Wilbury school pupils have been celebrating the installation of their new cycle and scooter parking. Joining the children to celebrate were Glyn Holt and Peter Willcox from Transition Town Letchworth, Cllr Martin Stears-Handscomb (NHDC Council Leader,) and Cllr Steve Jarvis (NHDC Executive member for Environment and Leisure). Wilbury School Head, Ms Atkins and PE teacher, Mr March are also shown with Elwen, Chris, Tylor, Alfie and Charlie from Wilbury School who cycled and scootered to school.
Wilbury is the tenth school to benefit from a project which has been jointly delivered by Transition Town Letchworth and North Hertfordshire District Council. The project has increased cycle and scooter parking at Letchworth schools by using S106 funds. These monies are legal obligations secured from developers to fund, amongst other things, the delivery of sustainable transport projects locally.
In addition to new facilities delivered in schools, cycle and scooter parking has also been installed at the guide hut, a scout hut, two churches halls, flats on the Jackman’s estate, the leisure centre and in the town centre. As a result of this project Letchworth now has 17 new cycle shelters, 3 refurbished cycle shelters, with parking stands for 406 bicycles and 205 scooters which are spread across the town.
Transition Town Letchworth Trustee, Julia Sonander explained that “it has been exciting to be involved in this project which will encourage cycling and scootering. When we started scoping the project many of the schools had insufficient capacity for bikes and scooters. Now these schools will have sufficient facilities to encourage more children to come to school on their bikes and scooters, rather than in their cars, which will be enjoyable for the children as well as being good for the planet and for children’s health. By working with more than one organisation at a time the equipment supplier, Shelter Expert, has been able to group installations and reduce some of their costs, allowing the town to maximise the benefits from this funding. It has also been great that waste has been minimised because our chosen contractor has been able to refurbish some existing shelters where the sheeting was cracked and damaged.”
Cycle parking and shelters have been installed at a number of community locations as well as schools and Transition Town Letchworth’s hope is this project will be the start of an ongoing working relationship with the District and County Council to help deliver significant increases in the use of sustainable transport. Cycling groups in the town have already joined with Transition Town Letchworth to develop a proposal for a cycle network for Letchworth.
Cllr Steve Jarvis, NHDC’s Executive Member for the Environment said: “The bike rack installation project has been successful in encouraging cyclists of all ages to use their bicycles more often. Cycling has many benefits to people’s fitness and by choosing to use a bike instead of a car for local journeys, residents are helping to fight the climate emergency. We are really pleased to have worked so closely with Transition Town Letchworth on the project and thank them for their hard work and commitment.”
Transition Town Letchworth are involved in a number of local projects aimed at repairing the climate which you can find out more about by joining them at their monthly group meetings.