They say it’s important to put yourselves in other people’s shoes and this week a group of us from Cadent’s Team London attempted to do that, by literally putting ourselves in the saddle of a London cyclist.
A group of us donned our cycling helmets to go on a ‘Cycling Experience’ organised by Transport for London (TfL).
Prior to setting off we met with London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner Will Norman, himself a keen cyclist, who wished us well on our ride.
The Cycling Experience was developed by TfL’s Network Management team and TfL Development Impact Manager Michael Barratt, MBE, to enable those who carry out roadworks to better understand the challenges faced by cyclists and pedestrians in the capital.
We found both our hearts and adrenaline pumping as Michael led us on a ride negotiating some of London’s busiest cycle lanes as a plethora of cars, motorcycles, buses, HGVs and London landmarks passed by.
It was an enlightening experience to say the least and it gave us first-hand experience of what the capital’s roads look like for cyclists and the effect roadworks can have on them.
Even a small excavation can have a big impact on a cycle route, leading to potential lane closures and diversions and disrupting what is a clean, sustainable and healthy means of travel.
At Cadent it’s our role to help ensure people stay connected to safe and reliable gas supplies.
Over the year’s we’ve developed a wide range of innovative practices and products to help us do that with as little disruption as possible.
In recent years we’ve used things like ‘keyhole’ repair technology and robots to help us achieve this. For example this year we announced our biggest ever robot programme with us using ULC Robotics’ CISBOT to remediate ageing gas mains across our North London network.
We’ve also recently been working with TfL and Oxford Plastics to develop new road plates which enable us to reopen cycle routes where repairs are taking place during peak travel times.
Cadent is also working with TfL on their Vision Zero initiative, to eradicate deaths and serious injuries from London’s transport network by 2041.
Partaking in things like the TfL ‘Cycle Experience’ ensures we don’t become detached, complacent or institutionalised in our thinking and that we keep on innovating in the way we design and deliver our work.