The council’s road safety team has reported a huge upturn in requests for cycle training in recent weeks, and has been working closely with the St George’s Hospital NHS Trust to provide staff with free bikes and advice on maintaining them.
During normal times, the team runs a popular programme of free cycle training and Dr Bike cycle maintenance classes. Many people have asked for lessons so they can cycle to work rather than use public transport, and the team has promised to restart the programme as soon as it receives government guidance on social distancing and PPE requirements.
In the meantime it has been taking abandoned bikes that would otherwise be scrapped and bikes donated by members of the public, restored them and donated them to hospital staff, as well as mending their own bikes free of charge. So far 42 bikes have been handed out and the next maintenance session will be on June 11.
Instructors have also been helping with route guidance to enable people who are new to cycle safely navigate local roads, a service that they hope to also provide at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton.
The council has announced a package of measures to be rolled out over the coming weeks and months to support safe cycling and walking, including the potential closure of some roads, widening pavements and introducing ‘one way’ walking systems on others, improving cycling routes and installing pop-up cycle lanes.
If you would like to use the road safety team’s cycle route planning service, or have a bike you would like to donate, email firstname.lastname@example.org