Latest episodes:

Cycling@Lunch-time: Bottom-up – the impact of grass-roots action

25 June 2021

With the opposition to many LTNs still ringing in our ears, we turn to the question of how things go when action starts in the community.  And, in keeping with the bottom-up theme of the session, we welcomed two speakers who presented some insight from their community led projects:

George Coombs (Project Coordinator for Our Streets Chorlton)
“Our Streets Chorlton is a community-led project in the heart of South Manchester, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and supported by several partners who operate in Greater Manchester and understand its people. We are here to start a conversation, one centred on how local people can help to reduce carbon emissions by enabling Chorlton people to reduce local and short car journeys. We believe that a community-led approach, focusing on localised issues that directly affect our community but also contribute to the challenges facing our climate and environment, is fundamental to effective climate action.
Through several physical projects that provide opportunity for engagement in the community, we are facilitating space for local people to participate in conversation about car travel, walking & cycling, community-led solutions and localised energy to effect change. We have three flagship Streets mini-projects – the School Street, Residential Street and High Street.  These will support temporary physical interventions and providing opportunity for inspiration. The project is currently funded for 12 months and as we are half-way through the calendar year.  We are excited to present ‘where we are now’ whilst showcasing what is still to come.”

Celeste Hicks (Volunteer at Mums for Lungs)
“Mums for Lungs was founded in London in 2017 when a group of new mums met on maternity leave. Spending time walking the streets with sleeping babies, we became concerned about the high levels of traffic and air pollution. The more we learned the more we became frustrated that driving and vehicle use has become prioritised over safe streets for all of us to use. Air pollution causes severe health impacts, and children and babies are more susceptible because their lungs are smaller. Now our kids are older and at school, we’re focusing our efforts on awareness raising and behaviour change at school – campaigning for school streets, making walking and cycling easier, and hoping that parents will choose to leave the car at home. We would like to see concrete action from central government to tackle harmful air pollution, and a change in the way we move around our cities and make short journeys.”

Click speaker names to jump to presentations on Vimeo 

 Cycling@Tea-time: Cycleways – UK perspectives from the last century

27th May 2021

In this episode, Cycling@Tea-time is getting historical on your saddlebags!

First, did you know that the Ministry of Transport in this country was trying to go Dutch as long ago as the 1930s?  Transport writer Carlton Reid will tell us about the government’s programme of cycleways intended to emulate those in the Netherlands, and his campaign to revive them.
And Dr Rorie Parsons of Sheffield University will tell us about his research into the Tynebikes campaign of the 1980s and 1990s.  Amongst other things, its members had reservations about cycleways, fearing that their advent might mean cycles being banned from the regular roads.

Click speaker names to jump to presentations on Vimeo 

Walking@Tea-time: the vibrant high street and the pedestrian

26 April 2021

The hope is that, as we emerge from the pandemic, our high streets will return to the bustling places they were.  But beneath the bustle an intense competition is taking place for access and space: walking, shopping, eating and drinking, parking, loading, sitting etc.

We’re deliberately seeking two distinct perspectives on this issue in order to illuminate it:

  • Mário Alves is Secretary-General of the International Federation of Pedestrians and a long-time advocate of providing good facilities for walkers.  Mário will draw on work he’s doing as part of the Horizon-2020 MORE project as well as his broader experience.
  • John Crosk has been involved with Brewery Distribution for over 40 years.  These days he is Vice Chairman of The Brewery Logistics Group (responsible for over 75% of London beer deliveries) and manages the Central London Freight Quality Partnership, which brings together London boroughs and freight operators.

Between them, our speakers know a lot about the subject under discussion and we look forward to a stimulating discussion, perhaps even a bit of a debate?

Cycling@Tea-time: the fine art of cycling with children

26 March 2021

Cycling in the UK with children is not straightforward.  One might mention any or all of: inconsistent infrastructure, unpredictable driver behaviour, kit of highly variable price and quality, social norms…  And that’s before worrying whether your pride and joy is going to check behind them before veering out into the traffic stream.

The good news is that there’s an increasing amount of sound advice out there.  And we’ll be hearing from two of the leading sources (click names to jump to presentation on Vimeo website)

Karen Gee was recognised in 2019 as one of Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling for Cycle Sprog (, a website she founded and edits, dedicated to promoting family cycling.  For Karen, what started out as a couple of articles has grown over seven years into one of the leading resources for parents wanting advice on cycling with their children.  Cycle Sprog has also gone from being a small hobby to the family business.  Together with her husband Chris and their two sons, Karen reviews the latest kids’ bikes and shares their cycling adventures.

Ruth-Anna MacQueen was similarly recognised in 2019 by Cycling UK for encouraging and supporting parents to cycle with their children, both in her local London community and the wider world, via her Family Cycling UK Facebook page.


Cycling@Tea-time: enabling wider participation in cycling

4 March 2021

The socio-demographic profile of cycling in the UK is notoriously skewed in terms of gender and ethnicity, to name but two characteristics. But excellent work is being done to make cycling available and attractive to a wider population, and on 4th March we heard about some of that work from two leading practitioners.

Janet Hudson of Leicester City Council tells us about the Bike Aid scheme (providing bikes to key workers during Covid-19), pop-up cycle lanes and a social inclusion scheme helping to get more people on bikes.

Mariam Draaijer tells us about the JoyRiders project which has been running successfully in Waltham Forest since 2016.  She will explain how JoyRiders has engaged with women, many of whom have never cycled before, helping them to overcome the barriers they faced to become confident and happy cyclists.

Walking@Tea-Time – reimagining (or transforming) our streets

22 Feb 2021

Once London’s residential streets were places to walk, linger and play. Over the last century too many have become roads to drive through and park cars. This is changing. While some low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) have existed for decades, they have sprung up more recently first in Walthamstow and, in the last year, in many, especially inner, London boroughs. Having removed the through traffic, the next question is what should be done to create a greater sense of place so that people of all ages once again linger, chat and play. Children have been driven off the streets; do changes need to be made to bring them back?

This episode of Walking@Tea-time explored these issues, looking at how they have been addressed in Barcelona and the plans for a London-wide campaign, and what can be achieved.

David Harrison, London Living Streets, and transport historian, briefly explored the history of London’s streets, followed by our two main speakers:

Sílvia Casorrán, who works with the Superblocks Office in Barcelona City Council. Since July 2019 she has been the mobility councillor for Sant Martí District in Barcelona. Since 2003 she has been actively involved as an activist for the Association for the Promotion of Public Transport, for the Poblenou Neighbors Association, and for the Poblenou Superblock Association.

Brenda Puech, Hackney Living Streets and parklets activist, talks about a new grassroots London-wide parklets campaign that seeks to transform London’s streets, making applying for a community spot, or cafe spill-out space along our streets, as easy as obtaining a car parking permit.

Walking@Tea-Time – Maps and Apps

16 Nov 2020

In this episode of Walking at Tea-time we explored the potential of algorithms. In particular, the question of whether they can capture the human experience of walking?

In a few years, we’ve gone from a world in which people found their way using the AtoZ to one in which they rely on their smart-phones. But this is more than a change of medium: in addition to efficient route-finding, algorithms have the potential to provide us with highly customised options and to draw our attention to points of interest or opportunities of particular interest to us. Can this induce us to walk more? And is there something special about the paper map that we lose when we reach for our phones?

Two experts will assisted us with our enquiries (Click names below to jump to presentations):

Cycling@Breakfast-time – Working with the unwilling

22nd Oct 2020

Much is said and written about the more go-ahead transport authorities and their work to promote and facilitate cycling. But what of the many others who are not showing the same zeal? How well are they understood and, perhaps more important, how can the cycling community engage positively and productively with them?

Two authoritative speakers from distinct backgrounds and, indeed, distinct hemispheres, offered their insights in a lively and engaging discussion. Alex Macmillan (University of Otago, New Zealand) presented a public-health lens on transport and discussed effective strategies for overcoming political barriers to change at local-government level. Adam Tranter (Fusion Media) continued the discussion by sharing his experiences of working with stakeholders in his role as Coventry’s Bicycle Mayor. Click names below to jump to presentations:

Previous episodes:

Walking @Tea-time Episode #2 – The pedestrian pound, revisited

9th July 2020. Watch and listen to the whole episode here.


Cycling @Tea-time – Prioritising new infrastructure in the pandemic

16th June 2020. Watch and listen to the whole episode here.


Walking @Tea-time Episode #1 – Why is walking the poor cousin of transport policy?  And what can we do about it

28th May 2020. Watch and listen to the whole episode here.


Cycling @Tea-time – Cycling under Lockdown – roadspace reallocation and bikeshare trends

6th May 2020. Watch and listen to the whole episode here.


Cycling @Tea-time – Election Time – cycling matters

4th December 2019. Watch and listen to the whole episode here.


Cycling @Tea-time – Micromobility – cool but dangerous?

15th October 2019. Watch and listen to the whole episode here.


Cycling @Tea-time – The governance of cycling

22nd July 2019. Watch and listen to the whole episode here.


Cycling @Tea-time – Cycling and older people. Detecting journeys in bike sharing systems

8th May 2019. Watch and listen to the whole episode here.


Cycling @Tea-time – Interactions between cycle users and other modes

28th February 2019  [no recording available]


  • Dr Robin Smith (Cardiff University) – “Close passes” and the categorical organization of space, mobility, and perception
  • Neil Guthrie – Cycling News
  • Keir Gallagher – Too Close for Comfort (Prezi link)

Cycling @Tea-time – Cycling Utopias

17th December 2018. Watch and listen to the whole episode here.


Cycling @Tea-time – The Gender Balance of Cycling

20th November 2018. Watch and listen to the whole episode here.


Older archive episodes can be found here at Cycling@Tea-time’s previous home

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