across the borough have led the way by participating in the Big Pedal, a national challenge which pitted schools against each other to see how many journeys to and from school can be clocked up by bike, scooter or on foot.
Almost 50,000 active travel journeys were made by pupils, staff and parents in the borough and honourable mentions should go to Oaklands and Ravenor primaries, alongside Northolt High, who all finished in the top 60 schools in the country for participation.
Councillor Josh Blacker, member for healthy lives said: “Congratulations to all our schools participating in the Big Pedal Challenge. It is a great way of encouraging young people to walk and cycle as we look to increase the active travel journeys right across the borough.
“In the coming months we will be expanding our active travel programme where we will support more local schools with cycle and road safety training initiatives.
“The School Streets programme is now in place in some schools, helping create pedestrian and cycle-only zone at opening and closing times.
“DR BIKE cycle maintenance events and cycle training is available to local people to help them get started and more cycle lanes have been added across the borough, with many new segregated routes added during the pandemic.”
Cycle training and cycle maintenance is available through the regular Dr Bike sessions taking place at locations across the borough this summer. Further cycling training for adults and children is available alongside hiring of cargo and dockless bikes, and much more – including a Try Before You Bike scheme that allows you to hire a bike before deciding to buy it.
Local resident Karolina Malinowska explains how cycling has benefited her. She says: “I’ve definitely caught the cycling bug. I decided on Try Before You Bike because, having not cycled since childhood, I was not sure if commuting on a bike is for me.
“But I absolutely love it and can’t recommend this flexible service highly enough. My daughter loves cycling around in her seat that I ordered with the bike and we went on many fantastic days out last summer.”
Christine Goodson works for the Royal School of Nursing and has been working from home during the lockdowns. She wants to eventually be able to cycle to work, which is near Oxford Circus. She said: “It was 20 years since I last rode a bike and the thought of doing it again was a bit daunting, so Try Before You Bike meant I could really test out how cycling in London would feel without having to spend loads of money first. It turns out I love cycling.”
Cars and vans
From 25 October 2021, Transport for London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone is expanding from central London and will include some parts of the east of the borough, affecting cars and vans. Find out more at the TfL website.
People who want to cut down on their car or van use but still need one for some journeys could benefit from one of the borough’s car clubs. You can book for as little as an hour. There are also discounted rates, whole day hire or long-term hire.
A trial of e-scooters has started in the borough. From Monday (7 June) electric scooters will be available to hire in several London boroughs, including some parts of Ealing, as part of a London-wide rental e-scooter pilot delivered by Transport for London.
The trial will cover areas in Ealing and Acton to begin with and e-scooters will only be able to be ridden in these designated areas.