Walking and cycling charity Sustrans has been shortlisted for two Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) awards.
The shortlisted project in the Healthy Transport category is Chrisp Street Community Cycle Hub, Tower Hamlets. Ripple Greenway linear park in Barking is shortlisted in the Creating Better Places category.
Also shortlisted was Transport for London’s School Streets roll out. Through the Healthy Streets Officers programme, Sustrans has supported the delivery of over half of the School Streets implemented in London, setting up 225 School Streets with 91 others in the pipeline. School Streets are making the streets safer and cleaner for thousands of children every day.
The Chrisp Street cycle hub was set up by Sustrans in partnership with housing association Poplar HARCA and environmental campaign group, Hubbub. It operates out of Chrisp Street Market, Poplar, in the east London borough of Tower Hamlets.
Sustrans’ vision for Chrisp Street Community Cycle Hub was to create a safe and encouraging environment for people who are least represented in cycling. Most of the people using the hub are women from ethnic minorities and their families. It provides them with everything they need to start cycling for leisure as well as transport. Sociable group cycle training sessions, the opportunity to borrow a cycle for free and basic cycle maintenance are available.
The development of the hub was a response to the barriers that many women in the area spoke to Sustrans about. These included safety concerns, insufficient female cycling trainers, lack of secure cycle parking, cycling not being a cultural norm for some women, cost of access to cycles and lack of experience cycling
Sustrans worked with local people on what the hub offered to make sure it met their needs, for example, employing women from the area to show how cycling is possible for them, and using their networks to gather more participants.
Hub user Nazum Khan said: “I feel my self-confidence is increasing every time I come to a session… I felt like I was flying when we cycled along the Thames, it was amazing.”
Poplar HARCA said: “We have been impressed with Sustrans skills for supporting behaviour change, their local knowledge and passion for Tower Hamlets and their grasp of the bigger picture in terms of national policy. Sustrans has delivered cycle training for our residents, organised numerous play streets, implemented a school street on one of our estates and supported a wide range of active travel campaigns. We’ve also partnered with Sustrans to apply for grants to fund a bike library in a local primary school and to start our community cycling hub.
“The Chrisp Street cycle Hub has been hugely successful in reaching our often under represented communities and supporting hundreds of people to make the transition to cycling a main mode of transport. This would not have been possible without the excellent Sustrans delivery team who were on the ground engaging the community and leading the skills sessions. Their experience of designing and delivering cycle skills programmes has been key to the hub’s success. Participants consistently tell us that it’s down to the safe, welcoming and nurturing environment, created by Sustrans, which enables them to begin their journey to cycling more.”
Creating Better Places – Ripple Greenway
Sustrans transformed an underused and, to many, an unsafe place, into a beautiful, welcoming linear park. Sustrans worked with the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham and other organisations including the Greater London Authority, local schools, Trees for Cities as well as residents and community groups.
Ripple Greenway is a 1.3km green route to school and work for thousands of people in Barking. It is a safer and healthier alternative route to the busy and polluted Thames Road nearby. The Ripple Greenaway also provides a green link between the existing communities and the newer communities in the emerging Barking and Riverside housing development.
Sustrans worked with Trees for Cites and residents to plant hundreds of trees, design a natural ‘play on the way’ trail, deliver lighting, install seating and commission six corten steel artworks with nature writer Robert Macfarlane and sculptor, Katy Hallett.
Local resident, Quincy, said: I’ve lived next to this place for 12 years and I never used to come down here – there was no path and it didn’t feel safe. Kind of amazing how something so simple can make such a big difference. Everyone comes here now – families, runners, cyclists. I come here to work out. You’ve brought this place to life.”
Sustrans London director James Cleeton said: “We are proud and thrilled to be shortlisted for two CIHT awards. We’re the charity that makes it easier for people to walk, cycle and wheel. Central to this vision is creating beautiful and engaging public spaces for people to enjoy and feel comfortable in. Chrisp Street Community Cycle Hub is a safe and sociable space offering all the tools that people need to make a positive change to using a cycle as an enjoyable way to get around. And transforming Ripple Greenway so it’s a stunning park to everyone’ benefit, encourages people to get out and walk or cycle in their day.
“Huge thanks go to the many partners we have worked with on these projects. It’s with them that the quality and aspiration of these projects becomes possible.”