INSPIRED by various successful A26 mass rides organised by Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Bicycle Users Group, Bicycle Mayor of Tonbridge, Alice Thomas decided to host the first ever Kidical Mass ride in Tonbridge in a bid to campaign for safer roads in the town for cyclists.
Kidical Mass is a global movement designed to promote safer roads and active mobility for children. There have been over 400 Kidical Mass rides held across Europe and the UK.
Despite some drizzle on the day, locals were not deterred from attending the event with more than 115 riders taking part in the ride last month.
The majority of those involved were parents and children, but also taking part were young children on balance bikes, as well as Councillors Peter Lidstone (St John’s Ward) and Mark Hood (Leader of the Tonbridge and Malling Green Party). To ensure the safety of the younger riders, there was a first aider and over 10 marshals present during the event.
Having cycled everywhere when they lived in Hackney for ten years, Alice and her husband were shocked by how much more pollution they were breathing in and the lack of safe cycling infrastructure in their hometown, when they returned to Tonbridge with their family.
Speaking to the Times after the event, she explained that she believes there is a ‘huge opportunity’ for Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council to make a positive impact in the town.
“Investing in dedicated cycle infrastructure benefits not only traffic congestion but also promotes a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle for our residents,” she explained.
“The implementation of well-designed cycling lanes and infrastructure has the potential to transform the way families and children commute to school or travel to work and the station.
“By providing safe and accessible routes for cyclists, we can encourage a shift towards a more sustainable mode of transportation, and ultimately alleviating the strain on our congested roads.
Following the success of their first ride, Alice has said that Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Bicycle Users Group would love to host more of these events in the future across both towns.