Cycling at school…
Over the past three months, Simon Wasser and Louise Gold have been running a series of events in local schools with the aim of getting more children into cycling. We ran launch assemblies and ‘Dr Bike Breakfast’ days in Marks Gate Infant and Junior Schools, the Warren School, Roding School and William Bellamy School. Every child who cycled to school received a free healthy breakfast and a free bike service. The enthusiasm was great at every event and children told us how they’d now like to cycle to school more often, which is great news – cycling is one of the best ways to wake up and get your heart pumping in the morning! What’s more, 96 children cycled to school for one of our events! That must be a record.
Building on this momentum, we have run bike exchanges and after-school clubs and organised ‘Bikebility’ cycle training for year 5 and 6 children, which has given them the skills and confidence to cycle safely on the roads.
This month we will be running BMX Take-Over days in the Warren School, where children will be taught BMX skills by Olympic-legacy coaches. This project aims to inspire young people and promote positive attitudes towards cycling. Who knows, we might just find Britain’s next Olympic star!
Cycling in our communities…
Marks Gate Women’s Club
After speaking to a number of women in Marks Gate about the lack of adult cycling opportunities in the area, we decided to set up a Women’s Bike Club. Demand has been off the charts! With support from the council, we bought a set of bikes and have been running Learn to Ride and road safety sessions every Tuesday morning for the past six weeks. So far we have worked with over 20 women and we are about to launch a second session on Thursday evenings.
Zenab Khan, one of the regular attendees, told us, ‘this is one of the most successful community projects Marks Gate has ever seen – it’s the talk of the town! And now my friends and I are organising our own bike rides!’
This summer holiday we will be organising family rides and picnics with the Women’s Club – contact us for more info!
If you would like to join the club, please contact Simon on 07810 481 625
This week DIY Streets Marks Gate was delighted to receive £3000 from the Big Local Grant Scheme to develop a Youth BMX Project, which will complement to the new bike track being constructed on Tantony Green. Along with a range of other community groups, we set up stall in the community centre and local residents voted for the projects they wanted to support.
The project plans to engage with young people in Marks Gate by providing regular BMX coaching and a local bike club they can take ownership of. This scheme aims to promote cycling skills, healthy lifestyles and positive social behaviour, whilst maximising the use of green space. We aim to launch the club during the summer holidays.
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted for the BMX project. Well done to all the other community groups who applied – there were many worthwhile causes! It made voting very difficult.
If you think your child might be interested in this project, please get in touch and we will keep you updated. Contact Simon on 07810 481 625.
Cycling in summer…
We will be running cycling and walking activities over the summer holidays. Please get in touch with Simon on 07810 481 625 if you are interested in getting involved or signing your kids up to a session.
Cycling and walking with better infrastructure…
The building works that are currently being carried out in Marks Gate are the result of extensive collaboration with residents in the area. The changes will make Marks Gate better to cycle and walk around, in turn making it a happier, safer and more attractive environment for people to live, work and play in. We believe communities and local economies thrive where there is a sense of place, which residents help to create. We appreciate everyone’s patience while we are building and look forward to celebrating the final results with you when it’s all finished.
As has been mentioned in previous blog posts, we have run over 60 DIY Streets community engagement events to find out what problems can be identified and solved for Marks Gate residents. We found 43.2% of you want to be able to meet family and friends or socialise in Marks Gate, while 25% of you want to be able to do this outdoors compared to 13% of you who already do. We therefore included seating and trees in our designs, to fulfill this requirement, while being careful not to locate seats where they may encourage ASB. 70% felt Anti-social behaviour is a problem in the area.We hope antisocial behaviour will decrease with an increase in a sense of pride in the area and positive use of the space encouraged.
74.5% of you felt the speed of traffic is a problem in the area, so we have used rasied tables, road narrowing at junctions and at the roundabout on Billett Road, and informal crossing points to slow people in cars. Parking was an important issue for residents and shopkeepers, so we have reorganised this to create inset bays along Rose Lane and Lawn Farm Grove. Hopefully this will discourage double parking and make it easier for pedestrains to cross the road. Two short stay bays will allow a freer flow of people driving to and from the shops in Rose Lane, and carefully located double yellow lines will ease congestion.
We will continue our work on the edible garden, and will be teaming up with the Urban Orchard project and Creative Cafe for more green fingered fun over summer! Get in touch with Louise on 07879 809 169 for info about community design, the current building work and the edible garden.