Hackney’s cycling conference returns on May 17 for a seventh consecutive year, with eight hours of talks, debates and freebies.
When “active travel is high on the political agenda” according to Hackney Council the event will focus on far more than just the act of cycling.
The first major cycling conference to be held after last week’s local elections, this year’s theme blends with the borough’s recent political action.
Based around “discussing the implications of recent electoral change for our streets”, the event advertises itself as “the perfect time for professionals, politicians, academics and campaigners to come together and discuss the [future of] our streets and neighbourhoods.”
Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville opened 2017’s conference with a number of plans and promises to improve cycling in the borough over the coming year.
With elections out of the way, and Glanville’s place in office once again secured, part of the upcoming conference will be dedicated to examining similar promises made on the recent campaign trail; such as plans to upgrade all Hackney crossing facilities to improve cycler safety, and provide “high-quality safe cycle routes” within 400m of every resident’s home.
Other discussion topics include in-depth analysis of new bike sharing technologies, propositions on how to turn Hackney’s busiest streets into cycle-friendly spaces, and “Cycle to the Lane”, a campaign encouraging Spurs fans to bike to their new grounds.
This year will also see the return of the well-received “bicycle valet service”, which debuted outside Hackney Town Hall last year.
While inside making the most of their £70 ticket, the first 50 cyclists to arrive will receive a complimentary “bicycle tune-up”, courtesy of Cyclehoop and Cycle Confident. These “VIPs” will leave the day with a warning to “ride carefully”, as their upgraded bikes “will go faster and stop quicker” than they are used to.
First 50 riders to arrive at Hackney Cycling Conference next week receive VIP Valet Parking and a free bike tune up!
— Greener Hackney (@greenerhackney) May 8, 2018
Cycling in Hackney is at an all-time high. According to the 2011 census, one in seven Hackney residents uses a bike as their main form of transport, over five times the East London average of approximately 3 per cent.
The upcoming conference is the next in a series of steps by the council to push this proportion even higher, recently offering two hours of free cycle training to all residents, and working to improve traffic flow on Cycle Superhighways.