Today I was proud to join children, parents and even some grandparents from around the area for the Kidical Mass bike ride.
Kidical Mass rides highlight the need for safer routes on which children can walk, scoot and cycle. I counted 80 adults and kids gathered at the meet up point near Kiki’s Kabin before commencing the 2 mile ride to Cullercoats. It was quite a unique experience to be riding alongside so many other people, and great fun. There was also a sense of safety in numbers, quite different from the lonely experience of cycling on roads dominated by motor vehicles. In fact, I was actually pleasantly surprised at how accommodating drivers were as we travelled the route.
As a local councillor I’m keen to encourage any local initiative that aims to make our community safer and cleaner. I also think its good to show young people that their voices matter, and that as adults we are willing to do things that support their growth and independence. Safer cycle routes are definitely one way that we as adults can improve local infrastructure for the next generation. That’s also why I’ve been very supportive of new cycle routes around North Tyneside being planned by the council. Some of these routes are ear-marked to run through our ward, which will be great.
The timing of the Kidical Mass ride was perfect, as just last week we received news that the council’s multi-million pound proposal to the Government’s “Active Travel Fund” has been successful. This means that the children who rode the route today will see it being significantly improved in the months ahead. I know from personal experience that campaigning on issues can take years before any progress is made, so I’m sure that when this fantastic group of young people see change happening quickly they’ll be really encouraged. I’m really pleased for them – they deserve it!
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