School pupils help decide on cycle routes

Young people shadowing Royal Parks deputy chief executive Colin Buttery were part of the decision-making process to establish more safe cycle routes last week.

As part of the Children's Commissioner's 11 Million Takeover Day, a group of pupils from Hackney Free & Parochial Secondary School helped with a £1m Transport For London-funded scheme to work on cycle paths across the eight Royal Parks. Student Alhaji Jabbie said: "We are an eco-friendly school so it was interesting to see how things are run here and how decisions are made."

Buttery said since 2005 cycling in the parks had gone up by one third. Some routes now have 960 cyclists an hour and needed to be safer, with better junctions and wider lanes.

This year's Tour de France attracted almost a million people to the parks, with only one bicycle reported stolen, partly because of the re-introduction of the Metropolitan Police to parks. Buttery added that hosting the tour stage was useful in planning for the 2012 Olympics to be held in the parks.

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