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New cycling strategy for Croydon

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A plan to get more people onto their bikes in Croydon over the next five years that is backed by over £20 million in council funding is due for approval next week.

More cycle routes, bike racks, public hire points and encouraging non-cyclists to get started are part of the council strategy being put forward for councillors’ approval at next Monday’s cabinet meeting. The strategy is designed to make bikes more available and convenient for residents, businesses and visitors, and get more people to choose the bike over the car for short journeys.

Croydon Council plans to spend £20 million on improving cycling and walking in the borough over the next few years, which includes three cycle highways on main routes, including from Croydon town centre towards Purley. Work is due to start next year on these cycle highways, which will have considerable lengths of separate or semi-separated cycle lanes and road markings, plus crossings at major junctions.

The five-year strategy includes:

• Feasibility studies on trialling a dockless bike hire scheme this year
• Cycle routes on less busy, residential streets, including from Thornton Heath to Croydon town centre
• Extra secure cycle parking for council tower block residents; over 200 secure spaces have already been installed in South Norwood, Waddon and Shrublands
• Promoting with local businesses the use of cargo bikes, which are funded via section 106 developer contributions
• More Brompton bicycle hire docks
• Promoting the take-up of electric bikes, especially among non-cyclists who are put off from navigating the borough’s steeper streets
• Requiring major commercial developments to include a cycle-friendly travel plan for staff
• Encouraging more council staff to cycle to work - around 190 do currently

Promoting the use of dockless, electric and cargo bikes is designed to attract people who might usually go by car and assume cycling is less convenient or expensive. Other proposals in the strategy that cover 2018/19 include £205,000 funding to help more schoolchildren to cycle and walk, £135,000 to provide cycle training and £10,000 so more people cycle for a healthier lifestyle.

Transport for London research shows Croydon has the highest potential of all the capital’s boroughs to increase the number of daily trips by bike – the figure stands at 6,000, with potential for up to 400,000.

Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “This strategy is the council’s plan to encourage many more people onto their bikes for work, leisure and their general wellbeing.

“As well as the council investing in facilities and infrastructure, this strategy will put in place lots of measures that make cycling easier, safer and more affordable for the individual, plus make our local environment less polluted and more enjoyable.”

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