New bike parking places in London schools just hit the ten thousand mark with the installation of a new cycle park at Stepney Green Mathematics and Computing College, according to Transport for London.
Development of the school’s travel plan identified a strong desire on the part of students to be able to ride to school, leading to the installation of a secure, covered cycle park at the school with parking and locker facilities for 60 students.
Stepney Green is the latest of over 400 schools and colleges to benefit since the Mayor’s School Cycle Parking Programme was launched in 2004.
The creation of school bike parking has numerous advantages. “We want young people to get the cycling habit, so that they grow up thinking that it is just as much a regular part of London life as getting on the bus, or tube,” said Jenny Jones, the Mayor’s Green Transport Advisor.
Twenty percent of morning rush hour car journeys are school runs, but the development of school travel plans and subsequent adoption of alternatives is helping to reduce that. Schools with an approved travel plan have seen a seven percent reduction in car journeys. Seven percent of 20 percent doesn’t sound like much till you consider it’s the equivalent of two million fewer car journeys in 2006/07.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone has set a target for all London schools to have a travel plan by 2009. So far, 1,600 have done so, 53 percent of the city’s schools.
Currently, 35 per cent of school pupils in London travel to school by car. It’s estimated that when all schools have travel plans the resultant reduction in car use will be equivalent to 4.5 million car journeys a year.