The RSPB is the largest wildlife conservation charity in Europe, with over one million members. It operates 200 reserves throughout the UK, including Rainham Marshes in London’s east end. The charity runs hundreds of events in London each year and have an office near St James’s Park, just south of the proposed East–West Cycle Superhighway.
RSPB’s London Communications Manager Tim Webb released a statement explaining the charity’s support for TfL’s cycle plans:
The RSPB is Europe’s largest conservation charity. We’re also active in London, working with partners and communities to bring people closer to nature and the capital’s nature closer to people.
We are working to improve London’s air quality, water quality and wildlife. While our expertise is in land and wildlife management, cyclists also dominate our dedicated team. More staff admit that they would cycle if they felt safer on the roads.
We value their safety and want to promote active lifestyles for all our employees. We support their freedom to choose how they get to work. We also note strong evidence that more cycling increases spending in local retail businesses and lowers air pollution levels.
Research into the positive links between public health and well-being with active outdoor lifestyles and access to natural space overwhelmingly supports investment in infrastructure encouraging more people to leap onto bikes or even just to walk, trot or run around our glorious capital. Cyclists are more in-touch with the changing seasons and see more wildlife than commuters trapped in cars, buses, trains, and tube carriages.
The proposed north–south and east–west routes will make London a more attractive city with the possibility of it becoming a world leader in sustainable development and an early adopter of eco-system services. This will help create more jobs, improve green infrastructure for wildlife, reduce the impact of climate change such as flash flooding (if accompanied by natural water capture and storage systems).
RSPB London wholeheartedly supports this proposal and calls for speedy action towards delivery of “green” North–South and East–West Cycle Superhighways.