We know we’re up against it news-wise this weekend, what with all the local election results today and the Coronation, but we’ve sent out a press release nonetheless, underlining our campaign calls and celebrating the joys of kidical mass.
North Tyneside children and their families and friends to take to the streets on Bank Holiday Monday 8th May to campaign for safe space for cycling and wheeling
Hundreds of children and their families will join young cyclists across the UK and around the world for North Tyneside’s third Kidical Mass ride on Bank Holiday Monday, as part of an international weekend of campaigning to make streets safer for everyone.
There are over 400 different international actions for child-friendly streets in May and around 20 Kidical Mass rides across the UK. Our North Tyneside ride is part of a growing international movement.
Kidical Mass rides comprise children and their parents, grandparents and other carers, and other adult supporters, who want to raise awareness of the barriers that families, and especially children, face when cycling in their everyday lives, and to advocate for change. They are fun rides, where there is safety in numbers, but they also play a crucial part in raise awareness of how difficult it can be for children and families to cycle, wheel and scoot for everyday journeys, to school, to friends, to the shops, and to sports and leisure activities, and make the case for child-friendly cycling infrastructure.
A survey by Sustrans in 2021 found that just 2% of 6-15 year olds travelled to school by bike, but 14% wanted to, and also that many UK school children are worried about the impact of motor vehicles on both climate change and air pollution. If we enable children to cycle – safely and enjoyably – when they’re growing up, chances are they’ll be more likely to cycle as adults. 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.
In the UK, that these rides take place during the Coronation weekend is fitting: the King’s call for people to make a difference in their communities is embodied in the hours of volunteering offered by ride organisers and marshals and the campaigns behind them, and in the participation of thousands of families trying to make their neighbourhoods, towns and cities safer for the wider community.
Hundreds of local families joined our previous two Kidical Mass rides, in May and September 2022, and we look forward to welcoming many riders of all ages and abilities on Monday.
Alison Stenning from Street Life in North Tyneside says; “Children and young people must be at the heart of North Tyneside’s plans for sustainable travel, better streets, and lively town centres.”
We call on North Tyneside Council, Transport North East, local MPs, and other local decision-makers to commit to:
- Prioritising routes to schools in the local cycling and walking infrastructure plan (LCWIP) and committing to delivering safe routes to all schools by September 2024;
- Establishing school streets outside every primary school in the borough by September 2025 (or introducing other extensive safety measures where a school street simply isn’t possible);
- Creating 4 low-traffic neighbourhoods in 2023 and 2024 and 10 by the end of 2025, with an initial focus on those neighbourhoods where pedestrian and cyclist KSIs are highest and those that would enable genuinely quiet routes to and through our towns.
The North Tyneside ride starts from two locations – in Monkseaton (Churchill Playing Fields) and North Shields (Albion Road) – at 2 o’clock on Monday 8th May, with all riders finishing on the seafront at Cullercoats.
More information can be found at: https://streetlifentyneside.org.uk/2023/03/04/kidical-mass-our-next-ride-is-on-8th-may-2023/
Press Contact – Alison Stenning (email@example.com).
Street Life in North Tyneside is an inclusive and independent organisation with one primary aim: campaigning for safer, better streets in North Tyneside (https://streetlifentyneside.org.uk/).
Kidical Mass rides in North Tyneside are funded by a North of Tyne Combined Authority crowdfunder and with support from Cycling UK.