The response to the Corona virus crisis is transforming the ways in which we move around our city. With government guidance encouraging more of us to cycle rather than use public transport it is vital that Westminster Council makes it easier for residents to have access to bikes. Westminster Labour are calling on the Council to expand the use of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to speed up the expansion of cycle hangars and Santander Cycles in the residential areas of Westminster.
Westminster Labour have been longstanding supporters of efforts to bring in cycle hangars in residential areas and have welcomed the council’s decision to expand their use beyond the initial pilot. These recent efforts to install 32 new hangars (5 installed pre-lockdown and 25 due for installation in the next month, as well as additional hangars on our Council Estates) are very welcome, but will not be sufficient in these unprecedented times as even before lockdown demand for cycle hanger space massively outstripped supply and bike use is now increasing dramatically. Westminster Labour is calling for a remaining round of 30 installations due in 2020/21 to brought forward and the number of hangars due to be installed this year to be dramatically increased to meet demand.
North Westminster, west of Maida Vale station and north of Westbourne Park station has no Santander Cycle docking stations at all, while demand outstrips supply for cycles in parts of Bayswater, Lancaster Gate, Little Venice and Pimlico. Westbourne Ward Councillors had requested the Council’s CIL funding pot to deliver a new docking station next to Westbourne Park tube (due to open after lockdown delays). The same now needs to happen across the rest of North Westminster to other suitable sites across the city where access is limited.
Westminster Labour Group Leader Cllr Adam Hug said “For people living in flats and where space is at a premium having access to safe cycle storage or the Santander hire scheme will be essential part of helping people who want to take the opportunity to switch to bikes as a result of the crisis. Westminster has substantial funding available in the Community Infrastructure Levy pot and should use more of it to help support cycling.”