TfL has awarded more than £400,000 of grants to 60 community and not-for-profit groups that encourage local people to walk and cycle more.
The winning projects target a range of traditionally underrepresented groups such as people with physical disabilities, refugees and asylum seekers, and children with Down’s Syndrome.
Walking and Cycling Grants London aims to encourage more people to walk and cycle, addressing the barriers that prevent people from getting active and helping to make London a more sustainable, inclusive and healthy city.
Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “There are so many benefits to walking and cycling from keeping fit to improving wellbeing and we want everyone in London to experience these benefits regardless of their age, ethnicity or physical or mental health.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the results of these inspirational projects, which are bound to encourage even more Londoners from diverse backgrounds to travel more actively around the capital.”
Cycling projects that have received funding this year include:
– StriderZ_n_RiderZ – The Hope of Childs Hill, Barnet: This project will run regular group walking and cycling sessions aimed the over 50s who may be prone to loneliness, particularly those from lower socio-economic groups.
– Dare to Ride – Wheels for Wellbeing, Lambeth, Southwark, Croydon, Lewisham: This project will empower disabled people who currently ride exclusively at their cycling sessions to gradually build up their stamina and confidence to participate in a cycling event, such as RideLondon. This follows seven disabled participants who took part in Freecycle, and a further five in RideLondon 19 last year.
– Cycling for Children with Coordination Difficulties – NHS, Haringey: Children with coordination difficulties, including dyspraxia and Down’s Syndrome, will be taught how to cycle in order to help overcome their high risk of being excluded from physical activity.
– Step by Step – Icycle, Hackney, Haringey: This project helps disabled children to cycle safely and independently through weekly 1:1 cycling sessions using adapted bikes, teaching them about road safety and how to maintain a bike.
– BikeWize – Trailnet CIC, Barking and Dagenham: Young people aged between 14 and 21 years old, will be taught the basics of bike maintenance through a series of courses, increasing their confidence and understanding of bicycles.
– Cycle Sisters Redbridge: Encouraging cycling among Muslim women by setting up a women-only cycle group offering led rides and cycle training
Liz Bull-Domican, fundraising officer, Wheels for Wellbeing, said: “Dare to Ride will encourage disabled people who currently attend our off-road inclusive cycling sessions to take up a new and exciting challenge.
“Through a comprehensive training programme, our participants will be able to experience the joy of cycling in parks and on roads whilst also building up their fitness and stamina.
“We will encourage them to partake in events such as RideLondon, with the ultimate aim of demonstrating to both disabled and non-disabled communities across London that cycling exists beyond the two-wheeled bicycle!’
Since it began, TfL’s Cycling Grants London programme has helped 120 projects encourage more than 18,000 people to participate in cycling projects in every borough across London.
TfL research shows that people felt better physically and mentally when they introduced just 20 minutes of walking and cycling per day into their lives, with benefits including an improved mood, feeling more alert and enjoying discovering new parts of London.