Press Releases 2003

n e w s r e l e a s e

Date: 28/07/03 Release: immediate Number: 03/07

Bike appeal for local school

Greenwich Cyclists are calling on owners of unwanted bicycles to donate them to an exciting new project at Eltham Green School this autumn. The cycles are needed a part of a scheme to encourage cycling at the school, which has recently been designated a Sports College. Donated bicycles will be serviced and repaired before being handed to pupils participating in the free cycle training and sporting activities between September and March 2004.

The activities will be funded from an £11,289 grant awarded to Greenwich Cyclists by the Department for Transport. Awards have been made right across the country as part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to increase levels of cycling. The award to Greenwich Cyclists is by far the largest to any London group and the project at Eltham Green will be the biggest of it’s nature in the whole of London. It is a pilot, which could be used for other schools to improve cycle use and pupil fitness.

Hilary Samuels, Co-ordinator of Greenwich Cyclists, explained " The project will extend bike use, develop cycling and maintenance skills and encourage interest in cycling as a sport among the children. We will also be making efforts to involve parents and families. While some of the pupils will probably bring their own bikes, a set of thirty or so will be needed to ensure that every child has a chance to take part."

Anyone with a bike which they are willing to donate is asked to contact Pete Millbrook on 07947 415 870 to arrange collection. Bikes should be suitable for children aged 11 – 16 and preferably roadworthy. However Greenwich Cyclists will overhaul any bikes to make sure that they are safe.

Notes to editor
1. The project will be launched on National Car Free Day, September 22nd, with special events at the school. Cycle training will be provided by professional trainers, both during PE lessons and after school. It is hoped that some students taking a GCSE in PE will choose cycling as one of their skills. The funding is for activities taking place in the first two terms of the next academic year, but it is hoped to set the project up so that it can remain in the school curriculum.

2. Other elements of the scheme are expected to include:

3. Greenwich cyclists organise regular rides which can be found on their website at www.greenwichcyclists.org.uk

n e w s r e l e a s e

Date: 15/01/03 Release: immediate Number: 03/01

Green Chain plan: a missed opportunity?

Cyclists across South East London have branded long-term management plans for the Green Chain as ‘a missed opportunity’ and have urged councillors to intervene.

A 28 page consultation document, published by Greenwich Council, deals with the future of the network of paths and parks that runs between the Thames and Crystal Palace through the boroughs of Lewisham, Bexley and Bromley. Yet it fails to make even one mention of cycling, despite the fact that it includes many cycle routes and is extremely popular among leisure cyclists.

"The Green Chain is a tremendous asset to South East London," says Liz Delap, spokesperson for Greenwich Cyclists. "Properly managed, it would be ideal for an exciting network of family-friendly cycle routes that do not inconvenience pedestrians. Each of the Councils on the Green Chain say they will promote cycling, so they could do no better than to start than to provide safe off-road facilities in our parks. After all, where will all those children that got bikes for Christmas learn to ride?"

Greenwich Cyclists’ response to the consultation, entitled ‘An opportunity missed?’ argues that the failure to consider cycling is completely anomalous given that cycling is prioritised in each of the four Council’s transport policies, and is consistent with their policies to improve health, the environment and social exclusion. Cycling could also help the managers of the network to achieve their own objectives: the increased use of the Green Chain, a secure funding base for the network and preservation of the open spaces.

Greenwich Cyclists has sent its response, endorsed by the 9,000 member London Cycling campaign and local groups in Southwark and Lewisham, to Councillors overseeing the consultation. They have called for a major rethink on how cycling can be integrated and encouraged on the Green Chain.

Copies of the consultation response, entitled "An opportunity missed?" are available from www.greenwichcyclists.org.uk or phone 07905 889 005.


Note to editors
A copy of the report ‘An opportunity missed?’ is attached.

Copies of the SE London Green Chain Management Plan 2003 – 2008 are available from Greenwich Council. Further information about the Green Chain is at www.greenchain.com.

Media contact: Hilary Samuels 07929 722 973 or hilary_samuels@yahoo.co.uk
Greenwich Cyclists, c/o The Forum, 177 Trafalgar Road, Greenwich, London SE10 9EQ