Tower Hamlets shortlisted for Transport Awards

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The borough has been nominated for an award for its cycling initiative. Photo: Andy Huntley/Sustrans

Tower Hamlets has been shortlisted for two London Transport Awards, following its efforts involving cycling and partnership work.

The borough has been nominated in the cycling improvements category, for its collaboration with local NHS authorities and sustainable transport charity Sustrans on an initiative called “Bike It”

The project, in place since April 2009, was established to encourage more children to cycle to school.

Around the borough, schools have held classroom sessions and cycle training, as well as an array of bike-related activities such as virtual bike races, mapping bike rides, Dr.Bike surgeries, bike stunt shows and a bike fashion project.

James Scott, Tower Hamlets Sustrans Bike It Officer, has been working directly with 10 schools to encourage around 3,000 children to cycle to school. He said: “Sustrans is successfully changing travel behaviour by giving young people the opportunity to travel in ways that are fun, and benefit their health and the environment.”

The result has been a five-fold increase in the number of children from participating schools cycling on a daily basis. Arnhem Wharf, a primary school in the Millwall Docks area of the borough, saw one of the biggest increases, with numbers of children cycling to school every day rising from one to a hundred and four.

Councillor Abdal Ullah, Lead Member for Cleaner, Safer, Greener at Tower Hamlet Council, is delighted that the council has been shortlisted for the two awards.

“We know how important it is for our residents to be able to travel safely and easily in the borough and that is why we take the matter of transport very seriously,” he said.

“We’re pleased that our hard work in this area has been acknowledged and we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed in the run up to the award ceremony in March.”

The borough has also been shortlisted in the partnership of the year category, for its involvement in negotiations for an extension to the East London line.

The council formed part of the East London Line Group – a consortium of 13 London boroughs and a range of regeneration companies, including the Canary Wharf Group and the East London Business Alliance – who lobbied government to provide funding for the project.

The London Transport Awards take place on 4 March 2010 at the Novotel London West, and are organised by Transport Times Events.

The annual awards recognise excellence in transport, rewarding innovation and progress for transport initiatives. They acknowledge the work of London Boroughs, companies and organisations that have made a real difference to London.

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