That is the question I ask myself when looking at any plans that councils, TfL or other group put forward. If my kids can’t cycle there (6 & 9) then it isn’t good enough.
Why? Yesterday, I saw a family with two kids cycling. They obviously wanted the kids to be active but had them cycling on the pavement while both parents looked around like scared squirrels, keeping an eye out for potential killers. This is not how it should be. It just ends with parents deciding that it is too much stress and they then take the car.
The other day our local councillor came knocking on my door (there’s an election soon), asking if there were any issues I would like to raise. Well, guess what? I do. LibDems, currently telling everyone on social media that they are the party for the environment. All well and good (and a huge amount of BS) but Sutton is the only London borough controlled by the LIbDems and has the highest car ownership in London. Thanks for that.
Cycling not included
The recent transformation project in Sutton, called “Sutton Gateway,” didn’t include any plans for cycling. The option is to use a shared path, which just cause conflict with pedestrians. The councillor did say that there had been new and improved cycle parking at the station but I don’t think that had anything to do with him, plus, my kids don’t commute into London. Don’t get me wrong, the parking is great for people that decide to bike and ride, but not much use for anyone else.
Even though you can cycle through the pedestrianised centre, there are no routes for cyclists to get to town, other than by road. No cycle lanes, no cycle paths, no chance my kids are going to do that.
The sound of thunder
Installing new cycle parking is great for people like me, people that already cycle everywhere. It’s no good for those that don’t feel confident. If you have to put up with this sort of thing, then it’s unlikely that mass cycling will ever take place
So next time someone says that cycling has provided for, stop and think. Would your sister, daughter, grandmother, son, brother, grandfather or cousin be able to use it?