Community groups across London will receive funding that will enable them to make walking and cycling more accessible for people living in the capital
Transport for London (TfL), in partnership with The London Marathon Charitable Trust, has announced the recipients of the 2020 Walking & Cycling Grants London (WCGL) programme.
Over 60 grants of up to £10,000 over three years have been made available to community projects across London to deliver programmes that address barriers to active travel among traditionally underrepresented groups.
TfL and the charity say that enabling more people to walk and cycle is more important than ever as capacity is reduced on public transport due to social distancing and also avoid a car-led recovery from the pandemic.
TfL received 128 applications this year, the highest number in the scheme’s five-year history. A record 68 community and not-for-profit groups have been selected for the 2020 programme.
This year, the scheme is jointly funded in partnership with The London Marathon Charitable Trust as part of a new five-year programme to inspire Londoners to cycle and walk, with many health benefits for individuals and communities.
TfL research shows that people felt better physically and mentally when they introduced just 20 minutes of walking and cycling per day into their lives, with benefits including an improved mood, feeling more alert and enjoying discovering new parts of London.
The London Marathon Charitable Trust, which distributes the surplus generated from all events organised by its trading company London Marathon Events, has awarded the scheme £2m over the five-year period as part of its Strategic Partnerships Grants programme, created in 2018 to support big regional projects that inspire activity.
Sir Rodney Walker, chairman of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, said: “This is the first year of the trust’s partnership with TfL’s Walking and Cycling Grants London scheme, and we have been very encouraged by the increased number of high-quality applications received. The trust’s mission is to inspire activity and there are some fantastic projects within this round of funding that will enable more people from underrepresented groups to participate in walking and cycling activities.”
The 2020 funded projects will receive £593,369 of joint funding over three years, including:
To mark the announcement of the grant winners, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan visited The Cut in Lambeth where through-traffic has been restricted to people walking and cycling. Physical changes to streets like this – combined with funding for schemes like WCGL – are helping to transform our city.
Sadiq Khan said: “It is more important than ever that we do all we can to enable Londoners of all ages and backgrounds to take up walking and cycling. Not only will this mean they can enjoy the huge benefits they bring, but it will also free up space on public transport for those who cannot walk and cycle which is more important than ever to reduce the risk of a car-based recovery and ensure there is space to socially distance on public transport. Community schemes like this, combined with physical road changes to reduce danger, play a huge role in giving more Londoners the confidence to walk and cycle.”
Since it began in 2015, TfL's walking and cycling grants have helped more than 180 projects across all 33 London boroughs – encouraging 41,000 participants to embrace walking and cycling. Now approaching its sixth year, initiatives include forest walks, bike maintenance, wildlife walks, 1-2-1 cycle training to help disabled children ride safely, and independently, bereavement walks and courses to teach basic cycle maintenance.
This year, TfL has also added a community ideas hub to the WCGL website, as a forum to share ideas and learnings from effective walking and cycling projects that can be replicated by other community groups.
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