Transport for London (TfL) has today announced that applications are open for more than £500,000 of grants for community and not-for-profit groups that encourage people to walk and cycle.
Walking and Cycling Grants London aims to address barriers to walking and cycling amongst traditionally underrepresented groups, helping to make London a more sustainable, inclusive and healthy city.
Previously known as Cycling Grants London, this year the programme has been expanded to include walking projects for the first time. Funding has been doubled to more than £500,000, with the number of grants available also doubling from 30 to 60. This means more Londoners can benefit from the scheme, and TfL has said it hopes to award funding to at least one project in every London borough.
Each community project can apply for funding of up to £10,000 over three years through the programme, which is delivered by Groundwork London. Current and previous initiatives include cycle training, guided rides and courses teaching basic cycle maintenance. Possible future projects may include guided walks, which encourage people to get active.
Cycling projects that received funding in the previous round for 2019 include:
– Breaking A Cycle project: Run by the Single Homeless Project, this scheme is engaging more than 120 homeless people in cycling activities
– Hospital Cycling: Led by Access Sport, this project is running cycling courses for women at two London hospitals, in order to teach them cycling skills, increase their confidence and allow them to become cycling ambassadors for the hospitals
– Biking with Badu: This project, run by Badu Community CIC, is delivering cycling workshops for young people and their families, from deprived communities, allowing them to become confident cyclists and lead cyclists for groups
– Venders’ Mechanics: This project is delivering a unique training programme for young offenders and those at risk of offending, including bike maintenance skills. Graduates from the course have the opportunity to work for the scheme as mobile mechanics
– Wheely Tots: Family Fit: The programme runs sessions for 50 families to encourage cycling in under-represented groups. Wheely Tots also offers a mobile fitting service, with a cargo bike and trailer for people to try
– Cycle Play-Road Show: Led by Stars ‘n’ Stripes, this project provides a pop-up cycle playground aimed at families and caters for all ages. These are themed around road awareness and how to stay safe on the road, but can also be used as an assault course for more advanced cyclists, team building or fun
– Wheels for Wellbeing: This project focuses on inclusive cycling sessions for Syrian refugee families in Lewisham, giving them a safe space to exercise together
– Bromley Disability Cycling: Bromley Mencap provides training sessions for people with learning and communication disabilities and their families, to improve their physical, mental and social health and wellbeing
Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, said: “I’m delighted that walking projects can now also benefit from our expanded grants, and I’m proud that we’ve doubled the funding available.
“By showing Londoners that walking and cycling are convenient, easy and fun ways to get around, we can improve their health and quality of life, as well as reducing toxic air pollution – improving our city for everyone.”
As part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, the Mayor has set a target to increase the proportion of people walking, cycling and taking public transport to 80% of journeys by 2041, compared to 64% now.
Miranda Leedham, head of customer marketing and behaviour change at TfL, said: “We’re pleased to be expanding this programme, which is targeting the barriers that can put people off getting active.
“We’ve seen more than 120 projects benefit from our Cycle Grants funding over the years and are looking forward to seeing even more Londoners of all ages and backgrounds get active with our increased funding.”
TfL’s Cycling Grants London programme has helped 120 projects encourage more than 16,000 people to cycle. It has helped contribute to the biggest increase in the amount of cycling in London since records began, with a daily average of four million kilometres cycled in 2018. This is 5% higher than in 2017.