In a bid to improve cycling in the borough, Southwark Council has become the first London council to work with Dutch and Danish cycling experts in a council-wide commitment to the cause.
The council has held two days of workshops with international experts Mobycon and Copenhagenize Design Co, specialists in developing active transport communities across Europe and North America.
The Dutch and Danish companies hosted a two day cycling workshop this week, bringing together cycling stakeholders from the council and local community representatives including Southwark Cyclists, Living Streets and Dulwich Safe Routes. The sessions were also attended by members of Transport for London, Southwark’s development partners Lend Lease and Better Bankside Business Improvement District.
The workshops centred on planning, policy, design and marketing and education, with discussions ranging beyond just infrastructure and across council policy – such as via Southwark’s health and wellbeing agenda, economic prosperity programme and regeneration plans.
Councillor Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration, planning, and transport, said: “We were delighted to welcome experts from Denmark and the Netherlands to our borough to help us make Southwark a cycle friendly borough. We are committed to increasing cycling and at the same time making it safer. We are embarking on a long term project to make this happen, and the advice and guidance of some of the most renowned cycling experts in the world has really helped.
“The workshops have been a fantastic opportunity to galvanise ideas and really refresh our thinking about improving cycling in Southwark and building on our work so far. Southwark’s vision for cycling goes beyond transport, and is something that we plan to embed across the council. It spans all areas of council business which is why every cabinet member is committed to realising this vision. It’s going to be a long journey, but I’m confident that with our community partners and the support of our residents, we are on track to significanlty increase cycling and all the benefits that brings.”
Alistair Hanton from Southwark Cyclists, said: “It is exciting to discuss so many different angles on how we can make Southwark a better place for cyclists and by better I mean much for cycling and fewer causalities. Southwark Cyclists want to work with the borough to make this happen – we want a real partnership.”
Johan Diepens, Executive Director of MobyCon, said: “The benefits of cycling are immense. It is not just good for the environment; it also has profound social, health and economic benefits. We want to work with Southwark to bring bicycles to the forefront of urban planning and we are confident that the borough has the potential to flourish in this way.”
Mikael Colville Anderson from Copenhagenize Design Co, said “We think it’s visionary that Southwark is the first borough to work with continental experts to create a more liveable city by taking the bike more seriously as transport. The borough has great potential for modernisation regarding transportation.”