Local people in Southall are now benefiting from free bikes, regular cycling training and maintenance thanks to a pioneering initiative launched by Ealing Council and Sport England.
Let’s Ride Southall offers group riding sessions seven days a week for local residents of all abilities who want to get a bit more confident and active through cycling. It is also providing an astonishing 1,000 free bikes to participants who want to get involved.
It is all part of a key commitment by the council to expand opportunities for active travel to people in all parts of the borough.
Councillor Josh Blacker, cabinet member for healthy lives, explains: “Active travel is so important whether that is to support active and healthy lifestyles, help fight the climate crisis or to improve air quality.
“Ensuring that people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities are given opportunities and support to take part in walking, scooting and cycling is vital to do this.
“In the past, Southall might not have had the attention it deserved but, now, we are putting that right with a range of new activities and investment in the local community.
“Let’s Ride Southall is a first-of-its-kind initiative for London and by providing an amazing 1,000 bikes for participating residents free-of-charge, we are ensuring everyone in the local area who wants to get more confident and experienced on two wheels can do just that.
“We are fast-tracking an ambitious active travel programme, not just in Southall, but across the length and breadth of the borough with £10million of investment in everything from new cycle lanes, school streets and bike hangers – to revamped canal towpaths and road and pathway repairs.”
There are also opportunities for qualified cycle instructors and mechanics to get involved in Let’s Ride Southall. Get in touch via email or telephone 079 7198 8910 for further details.
Regular DR BIKE maintenance sessions take place across locations in the borough, providing basic cycle maintenance and handy tips, with trained mechanics on-hand to carry out minor repairs on the spot. There are sessions taking place in Southall on the last Saturday of each month.
‘Supporting local people to make lasting changes’
1,000 free bikes and regular training sessions are just one part of the wider Let’s Go Southall programme. The huge new initiative is uniting community groups, businesses, faith groups, charities and volunteers, to offer wide-ranging support for Southall residents who want to be more physically active.
The first part of the programme has seen four free, state-of-the art outdoor gyms up and running as well as the launch of the Southall Grand Union Canal Wellbeing Way – a project to transform local towpaths and walkways to make them safer and easier for people to travel on foot and by bike.
Councillor Jasbir Anand, cabinet member for thriving communities said: “Let’s Go Southall is helping residents here to stay healthy, take part in active travel, and make the most of their parks and green spaces.
“I know just how strong the sense of community is here in Southall, and that is why we are prioritising and supporting local people to make lasting changes to their lifestyles through a support network and meaningful, personal connections.
“The programme is not about simply providing new facilities or services. It is designed to empower Southall residents by providing skills, knowledge and resources – to make a lasting change, based on their priorities and needs.”
- A new gym designed for use by local women has been opened at Dormers Wells Leisure in Southall, ensuring that female members of the community have access to high-quality, safe and convenient facilities to exercise and keep physically active.
- A new Travel in Ealing Charter was launched last month, setting out how the council will work with residents to improve local transport projects.