Summer of cycling

Photograph: two children cycle in a park; the younger girl has stabilisers on her bike.

We love cycling! Hands up who else has pulled their old bike out of the shed and brushed away the cobwebs? Maybe you’re more of an all-weather veteran cyclist, with a pristine set of wheels? Whatever your style, Islington council is working to improve cycling conditions throughout the borough.

Let’s get on it 

As well as getting more of us fit and healthy, there’s a big push to reduce carbon emissions in Islington, and make us a net zero carbon borough by 2030. So the more of us that get on our bikes, the better. Of course, there are a whole raft of actions that are needed, and you can find out more here: Climate emergency. 

How to get started on two wheels 

Here’s no better time than now… whenever you’re reading this. But fair weather is usually easier for most of us to take that first trip to the shops, or a leisurely ride out and about. 

The council has courses on offer for anyone who feels a little shaky or needs to brush up on road safety or learn bike maintenance skills: Bikeability and cycle skills.

There are also free repairs and maintenance clinics dotted around the borough, with Dr Bike: Dr Bike sessions – Islington Bikeability and cycle skills. 

Healthy wealthy and wise 

You don’t have to spend a fortune to reap the health benefits of cycling – but you’ll need to be sure that your bike is in good repair, and that you understand road safety. Try before you bike could be the ideal way to start. 

There are also cycle hire schemes and a choice of cycle shops, including reconditioned  second-hand bikes. 

What else is the council doing? 

The council has introduced people-friendly streets neighbourhoods, sometimes called low traffic neighbourhoods, to the borough. By installing inexpensive measures like bollards and smart cameras, they are creating more space for everyone to enjoy their neighbourhoods as they walk, wheel and cycle around. People Friendly Streets are better places for everyone. Find out more here: People friendly streets | Islington Council 

They are rolling out their School Streets programme and have introduced more school streets than any other London borough. 

Creating a healthy, safer and enjoyable transport network in the borough is also important so people can lead active lifestyles and take fewer car journeys in a bid to cut air pollution and congestion. That’s why the council has introduced permanent cycleway schemes like the new Finsbury Park to Highbury Fields, temporary cycle lanes and other improvements.

They are also working in partnership with Hackney and Tower Hamlets councils, to run the Zero Emissions Network. You may be able to take advantage of an e-bike trial or even apply for a workplace grant! More information here: Zero Emissions Network. 

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