Equity is the UK’s trade union for actors, stage managers and models. They represent over 38,000 performing professionals and creatives, of whom approximately 25,000 live in London. This group relies on quick, inexpensive transportation and thus cycling is very appealing. The Chair of the West and South West London Branch of Equity is Andrew Macbean, and he sent a statement in to TfL today strongly supporting the Mayor’s plans.
Equity members play an enormous part in the cultural life of London, entertaining millions of residents and visitors alike each year. Our members work all over the city in a huge variety of theatres, clubs, and recording studios. As well as contributing hugely to the cultural life of London, our theatres are renowned throughout the world and attract significant numbers of visitors all of which generates important income.
Like many businesses in London, a growing number of our members cycle to work. This gives them a cheap and healthy way to get around. An even larger proportion of our members would cycle if they felt comfortable and safe on the roads. I include myself in this number.
We value our members’ health, freedom and safety and accordingly offer our enthusiastic and wholehearted endorsement for the plans outlined by TfL to create new segregated cycle routes through the heart of the city. They would provide a safe and much needed link in and out of the West End. Many members will be returning home late after show when poor light, bad weather and the general road conditions, not to mention car and lorry drivers feel like ever increasing hazards.
The proposed north–south and east–west routes across London would be of enormous value to our members, making our journeys safer, cheaper and healthier. Even in these austere times, we urge you to back these ambitions and visionary plans and deliver this increased level of safety for all Londoners.