Kirsten Brown, a doctor working in East London, tells us about her experience of cycling. And she explains why she thinks we need initiatives to make cycling safer during the pandemic, and when we emerge from it in due course.
I have been cycling to work for about 15 years now, and I really enjoy it.
I’ve always found that it’s faster to cycle to work than to get there any other way, and it enables me to fit in my daily exercise without taking time out of my day.
Cycling also provides me with the necessary headspace to get ready for the day ahead and unwind from work whilst I travel home.
Why I cycle to work
Traffic is so busy in London, driving anywhere just takes so long and parking can be a nightmare.
This is why I cycle or walk everywhere whenever I can.
In East London where I live, I feel cycling has become easier and safer in recent years.
There are more cycle lanes, for example, on the very busy Lea Bridge Road, between Hackney and Walthamstow.
Cycling feels safe during the current lockdown
I have continued to cycle to work during the lockdown, and many of my colleagues are also reliant on cycling to travel into work.
It is the most efficient way to get around, and in the current circumstances, it feels like the safest way to maintain social distancing during the journey to work.
Cycling also offers an opportunity for those who are busy working long hours, such as me, to get some exercise.
Since the lockdown, the roads are quieter, and it seems more people are cycling – either for their daily exercise or as a form of transport for key workers.
We need to make sure people see cycling as a good option for commuting
It is therefore even more important than ever during the Coronavirus pandemic, when public transport feels less safe, that people are able to see cycling as a legitimate option for travel.
Some countries are implementing measures such as pop-up cycle lanes, reducing speed limits to 20mph and placing limits on through traffic.
Any initiatives to make cycling safer and people feel more able to cycle in our busy cities would be most welcome and are vital at a time such as this.