Cycling Visionaries Awards – Project Details

Bike Train

Bike Train

Bike Train supports people to cycle – especiallly those nervous on busy roads – by organising ‘safety-in-numbers’ rides. Each ride creates a friendly, sociable & assertive presence by enabling participants to cycle side-by-side, taking up a lane of road space. Every ride carries a sound system playing up-beat tunes and is clearly signposted with a large red triangle ‘Bike Train!’ sign at the rear

Bike Train has organised over 1,000 group rides in Brighton since it started in 2010. We run daily rides from central Brighton to 4 university sites on the edge of the city. We also run larger, family- friendly rides to special events like local football matches and festivals. During the 3-years of the project, about 1,000 people have participated. Our largest rides have involved 200 cycling the 7 miles from Brighton to Lewes (and back) for the annual Bonfire Night firework display.

Bike Train welcomes anyone and everyone. It aims to increase participation in cycling by making cycling more fun, sociable and high visibility. It helps people who are nervous about cycling to feel supported and to increase their confidence. For onlookers – pedestrians, bus passengers and motorists – it creates a spectacle of many people cycling together , exuding confidence and fun. A vision of a low-carbon future. It has been an effective way of getting cycling in the local press and getting people talking about cycling and how we use our road space.

We have also run rides for children and young people along busy roads to local primary and secondary schools.

The project was started by the Lewes Road for Clean Air (LR4CA) community group, as one positive way of encouraging a shift from motor traffic to a cleaner more sustainable alternatives.

Bike Train has over 400 members on Facebook and is supported by many other local cyclists, and non-cyclists alike. In 2011 Bike Train and Lewes Road for Clean Air were invited by the City Council to participate in a £4.2 million programme to redesign the A270 Lewes Road to make it safer and more attractive to cyclists. Work on the road is now under way and is due for completion in December 2013.

Bike Train therefore has worked both at a practical day-to-day level as well as at a campaigning level, to bring about permanent improvements of cycling conditions.

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Duncan Blinkhorn

Brighton, United Kingdom

Category: Advocacy and Social Projects

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