I realise a radical new approach is required to tackle the social inequalities in mobility, health, emissions and socio economic status in the city/region – as well as the other barriers that prevent people from confidently choosing to cycle. As the world we live in changes, it’s vital that people aren’t left behind. I set up Cycle of Life in Toxteth, Liverpool to deliver viable cycling solutions as a way to provide “equal access” to cycling. The accredited Bikeability centre, set up in 2021, has already taught cycling and maintenance skills to 100’s of at risk children, asylum seekers and Muslim mothers. Looking back I can say it had helped people “feel part of the city”.
What are your plans as Bicycle Mayor?
It was important for our plans to also add value to Liverpool’s ambition to become a zero-carbon city by 2030. A cycle hub will provide a repair station, café and showers for commuters, become Liverpool City Region’s first training centre of excellence for cycle mechanics and instructors and house an Active Travel consortium. Cycle of Life has created an L8 Active Travel Forum, made up of local residents, businesses and community organisations, to amplify Toxteth’s voice with decision makers, consult and listen closely to its community and enable the area to be chosen for larger investments such as Liveable Neighbourhoods and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. The development of local ‘business on wheels’ entrepreneurs 12 week programme enabling disadvantaged YPs to start microbusinesses on cargo bikes is a project we are particularly excited about.