Today it the start of the new financial year, so we decided to go through our campaign accounts and pick out some highlights from the last financial year! In no particular order, here are some things that we’re particularly pleased with:
We set up an Expert Panel on Inclusive Cycling. The panel members are stakeholders (trade and providers of sessions) in inclusive cycling from across the UK; and we hold quarterly meetings to discuss current issues, policy developments and the activities of the members. We hope that the panel will develop into being the go-to advisory group for all things to do with accessibility and cycling, but it’s still very much early days. However, we’re confident that the panel will be EPIC(!)
Disabled Cycling Activist Network (DCAN)
We’ve almost finished setting up another group, this time for all Disabled cyclists who are campaigning for better access to cycling around the country. We hope that DCAN will become a space for all Disabled cycling activists to get together, share ideas, and support each other, whether that’s to ask a local council to remove a single barrier or to lobby the government for funding for non-standard cycles! Watch this space for DCAN’s launch later this year!
Cycle Parking Training
We developed a training package for designers, urban planners, and local authorities on cycle parking, and how to ensure that cycle parking includes some fully accessible provision . So far the feedback on our training has been positive, so if your organisation, your local council, or someone else you know would benefit from a better understanding of accessible cycle parking, get in touch! (Rick@wheelsforwellbeing.org.uk) We were also pleased to help Queen Margaret’s University, Edinburgh, to develop a prototype accessible cycle stand, based on a design in our Guide to Inclusive Cycling.
Even More Training
Our training packages go beyond cycle parking: we’ve also developed courses on Disability and Equality, experiential inclusive cycling, and understanding the needs of Disabled cyclists. We are also developing training for local authorities who are taking part in the government’s pilot schemes on active travel on prescription and cycles as mobility aids. Again, if your organisation or an organisation you know would benefit from a deeper understanding of the benefits of and barriers to Disabled cycling, let us know!
Providing Evidence and Advice
We continue to have a nationwide reach by providing evidence at to national committees and organisations. We gave evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling and Walking for the development of their Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy 2, and we were pleased to find that many of our contributions were was included in the final report. We worked with the Department for Transport in the development of Active Travel England, e-cycle trial events, and cycling on prescription trial schemes. We hope to continue to work with local authorities trialling cycles as a mobility aid as part of the cycling on prescription trials (see section on training, above).
Work with other cycling campaigns
We’ve continued to work with other campaign groups to ensure that Disabled cyclists are included. You might have noticed our director, Isabelle Clement, in last year’s Bike is Best campaign – we’re really pleased that other cycling groups are continuing to make an effort to include a wide range of cyclists, as representation of Disabled cyclists is vital to awareness and access.
We set up a London consultation mailing list and page on our website, to try to ensure Disabled cyclists are heard when any changes are made to cycling and walking infrastructure in London. If you’re not on this mailing list and would like to be added, let us know! We’ve continued to respond to national consultations on public transport, highways regulations, and active travel, to try to keep access needs at the centre of any new or amended travel schemes.
Inclusive Cycle Hire
Our Wheels4Me cycle hire scheme launched in London in partnership with Bikeworks! It allows Disabled would-be cyclists to hire a non-standard cycle and find a cycle that works for them and fits in their everyday life, rather than simply cycling during inclusive cycling sessions. We are hoping that this becomes a model for hire schemes all around the country.
We conducted our annual survey into the experiences of Disabled cyclists, with additional questions on cycling during lockdown and an Easy Read version. Our report on the survey is nearly finished, so keep an eye out for its publication. In the coming months and years we will continue to develop our survey so that it represents the broadest range of Disabled cyclists and their experiences.
We hope that we’ll be able to build on all of these achievements in the coming year, and to increase the accessibility of cycling even further! Let us know if you’ve any particular highlights from the last year, or hopes for the coming one!