EPISODE 7 – Virtual Velo-city 2019

Laura Laker interviewed Greater Manchester’s walking and cycling commissioner Chris Boardman.

Carlton Reid chatted with Maud de Vries of BYCS and Amsterdam’s cycling program manager David Gelauff, and also Councillor Clyde Loakes of Waltham Forest.



Laura Laker 0:00
This podcast series is sponsored by the Dutch Cycling Embassy a public private network for sustainable bicycle inclusive mobiluty. To learn more about the global mission of cycling for everyone, visit their website at Dutchcycling.nl and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Carlton Reid 0:24
Hi there. I’m Carlton Reid. And you’re listening to episode seven of the Virtual Velo-city podcast written recorded in June from the Velo-city conference held in Dublin. I was at the show with Laura Laker. And here we are with our intro for the show that initially went out only to our Kickstarter backers, but is now available to you for free, thanks to support from the Dutch Cycling Embassy.

Laura Laker 0:53
Hi, I’m Laura Laker. And on this show, I spent some time with Chris Boardman. We talked about whether this link between sport and everyday cycling.

Carlton Reid 1:01
And from one inspirational guru to another. I spoke with Councillor Clyde Loakes. He’s got such a positive outlook on life he wants to change people’s lives for the better. All politicians say that of course. But the transformation of his neck of the woods into a people friendly borough –. got to love the corporate slogan of “Enjoy Waltham Forest” is making it a reality. Bicycles as the narrative? Nope, birdsong. We’re hear again from Maud de Vries of BYCS. And she was in the conversation with Amsterdam’s cycling programme manager, David Gelauff.

I had to give Laura that. Laura does all the pronunciations that David Girl-off as far as I’m concerned.

Laura Laker 1:50
David, hello. I think that’s right. I mean, if I’ve got it wrong, that poor Dave is going to be loud.

Carlton Reid 1:58
try David. I don’t know David.

Laura Laker 2:00
And that’s also confusing. Oh, yeah, saying, I don’t know. I can’t remember if I remember his pronunciation of his first name, because I think from the recording it was. I remember that lead. And then I had been calling David. I think he takes both. Yeah, I called him David. I’m sure he’d come up with something. We got away with it. Yeah, but Debbie.

Okay, hello. Yeah, hello, from it’s actually

the Dutch do two G’s. Yeah. It’s a very easy language. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, naughty Dutch people. Yeah, so using us multi lingual, not rich. mano Ling do speak up speak a bit German. But

yeah, yeah, but he had sweltering here in Dublin, sweltering hot, 44.5,

Unknown Speaker 2:54
whatever, in France hottest ever, and there’s no real linkage between inside parts of the mass media. It’s just always lovely hot weather, because that’s climate change. Come on, how much more evidence do we need? We need? Like,

Laura Laker 3:08
it’s like, in fact,

Carlton Reid 3:09
that’s that’s a good link, even though I didn’t know that was a link in that. We talked about this in the cloud looks interview. I’m sure you talked about it in in the Chris Boardman interview. There is a plethora of evidence. We don’t need more evidence on cycling, no. Ditto for climate change. The evidence is there. What we’re missing is the narrative the storey the evidence is just incontrovertible. It’s how do you get message of cycling and climate change out to people who don’t want to be part of that story? Yeah, for whatever reason? Yeah, that’s, that’s one of the key things that I’ve picked up from here is we’ve got to have a stronger narrative.

Laura Laker 3:50
I think sometimes people know, it’s like, what Rachel [Aldred] was saying the other day, people kind of know that cars, for example, cause congestion and pollution. And

But they don’t necessarily relate that to a need to restrict car traffic. And I think it’s the same problem with climate change. People largely believe that it’s real. And but then are either too afraid to do anything about it, they don’t want to. They don’t want to have their lives kind of impacted. Oh, they see it, they change anything that their lives are going to be negatively impacted. Of course, we’d have much time to change.

Carlton Reid 4:25
So we do the same for cycling if we don’t get people cycling in the next 10 years. Yes, that’s it for the planet. Yeah, well, yeah. Gotta get people on bikes. Cycling is a part of it. It’s like some other bicycle man from Bank Bengaluru, was saying that, you know, Cycling is a small part of it, but it is a part. And

Unknown Speaker 4:44
yeah, absolutely. That’s how I our nice, yeah.

Carlton Reid 4:47
Or niche. Oh, nice. So our American backers. Yeah. We haven’t been in America and you’ve got to write. You gotta go. You gotta get the link. I’m multilingual. I can speak American. Yes.

color. Know you. I can speak American. Okay, so let’s get into today’s show.

Laura Laker 5:07
Chris Boardman has been talking about the switch from or the link between sport and everyday cycling.

Unknown Speaker 5:15
Those of you listening?

Laura Laker 5:19
What were you talking about?

Chris Boardman 5:21
Yeah. which some people would say there is no link? Why we conflating school and commuter cycling? What do you say? As a very good question, because I like stats and numbers and data.

At the moment, they’re not linked. They’re not linked unless you make them. So we know that we’ve had unprecedented success of the last 10 years in sports or cycling. In the UK, we have static 1.7% of people using a bike for utility reasons. So we haven’t made that link. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t. So I mentioned during that session that in the Tour de France in 2013

15 minutes in exact, and we had the opportunity to put everyday cycling normal clothes normal things in front of a huge audience primetime for four minutes, and paint a picture where people went, well, that’s really nice. I’d like to live in a place like that.

And so that’s the kind of opportunity it gives us. And on the experience from people to sporty and wide, London, 35,000, people now can go and ride the same course of the Pro, so you sort of bridging the gap to sport. And then the day before, families go and ride around a small circuit, eight kilometres or 50,000 of them. So it can be used, but you’ve got to work at it.

Laura Laker 6:37
Yeah. So it’s about creating a platform using sports

Chris Boardman 6:40
spectacle easy to use, but they’re not linked unless you want to make them it’s not, they’re not natural links, just because you use a bicycle. That’s a sporting event, and a spectacle. And that’s a way to get to work. And they might use the same device. And there is overlap. But they’re not the same thing. And nor do they need to be.

Laura Laker 6:56
Yeah. And I was wondering, well, you mentioned tourism following the Tour de Yorkshire and the enormous boom that they’ve had in cycling there. And I guess one thing I was speaking to people about recently for an article was the fact that then the tourists who are attracted to the road local roads then have to deal with the road conditions, which include driver behaviour. And so potentially, then there’s an impetus for local authorities to start dealing with something that’s potentially holding tourism back.

Chris Boardman 7:24
Yeah, pressure, an incentive to change comes in different guises. So you mentioned what it did for the region. So 98 million pound boost to the local economy. So it takes an awful lot of people’s boxes. And then when you get conflict, because there’s more cyclists on the road, then there’s pressure to change how you’re using the road. So it gives you that the sport can act as a catalyst to make all of these things happen to bring them together and a reason to change. But you have got to work at it.

Laura Laker 7:53
Yeah. And then you’ve got these wonderful ambassadors for everyday walking in cycling now, thanks to British cycling, and and they’re now being deployed across cities and regions. They got named Sarah storey, and you’ve got yourself you’ve got Shanaze Reader, and and and they have a platform already that they can then use for everyday cycling.

Chris Boardman 8:14
Yeah, I think one thing I didn’t say during the top just now is the the Banshee of your life, the Olympic gold medals and stuff. It gets your foot in the door, because you’re a novelty, and it’s a bit unusual. And so people will stop and listen. But then it depends what you’ve got to say. So it could fall flat very quickly, if not us well. So you mentioned Dame Sarah storey, she took the time to understand the topic focused in as a parent and said, those are the things that I think are important. Also, the disability groups, which has a lot of empathy with this, right, they need a lot of these people need more time to cross the road. So I’m going to make that focus. And it needs to be more than just an ambassador in the way that we now think of it, which is basically means you turn up and smile. And it needs to go the next bit I think so well, those people are well capable of doing that.

Laura Laker 9:02
Yeah. And the other thing you’re going to be talking about here at velocity is collaboration

Chris Boardman 9:08
is a word.

Laura Laker 9:14
I am quite interested in collaboration. I’ve been talking to people here. And sometimes it seems like the most interesting ideas, new ideas come from collaboration, you know that from your sporting career and the secret squirrel club, and working with people from the car industry, the racing industry. And I’m wondering, what, where you think the exciting areas of collaboration are for everyday cycling?

Chris Boardman 9:35
I think for me, I mean, the example that I was intended to use tomorrow really is a collaboration at scale. And it’s it’s a badly abused phrase. And there’s quite a few words that capture stuff, but don’t commit you to anything, can we get brought into political speak? Yes, we’re going to collaborate on this. It doesn’t actually mean anything. Well, for me, it meant on a large scale, we went to a district with a blank piece paper and says, tell us where you can’t do this. Tell us where you would want to do it, where we need to get you across that. And we let them we gave them the pen. They held the pen, and they have the answers. We just asked the questions. And that for me was collaboration, because we had people who decided they wanted to go with us. And I think it has to be collaborative. And it’s true sense for it to work is what we’re talking about here is culture change. And you can’t make people change how they feel and think you just have a huge fight on your hands. So it’s got to be their choice. And choice means the choice to do nothing. But I am going to make you aware of the consequences. And I’m not going to support you to do it badly. But if let’s explore change, and if you want to do it, let’s go. And when you put the power in people’s hands, they want to do it. And as far as collaboration fair is how you do it. Well. I spent three months exploring which is how I bumped into Brian Deegan, our engineer who’ve been been burned had all these battles. Lots of great ideas on that guy. Kirsty McCaskill backs are our press person great to tell him the storey very courageous about how to get it out there quickly or have that person. So I think if you spend time listening first, funnily enough, you bump into people that are useful to get a job done. And that’s been the way I’ve worked for 20 years now. And it makes it more fun as well.

Laura Laker 11:24
Yeah, what do you say the best kind of collaboration is, I guess, in terms of building infrastructure? Yeah,

Chris Boardman 11:30
be a big BIT bit huge. I mean, what of what I’ve just mentioned about building a network, I mean, that is 10 City, or 10 boroughs of a region, millions of people involved. And we got them to design a network without touching a pen. But ultimately, it starts by listening, because people only everybody likes to be heard, which is a common, and you start by listening and listening doesn’t mean wait to speak. It means putting your own brain into neutral, and asking questions to understand. Rather than push your own view, then it’s amazing what you discover. And I think taking the time and investing the time to do that is critical. Be honest team of five or across an entire city region. First understand, take the time to understand.

Laura Laker 12:16
Interesting and use handed an award for Leadership Awards. Yeah, thanks. Bring that on the I mean, I think people probably realised who they were, who they’re talking about when they said you spend most your life in a bike

Unknown Speaker 12:28
and yellow jersey.

Chris Boardman 12:36
slightly embarrassed. Being that I was sitting on a panel with people, you know, 50% of people ride bikes, and only 60% of kids go to school, and they were like, 1.7%. So our bar couldn’t be any lower. Really, and pretty much any regard. So

Laura Laker 12:53
you said almost anything you do.

Chris Boardman 12:55
I can’t make it worse. You know, it’s the best I’d say got a job. Well, it’s absolutely rocked by to begin to take on a new company to share prices at all time low. You can only you can only help.

Laura Laker 13:06
Yeah, so you’re not going to be using this as a as a ramp for your wheelbarrow in your in your shed.

Chris Boardman 13:11
That’s a bit of an in joke that you have to explain that.

Laura Laker 13:14
I went as a Christmas Christmas performance centre last week. And he’s got a piece of the track from from

Chris Boardman 13:23
Yeah, when I broke the world record the space of the track and I used to keep it in the garbage and use it to get the wheelbarrow and use it as a ramp to get the wheelbarrow into the house. Yeah, no, no, I don’t think I do. That’s mostly because made of glass. Glass. Yeah, I wouldn’t handle it. All right, well, lovely. Thanks so much for talking Chris.

Maud de Vries 13:38
My name is Maud de Vries. I’m the co founder of BYCS social enterprise.

My name is David Gelauff and I’m the head of the Amsterdam bike programme.

Carlton Reid 13:46
Okay, Maud, I’m going to come straight to you first because I missed your presentation. I do apologise, I my timings are all wrong. But you have this this bike index that you’re launching today. So tell me a bit more about that.

Maud de Vries 14:00
Actually, it’s a soft launch of an idea that we had a year ago. And we talked about it with the city of Amsterdam, we think of ranking cities is not the way forward because we think what cities need now is that they need to be challenged, you know, we need to face, we need to show the challenges that all the cities have. And maybe if by comparing that, oh, sorry, maybe by doing that we can make better city. So Amsterdam believes believed in that very much, and we ourselves did as well. So we,

my colleague, spend a year on actually getting this done. And together with a big consultancy firm now, we will be developing the impact index into an index for every city around the world to sort of help them create new insights around cycling so that they that they can grow as a cycling city.

Carlton Reid 14:50
So you’re doing an index similar or different to their Copenhagen eyes indexing because there is one already so so what why to YN number

Maud de Vries 15:01
two else, you know, it’s not about who’s the best. So leadership to us is more about sharing. And we think by sharing, we can all become this human centric city. And we believe in if we want to become that and our mission is 50 by 30 half of our trips by bike around the world by 2030. If we want to do that, then we should stop doing that and we should start looking at what are your challenges and whether or just recently just because maybe we’re working on the same subjects and maybe we can then foster learn from each other

Carlton Reid 15:38
Coming across to you will just walk across the road there from the bikes booth. Yeah, that was by the river there opposite the conference. And we It was a sewer of traffic. Yeah, that we’ve had to walk across that. And it’s not Amsterdam. So what you’re doing in the index is trying to get places Dublin to be ranked against places like Amsterdam, is that is that correct?

David Gelauff 16:07
No, I don’t think that’s correct. I think what the beauty of this is, is that it indexes against the the opportunities of the possibilities to give bikes a place in your city, not so much as it indexes cities compared to each other. So it doesn’t say Dublin is better than Amsterdam. And it simply says, If you want bikes to play a role in your in your city, this is what your main challenges are and this is what your main opportunities are. And so even for Amsterdam, it’s very interesting to be indexed because we still can see more about what what are our chances and opportunities to even get a get more of a bicycle city and it’s already Yes.

Carlton Reid 16:45
It is the index include or do you think about scooters, scooters and pedestrians? And so not just a bicycle city but a people friendly city?

David Gelauff 17:01
Yes, I think that also is about that because it also says a lot about how do you go about with all the different elements that use your public space in your in your city and it’s also something we have to have to worry a lot about in the city so so this there’s so much going on and and public spaces very, very limited. So So how to how to use it. And of course in Amsterdam itself, the idea is that pedestrians are one and after that the cyclists come we have a slightly different approach towards a scooter scooter is because because they they are a different way of motorised, sometimes motorised traffic as well. But still, this is more about bikes and if you if you next to that, like them to them also have a policy of reducing card use, you will also have more room more space for pedestrians for prototypes of presentations, so so basically get

Carlton Reid 18:02
get rid of the cars and then the problems with that. Yeah, the other users getting problems in each other evaporates.

David Gelauff 18:10
Well, if I produce, I think that that’s definitely part of the solution. And that they’re still you will always need always need for at least for the for the next coming decades, places for for cars for different kinds of views. But you can use a lot less than then you already do. And I think we’ve seen that in Amsterdam, because only for the last 25 years, there’s been a reduction of 25 to 30% of car use in the city already. And now we have a new city government that aims to reduce it even even much further and much quicker than I already did. So. So yes, that’s a part of the solution.

Carlton Reid 18:43
autonomous vehicles autonomous cars, is that something you’re looking at for the future? Is that a good thing or bad thing? Could it ever work in a city with so many cyclists?

David Gelauff 18:54
But that’s my personal opinion. So and I’m not the expert on autonomous vehicle. So in a city, I’m also not a politician. So I’m not sure what

Carlton Reid 19:02
the policy is, you can speak the truth?

David Gelauff 19:04
Yeah, definitely. So I don’t think it will work very well, in Amsterdam. I think we saw somebody at the plenary start of the programme, somebody said, as long as you need to attach sensors, to bicyclists to pedestrians, so the cars won’t hit them. They’re not going to be part of the solution. Only if the car again can censor everything perfectly, it will. But even then, autonomous car is still as big as a cars and cars us up about 50% of public space, also in a city like Amsterdam. And that’s that’s simply too much when the way the cities are getting crowded at the moment. So you need to do something about that. Yeah.

Carlton Reid 19:47
And that whereas this index, there’s a website, here, it’s published somewhere where where can people who are listening to this actually get a hold of this?

Maud de Vries 19:57
We are publishing it on the on the byccs.org website. But also, I was just talking to David that it might be nice to publish it with the city of Amsterdam as well, at least to see the results for the city of Amsterdam. So we’re going to be doing that as well.

Carlton Reid 20:14
And going forward. What What were your What are your plans? What are your hopes for the index?

Maud de Vries 20:19
Yeah, my hopes are like we have a we just announced the 15th bicycle Mayor globally. And we as the growth of the bicycle network will will rapidly expand. We hope like we can invite a lot of cities to do an in an impact the next to sort of start seeing you know where the challenges are, at this moment, and to also see a know where we can where we can share knowledge, I think Amsterdam can learn from cities that face similar challenges and the other way around, you know, so I hope that then that was speed up the idea of creating the human centric cities.

Carlton Reid 21:00
What day is it? Clyde? Is it fourth day? fellow city? It’s the Friday. It’s Friday. It’s the fourth date morning starting today. Yeah. So it’s the fourth day of

Velo-city after you remember because we’re all at the base of the pub last night and again is so I’ve got Clyde loads here with me sitting in the reception area of velocity. So you might hear a few people putting their bags in, which is new that they’ve taken my space where I’ve been interviewing people and made it into a colloquium anyway. So Clyde, your wall from Mr. Walthamstow. And my first question to you is one observation really, and that is people often say people like me often say people like Chris Boardman and other people say that what we need to get cycling and walking in this country taking seriously is for politicians to take it

and to be brave. Now, I don’t want to make you blush too much. But I would say you’re one of the politicians I’d hold up and say, Well, you’ve been brave. Are you now pleased that you made all of those decisions back back when and and then coming to conferences like this and being lauded as somebody who was brave.

Clyde Loakes 22:24
Couple of things first, so I am blushing. Carlton. So thank you for that. And I like to think of yourself more as a wolf from forest and just move them so. Welcome. So 17 important part one for us, but 11 HNE for all really important parts to

Yeah, so being brave politicians. Politicians have clearly got to take some ownership of delivering this because it is a policy driven initiative. This is about prioritising funding and resources to deliver and that’s only going to come when politicians actually Wake up and smell the coffee and realise that’s the

status quo, trying to manage the chaos that we’ve created on our streets in in potential areas can’t continue.

And you need someone to step up, provide that kind of leadership. I’d like to think of that I’ve provided some leadership in one voice. But I can also point to a number of other people in London, and increasingly across the country that are kind of, you know, have woken up, smell the coffee and feel that they need to do something and do something pace. You know, one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned is you can’t just do stuff in a piecemeal way. Taking decades, you can’t just write a master plan. And then you know, spend years writing that master plan early for nothing from that master plan to ever happen. You’ve got to you’ve got to, you’ve got to push really hard and you’ve got to do it at pace. And sometimes that is a really uncomfortable place for politicians to be because they like to test waters, they like to go Softly, softly and trying to keep as many people on board as possible for as long as

But sometimes, you know, when you’ve got all the evidence, saying you’re doing the right things for the right reasons, you know, you just got to go out there. You don’t win hearts and minds, you know, and occasionally you aren’t, you know, you aren’t going to convince people that that should not stop you doing what you fundamentally know is the right thing to do, because all the evidence is there to say you are doing the right thing. So I was speaking to salvia Brice as friends last night at the Guinness Storehouse after a few Guinness’s. And he told me a few more things about himself that I that I knew about him, which is great about the social events, but one of the things he said i thought was resonant and roughly what you’ve just said there, in fact, is that the storey the narrative is really important because we know the evidence, the evidence is rock solid. We know all that. And it almost comes down to Brexit as well. We know that these things are wrong, but then the stronger narrative has worn out. So then develop the

bust one out. And in, in kind of psychological terms. motoring always always wins out even though we know that if a public health reasons for congestion reasons for

equality reasons, it’s the story. So

Carlton Reid 25:18
did you have a story that was able to convince people and how did you tell that storey? Well, I I think it’s more than just the evidence. Now I think you’ve got the examples on the ground. And that’s kind of I guess one of the good things about overprice now, and the move from stone in late and in particular, actually, the schemes are on the ground. So many people are coming to visit and see what we do. And once you can see, feel it actually it deals with some of that kind of Brexit scenario stuff where it’s not just the evidence, it’s not just experts saying it’s the right thing to do. Actually, ordinary people were living in it, can see it can hear the birds singing

Clyde Loakes 26:00
You know, one of the constant themes we get from residents around some in in some of our schemes that we’ve delivered over the past couple of years is we can hear the birds singing, we can see children out in the streets again, neighbours talking to each other kind of community cohesion, you know, a byproduct Yes, of putting in cycling and walking infrastructure, but a fantastic byproduct, all the same community cohesion. Wow, that was never in anyone’s original narrative or script. But yeah, when you can see it, feel it live it, actually, then you really start to kick into touch those people who say, now we don’t want this, you know, the car has to win every time. Correct me if I’m wrong. But what happens though, and what the forest and Leytonstone I’m relatively low car ownership areas anyway, so potentially a lot of the local people who you you’ve done this for and who are benefiting from this, previously didn’t have that much of a voice because the car lobby

Carlton Reid 26:59
voice tends to be quite strong. So you’re giving them something that is, as you’ve said that with the birdsong.

Unknown Speaker 27:09
And a lot of the people who were benefiting from the access to, to these areas in their car, were actually just cutting through. And so the offered road, the street that you put in has been something that that was just a rat run. And the people who are complaining about all this weren’t done, but actually living there. It was that would that be fair?

Unknown Speaker 27:32
Now think a good portion of the people that were complaining didn’t live there, but they probably lived in the borough. And there were using other people’s residential areas to that one through.

Clyde Loakes 27:41
I think that’s a fair assessment. But yeah, there was you know, there was still quite a significant car ownership enabled by so you know, I guess by the time it gets on next census, we may be just nudging around about 50% of households being car free, not owning a car and, you know, there’s a number of different reasons for that, you know, you

Addie expensive to own a car in London anyway, with the insurance and everything else.

You’ve got so many different alternatives, you know, whether it’s public transport, and it is always so close. And then you got the emergence of, you know, car clubs, you know, decently located car hubs for that one journey, maybe a week, maybe a month, that you require a car, maybe it’s because you need to go to IK or, you know, you need to go see the parents in law, you know, to the models of motor oil, something, and that’s your choice when you got family and everything that comes with it. So, you know, different, different pressures that come into bear, but kind of taking out the ease by which people can kind of get out, get out and about by car has been, you know, a really, really important product of what we’ve done in moving fries. And it has seen more people just reclaiming the streets in a in a way that we you know, we constantly see on the continent.

But it’s again, it comes back to is you know, seeing living in

that deals with some of the harshest critics of what we do. Because it’s suddenly becomes, you know, this is a pleasant place to live. Why wouldn’t you want this? Why wouldn’t you want to be talking to your neighbours that you’ve never talked to before? Why wouldn’t you want to get together with some of your neighbours and pants up some planters in in the road? Why wouldn’t you want them to take a little bit of ownership of some of the new street trees that have been planted during some of our harsh summers and put a bit water down for you know, all of those things are starting to come together in a way that you know, previously, they were random, but now there’s a consistency now. All these little byproducts just making our streets so much healthier, and better. Who everyone? Give me a positive history of up until, you know that famous day when the Dutch Ambassador on his first or second day on the job came there was the the coffin protests, the potters history up to that point and then

Carlton Reid 30:01
up until the present day, so basically, how did this all happen?

Clyde Loakes 30:06
So the then Mayor of London whose name I shall not mention, the only thing that I would ever and have ever agreed with him on decided to invest a big pot of cash into our to London rather than in London to try and secure some significant behaviour change, you know, getting rid of some of those short base car journeys and getting more people primarily cycling that was his, you know, a became a power that actually we needed to shift it to, you know, active travel walking on cycling. And he gave one first 27 million pounds and a three year time

table to deliver all the word put into a very large bid and that bid included introducing, you know, low traffic neighbourhoods, you know, because you know about running some quite significant infrastructure range of complimentary measures around cycle parking cycle training and

Such like

so we hit the ground running. And the Dutch ambassador, you know, within a year was kind of overseeing the opening of our first scheming, offered Rodin’s will from Stowe. And I think he came along with his true waffles. And he’s kind of branding It was his first day was firstly office. I think it was just going to be you know, why wouldn’t you want all this can be great fun day. And of course, it turned into, you know,

to two opposing sides in quite a tight, tense kind of street. Well, basically, I guess, maxing out on the fact that we closed off with road but enabled a big street route to happen between those supporters of what we were doing and those opposed to what we’re doing. And, you know, in the UK, we love a problem. We have a demonstration and we had a coffin and kind of symbolise apparently the death

of a road which is a small shopping parade. In fact,

We’ve seen is totally the opposite was in transformation. And what we actually get now is people from other bloggers visit often vote at the weekend in the evenings to spend their hard earned cash. It is a visitor destination was before you know, it was a bit of a place that local people know about but certainly wasn’t on podcast outside of the borough. And we’ve seen that since with the fastest road in Layton similar, in fact, probably slightly bigger and better scheme overall. But from that day, we you know, we could have sat there and decided to abandon all hope, but I went out and I talked to the protesters and you know, you know, put my arguments across because you can’t allow them to fill the vacuum with their views you’ve got to take them on. And one thing I have learned to all the consultations engagements and all the schemes that were done in many hot for many volunteer involvement vice is you know, even even the

That consultation allows the issue to be raised. You know, it allows more people to hear about the rights and wrongs of what we’ve allowed to happen for decades on our streets, you know, he exposes more people to those arguments and that evidence, so you start to start to win more hearts and minds as a consequence of just that, that place that big rounds that we’ve created in some quarters. So we continued, we had our judicial review, of course, against that scheme. You know, that was quite an intense time. But thankfully, we, the council weren’t on all counts, you know, and the judge was particularly scathing of those people that have bought the case against the council, you know, suggesting it was, you know, significant waste of time, effort and resources to do so. Because, you know, our case was so watertight and it was very complimentary about the council. We then moved on to deliver some of our other schemes, and largely every single game that we’ve engaged consulted in for more console

Taishan slightly designs, business workshops have been now delivered. You know, we’ve lost a bit of one along the way. But I’m pleased to say that we’re going to start re engaging with that group again, just before summer recess the next couple of weeks, because they’ve seen what’s going on everywhere else now, I think how stupid Worley, you know, this is what we need. So that’s really, really good. They’ve come around to think it is worth coming back to. And one of our slightly bigger schemes, Mark house village, we, you know, we’re just kind of finding ways to kind of deliver some of the of the better aspects of that scheme. You know, I couldn’t get presidents on board. Every single we have inch introduced has been with presidents consent and support. And that’s because we’ve been out there winning hearts and minds, winning the arguments using the evidence and increasingly using the examples of the schemes that we’ve built to convince people it’s a right thing to do for the right reasons.

Carlton Reid 34:57
Do in retrospect, you regret

Unknown Speaker 35:00
or thinking wasn’t the right idea to use the go Dutch type branding, so that the mini Holland, where you then have lots of people say we will not hold on one and no, we’re not the Netherlands in. Whereas if you use maybe different phraseology, that argument wouldn’t have ever been raised.

Maud de Vries 35:19
I mean, we were given that

Unknown Speaker 35:20
that branding that term by the then man whose name I cannot mention,

Unknown Speaker 35:26
it’s Baltimore.

Clyde Loakes 35:28
And so that’s kind of what we initially had to run to run with. But it did become apparent that that original kind of focus just on cycling, wasn’t going to win the amount of hearts and minds that we needed to win. And actually, for us moving forward, it was more about demonstrating the cyclists and pedestrians have more in common than divides them. And it’s been one of these kind of great, powerful myths of the Carla, I think, over many, many years, that it’s kind of

portrayed cyclists as the enemy to pedestrians, not actually in the motor vehicle, despite their evidence, you know, the thousands of injuries, thousands of deaths every year as a consequence of motor car interactions with pedestrians, and, you know, cyclists that were evil, why are you spending all this money on cyclists, you know, they kill us, they mow us down, you know, and of course, the evidence isn’t there to substantiate that. So then to switch to the enjoy brand, which is now what we use and kind of really kind of pushing it as an active travel agenda without losing the significance around the importance of putting in cycling infrastructure to to enable and more people to cycle safely around your voice, I think I think was, you know, a eureka moment really. But that came after, you know, some pretty intense debates and arguments, but it was the right thing to do to move it on. And I think the success of us games as a consequence of that did

Carlton Reid 37:00
have a road to Damascus moment or cycle path to Damascus moment where you were converted to this? Or were you in this this whole ethos of in the cycling the walking that changing your, your, your area for the better? Or was it something that you’ve always been wanting to do long term? So what was the what was the impetus originally? I mean, you

Unknown Speaker 37:29
know, yeah, so personally, I’ve always been a bike rider.

Clyde Loakes 37:33
So when I first moved to London, my job embarking I was living in Leytonstone. First thing I didn’t want a new job was, you know, Bike to Work ski.

bike, my Scott’s purgatory, who was recently stolen after 22 years, I’m still engraving.

So I’ve always been a keen kind of not

cyclists but you know you just using a bike from my day to day needs what a shopping, going out whatever go to work commuting to work just a general thing

when I got elected as a as a counsellor 21 years ago

it’s you know, I councillors tend to kind of move into various subject headings you know either housing from housing geeks, children social care, gigs education gigs, I became a kind of active travel travel geek that was my kind of gig really. So

yeah, and invention lab cam, cabinet member and then leader and Deputy Leader, so on and so forth. But I’ve always kind of kept that interest on the environments and

voting for Yeah, they’ve known all along now. He knows there’s a Yeah, there’s a portfolio of pictures of me on bikes.

Let’s go back a long, long time. And I think the

the kind of point out

kind of really wanted to make was, I spent years trying to deliver consulting on trying to deliver traffic management schemes, traditional traffic management schemes, that by the time that consultation came back, it was so minimal, it would deliver nothing, we’re bored, what it did was kept everyone

happy, who was still using the road space. So basically kept car drivers happy, but did nothing for pedestrians did nothing for people who were riding bikes and who wanted to ride bikes and who we needed to encourage to ride bikes. And so you know, that kind of, you know, loads of money over many years invested in doing nothing when it came to modal shift, whatsoever. And I think that’s the one thing that kind of really, you know, made me you know, push our team back and forth is hard to you know, put a good quality bit into the mini Holland. funding was, you know, we, you know, we had attempted loads of stuff. We tried all the Trident

tested wise, but it don’t work. And it needed something big, bold, innovative, and fast. And that’s what you know, the person who I cannot mention,

Unknown Speaker 40:13
allowed us to do. So

Carlton Reid 40:15
my first question to you was about having to be a brave politician. And that’s what we need. My last question to you is, have you had any kickback because clearly, you’ve been voted in again. So you’ve you’ve, that’s always been the fear from people because of the short term cycles of the of the political cycles. If you if you are brave, and if you do do these things, people just symbol will get voted out. So you’re, you’re the living proof that no, you can do this. You can be brave, and you can still be voted back in. I think,

Clyde Loakes 40:54
Is it brave or is it just common sense? Is it about surely doing what politics

should be doing. And that’s in kind of, you know, improving people’s lives. I mean, I didn’t come into the local government and part the politics to kind of manage the status quo. I came in to make a difference, change things, hopefully for the better.

And I believe that’s kind of what I’m engaged in doing.

You know, why would you just want to come in as a say, yeah, let’s just keep it the same. Here. Let’s keep it the same. Let’s ignore everything NAS never got it wrong. Let’s just keep it so why would you want to do that? Well,

first and foremost, and it’s just fundamentally not rights. You know, political leadership means that leadership, it means taking on the vested interest. It means kind of, you know, taking on the status quo. And I think that’s, that’s what we’ve done in in walking forest. And, yeah, was, you know, five year programme we had all our elections last year and I’ve got biggest majority I’ve ever had. And those kind of counsellors within my group that were you know, with me shoulder to shoulder also saw you know, big decent in

crisis in a majority both would believe everything on social media was we were going into elections if we believed all our political opponents,

lines and leaflets and arguments then you know, we were we were heading to potentially lose.

But of course we gained seeds, we pick a majority’s, which just goes to show really, you know, politicians shouldn’t spend too much time on social media and believe everything they read, actually, there is a silent majority out there, who of course, one quiet streets, of course want better quality. Of course, one their themselves and their families and their neighbours to be healthier, of course want to be able to do things in their streets and take that quality immunity back for something for them and their neighbours, rather than just a single mode of transport a plough through and making it unusable for anyone. You know, they are positive things and of course people want positivity in their lives and they want good things in their lives and this whole idea

is exactly about that it isn’t a negative thing. It’s a positive thing. And that’s why politicians really should be at the forefront of embracing this and leading on it and you know, and we’re seeing that in some places, but you know, it’s a little bit more of a push, I think, you know, to see it actually start to build some real kind of momentum so that we can come back to velocity next year. And actually, there’s a, you know, a lot more English politicians here, you know, talking about what they’ve delivered over the past 12 months on why it’s so important. Why their residents would love them for it.

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