Air Quality Awards: Air Quality Champion Nominee Cllr Clyde Loakes

Posted on: Wednesday, October 3, 2018 by Katy Blake

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On Thursday; we’ll be at the Air Quality Awards in London to unveil the winner of our “Air Quality Champion” award. Here’s one of our finalists; Clyde Loakes.

Cllr Clyde Loakes has passionately driven forward the “Mini Holland” (now “Liveable Streets”) project for four years; demonstrating strong political leadership, communication skills, and resilience to a small minority of residents who were hostile and aggressive to the proposed changes. The result is an amazing improvement on the Healthy Streets of Waltham Forest. So far; the project has delivered;

  • 22km of segregated and semi-segregated cycle lanes,
  • 466 secure bike parking spaces at stations in seven Cycle Hubs,
  • 220 residential bike hangars housing six bikes each, with a waiting list of more than 500 locations,
  • 104 improved pedestrian crossings,
  • 37 roads closed to through traffic,
  • 660 new trees planted,
  • 15 new pocket parks, all looked after by local homes and businesses,
  • A zero emissions delivery service which has carried out 5,000 deliveries and travelled in excess of 3,000 miles since September 2017.

Councils from across England and further afield have visited Waltham Forest to see how it’s done; and left with a clear idea of how to lead and implement similar schemes. Clyde has also assisted with setting up events such as “car-free days”, and “Le Tour de Waltham Forest”, a day of organised cycle rides for all abilities; which Clyde, who is a keen cyclist, got involved with.

A key part of the success of this scheme was the well-rounded view taken by the organisers; who remembered to include aspects such as teaching thousands of people from a wide range of backgrounds how to ride a bike, having free access to bike servicing, assisting schools to improve their travel plans, and involving the local community wherever possible.