Barnet councillors have been learning to get cycle confident and take to two wheels for World Car Free Day on Thursday 22 September.
• Councillors Simon Radford, Tim Roberts, Alison Moore and Giulia Innocenti (from left to right)
Councillors are also encouraging motorists to other forms of sustainable transport for the day, while raising awareness of the various benefits that active travel, such as cycling and walking, have to climate change, health, the air we breathe and the local economy.
Cllr Alan Schneiderman, Chair of the Environment and Climate Change committee, said: “We’ve declared a climate emergency in Barnet and have put sustainability at the heart of everything we do to ensure we become a net zero borough by 2042.
“We’re getting on our bikes because cycling, as well as walking, whenever possible means less harmful emissions from vehicles and better air quality.”
Around half of London’s air pollution is caused by road transport. Air pollution can reduce the length and quality of residents’ lives. About 240,000 children in London have asthma and around one-third of cases are linked to air pollution.
Cllr Dr Simon Radford, who sits on Barnet’s Environment and Climate Change Committee, said:
“Like lots of people, the idea of cycling more and driving less made total sense in theory: burn more calories, get fitter, fewer carbon emissions and beat the traffic! There was only one thing holding me back; having the confidence to make it happen.
“Once I saw the Barnet Council Cycle Confident scheme to get a free lesson – and get back on that saddle – I jumped at the chance. Now I’ve applied to get a bike through my work’s Cycle to Work scheme, after renting a bike for a few months to work out what I needed.
“I am so glad that I took advantage of the opportunity and would definitely recommend it to others.”
Barnet Council is committed to working together with local people, communities, and business across the borough, to become net zero carbon in Barnet by 2042, and for the council by 2030. To find out about the council’s cycling initiatives, or register your interest in the Cycle Confident Scheme visit: www.barnet.gov.uk/roads-and-pavements/cycling