Our Second Kidical Mass

On Sunday 25th September, we rode as a kidical mass for the second time in North Tyneside. Over 160 riders, of all ages on all kinds of cycles, rode from Monkseaton or North Shields, to meet, celebrate and send a message to our council, councillors and other decision makers.

Over 1300 riders joined kidical mass rides across the UK, as part of a Europe-wide weekend of campaiging rides. But our North Tyneside kidical mass ride was the biggest in England, despite many taking place in cities and urban areas with considerably larger populations than North Tyneside.

There is a real demand for decent, connected, safe infrastructures for family cycling in the borough, and we hope our decision makers are listening.

This was why we rode:

We’re here on this #KidicalMass to have fun, but also to deliver a message. To call for, make the case for safe cycling infrastructures for children and their families, to cycle to school, to nursery, to the playground, to friends and family, to sports and leisure activities, to the shops. For parents to feel confident to make these journeys by bike with their children, and for older children and young people to be able to make these journeys safely by themselves. To enable more families to go car-free more often.

We’re here to make it clear that there are many many families in North Tyneside who want to cycle for everyday journeys, that we’re not just a handful of idealists.

To cycle everyday, families need to be confident that cycling round the borough is safe; that journeys don’t routinely and regularly involve risks that might put us off cycling ourselves, or letting our children cycle without us.

And that means we need safe, decent, consistent, connected infrastructures that go where we need to go, not just skills and encouragement and leisure routes. And we need this delivered as quickly as possible; we need to see promised infrastructure delivered.

Thursday just gone, 22nd, was world car free day, a day to experience and imagine streets and public spaces without motor traffic. And we’re heading into the Climate Coalition’s Great Big Green Week, a “celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature”.

So this is a timely ride. Making the case for cycling – and wheeling and walking – as a huge part of the journey to net zero and to improving air quality, especially in the spaces where children cluster – schools, playgrounds etc.

This ride – together with yesterday’s ride in Newcastle – is also part of a big weekend of Kidical Mass rides across the UK, Europe and beyond, motivated not only by these urgent environmental questions but also by a desire to create space for children and young people, to let them claim their streets safely, to assure them that, as adults, we know they need space, safe space, to get around their towns and cities. These are their spaces too, and as adults our job is make sure they can have a say about the kinds of streets they want. Children and young people must be at the heart of North Tyneside’s plans for sustainable travel, better streets, and lively town centres.

Of course, children and young people are often more alert to the threats to our environment and our health from climate change, poor air quality, and car-dominated streets than adults, and certainly have the most to gain from us all taking these threats seriously now. As adults, we have a duty to listen, and act on behalf of our children and young people.

This ride is also about community and connection, about bringing together people of all ages who value our streets and public spaces for more than cars, who want streets full of life, which help people to connect to each other and to our closest environments.

And at a time when many of us are increasingly concerned about the cost of fuel and the cost of living, cycling as a family can be budget option, reducing our reliance on costly driving expenses.

All of these are at the heart of Street Life in North Tyneside, a new organisation emerging this weekend. Street Life in North Tyneside is focused on campaigning for safer, better streets in North Tyneside. We envision streets full of life, where people, not cars, are prioritised, where walking, cycling and wheeling are safer and easier for people of all ages and abilities, and where the street is a social space that enables residents of all ages to safely and pleasurably shop, connect, meet and play.

So, thank you again for coming, for being a part of this fabulous, hopeful event.

To sign up to support Street Life in North Tyneside, please click here. And please follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll share information about future Kidical Mass rides through those channels, and also on our Kidical Mass North Tyneside Facebook page.

Street Life in North Tyneside

1 thought on “Our Second Kidical Mass

  1. Anne Reply

    Thank you to Sandra Graham, our Cycling Champion, for joining us at the end of our ride to celebrate what was a wonderful event. Hoping we can talk more about ways to create infrastructure children and families can use in safety.

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