Counting on ….day 137

31st March 2022 

This May, 5th, London’s local councils will be up for re-election. It is important that our local councillors know which things actually matter to us. The London Cycling Campaign has created an email letter to send to candidates asking them to prioritise various cycling matters that will create greener and pleasanter neighbourhoods. Richmond Council is already instigating many of these proposals but there is always scope for more if councillors feel it is something g we really want.

Counting on…day 132

24th March 2022

Cycling is always easier of your cycle is well maintained: peddles, wheels and gears flow easily allow you to cycle further/ faster with less effort. You can book your cycle in for a routine servicing at a local bike shop or finding training opportunities so that you can become your own cycle mechanic. Richmond council is offering the following free workshop: The Cycle Maintenance Course at the Holy Trinity School Cycle Hub will take place on Wednesday 23 and Wednesday 30 March at 5pm. Both courses are completely free to attend.The event is being organised by the borough’s Healthy Streets Officer. To secure your place, please send an email to

Bikeworks also offers maintenance workshops at different levels

 Counting on ….day 131

23rd March 2022

Cars might seem essential for picking up shopping, delivering goods, or transporting children, but in reality there are many alternatives. Cargo bikes can just as easily fit the bill. Our local authority of Richmond upon Thames, has a hire scheme so residents can make use of cargo bikes for a minimal outlay – indeed the first two hours are free.

If we are going to achieve net zero carbon and save ourselves and the whole planet from a complete climate catastrophe, we need to make real changes to the way we live our lives. Schemes like this make it that but easier.

Counting on …day 130 

22nd March 2022

The days are getting longer and milder – a good time to get back to cycling if you have had a winter break or to take it up as a new venture. Cycling is good for us mentally and physically as well as being far better for the environment than using a car. There are many sorts of cycles including specially adapted ones for people with particular disabilities, as well as e-assist cycles for those with less strength. 

Counting on … day 84 

4th February 2022

As the evenings are getting lighter, maybe you feel encouraged to cycle more. Cycling is good for mental and physical health as well as the health of our local  environment. Recent changes to the Highway Code should make active travel (ie on foot or cycle) even safer with the concept of a hierarchy of care: larger/ faster/ heavier transport users have a responsibility of care towards more vulnerable/ slower users.  For a good guide to the new rules see the Sustrans

website – 

The Green Tau: issue 8, 18th July

Live Local: the Fifteen Minute City

People Street Como City Walk Friends Couple Road

Imagine living in a neighbourhood where everything one needed on a daily basis lay within a fifteen minute journey – on foot or cycle – of one’s home. A neighbourhood where you can safely walk or cycle to the shops, school, medical centre, park, gym, swimming pool, office, cafe, the pub. A neighbourhood with (largely) traffic free streets, where children can cycle safely and those with impaired mobility/ sight/ hearing can easily cross the road. A neighbourhood where you know your neighbour, the barista at the cafe, the coach at the gym. A neighbourhood where you know you are part of the community. 

How far can you walk in 15 minutes? 3/4 or even a full mile. 

And by cycle? – maybe 2 to 4 miles. 

Could you get much further by car? 

The average speed of traffic in London is around 7-8mph, suggesting one could travel 2 miles in quarter of an hour. But then one would have to find somewhere to park, so the distance you could travel by car might well be much less than 2 miles.

Imagine a whole city made up of such neighbourhoods and you have the Fifteen Minute City. This concept is being a  actively pursued in Paris by the mayor, Anne Hidalgo. Hidalgo proposes to have a cycle lane in every street and to remove 60,000 parking spaces for private cars whilst at the same time spending €1b per year for on greening both streets and school playgrounds. She has already added some 50km of cycle paths and banned high polluting vehicles. Similar projects are being trialed in Milan, Madrid, Seattle and Ottawa, whilst Melbourne and Edinburgh are pursuing twenty minute neighbourhoods. 

What are the benefits? 

Benefits social cohesion and community strength. 

Supports local business and enterprise.

Less time spent commuting. Fewer traffic jams.

Less air pollution. Reduced CO2 emissions.

Option to repurpose road space as green spaces. Greater biodiversity.

Improved levels of mobility for everyone. Better health.

Increased quality of life.

If you want to hear about the Fifteen Minute City from its creator, Carlos Moreno, tune into the following YouTube episode:-

Can we as individuals go some way to creating our own fifteen minute neighbourhood? We can choose to patronise local shops and businesses, use local leisure facilities and green spaces. We can choose to walk or cycle to each destination, and we can seek out routes that green and interesting – and perhaps discover paths we didn’t know existed! 

If we become accustomed to walking or cycling 15 minutes on a day to day basis, we will find we can transfer to a lifestyle that doesn’t need a private car. For those longer but less frequent journeys we can as easily walk to the station and take the train, or book a taxi or hire a car. If that becomes the norm just imagine the effect it will have on local neighbourhood and on carbon emissions.

This pictogram shows my 15 minute neighbourhood: why not have a go at drawing one centred on your home?