- Stuart Howard-Cofield
In 2014, the London Royal Borough of Kingston was one of three local authorities which bid for and won a share of £100million worth of funding to put towards a raft of improvements to cycling and transport infrastructure.
The Mayor of London and Transport for London offered the funding to help build towards a vision of safer and more pleasant streets for all, in what they have called their “mini-holland” programme. But what exactly is a “mini-Holland”? And what will it mean for the everyday cyclist? The team behind Bike Citizens – the app for city cyclists – have partnered with the Royal Borough of Kingston to help you discover the city from a new perspective.
Going Dutch: The next mini-Holland
When one thinks of Holland, images of windmills, tulips and canals spring to mind – as does that of the bicycle. The humble bicycle is almost as synonymous with the Dutch as Sangria is to the Spanish. According to a Netherlands Ministry of Transport report in 2009, the bicycle is used for more than a quarter of all journeys. Although the distances travelled by the Dutch were seen to be increasing at the time, it was still the case that 70% of journeys in the Netherlands were shorter than 7.5 kilometres – and in 2007 just over a third of all those journeys were made by pedal power.
It wasn’t always this way.