A cycling expert from Copenhagen has visited Kirkstall Forge to tell a sell-out crowd that Leeds needs to take brave choices to change the way people travel.
Klaus Bondam, Danish Cyclists Federation CEO, highlighted how Copenhagen has ensured more people now commute by bike than car following decades of planning, investment and strong political leadership.
In Copenhagen almost 50% of all journeys made to work and study to/from Copenhagen are made by bike.
Klaus Bondam, the former Technical Mayor of Copenhagen, said:
“I cycled to Kirkstall Forge on the canal towpath from the city centre and see there is a fantastic opportunity as part of this, and the Temple developments, to create the best possible active sustainable mobility.
“It will not happen overnight. It takes a vision that many need to sign up to, but it is great to see CEG embracing that opportunity.”
Aisling Ramshaw from Kirkstall Forge developers CEG, said:
“At Kirkstall Forge we have embedded cycling, walking and rail transport at the heart of our development and we are constantly looking at the best examples from around the world to learn from.
“With a new railway station on the site, a cycle spa, bike hire, bike maintenance sessions and cycling and walking clubs we are already achieving a modal shift encouraging those who work here to choose more sustainable ways of getting to work.
“We now have even more ideas for how we can make Kirkstall Forge a low carbon and active travel destination.”
At Kirkstall Forge, CEG runs regular ‘Different by Design’ thought leadership events inviting renowned speakers from around the world to share their knowledge on topics including design, regeneration, sustainability and wellbeing.
All proceeds from last night’s event were donated to local cycling charity Wheels 4 Fun. This Leeds-based cycling group helps adults with physical disabilities to access bikes and cycling opportunities.
Now that the Evans cycle point at the city station has closed, we urgently need one or more convenient and secure cycle parks. Cycle racks do not offer either security or peace of mind for those who cycle into the city centre. In Leeds, nearly 1,500 bikes were stolen between January 2018 and January 2019. https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/crime/bicycle-thefts-in-leeds-the-13-riskiest-streets-to-park-your-bike-1-9688502
This is not the basis for creating a cycle friendly city. We need resources put into staffed premises with secure entry and racks – common place in many European cities. I am always relieved when I park my bike and return to find it still there. I have a reasonably good lock but very few are immune to modern cycle thieves with powerful cutting equipment etc. I’m sure the hive mind of Leeds cyclists and planners could come up with a cost-effective system that would pay for itself if it resulted in less car journeys and more cyclists in the city centre and other major suburban destinations. This is an issue for city planners and private companies alike if we are to encourage more cycle commuting as it seems Kirkstall Forge are doing to their credit. Remember we are a climate emergency aware city. Let’s do it!