London cycling instructors are protesting over cut training budget

Dozens of cycling instructors drove yesterday from Trafalgar Square to City Hall to protest that Transport for London (TfL) is cutting the budget for cycling training in schools, as well as highlighting cuts in their salaries and poor working conditions.

The protest march was organized by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB).

The union says that in addition to halving the budget for the school cycle offer in the fourth quarter of this year, instructors – who have been subject to a pay cut for 12 years, equivalent to a pay cut of 30 percent – are facing decline. in income, as well as sudden job losses and what it describes as unfair cancellation policies.

In a letter co-signed by Haringey Labor Climate Action, Haringey and Enfield COP26 Coalition, Unite Community Enfield, Unite Housing Workers and Enfield Trade Unionist Coalition, IWGB Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Deputy Mayor of Transport Heidi Alexander called for a return to funding cuts.

It also pointed out that in its Gear Change document published last year, the government promised that anyone in England in need of cycling training would be eligible to receive it.

Suami Rocha, Cycling Instructor and Secretary of the Cycling Instructors’ Branch (IWGB), said: “I hear from instructors most days about how tough this winter is going to be, at a time when Boris [Johnson] promised to train 1,000 new instructors.

“My family budget has been affected by the cuts, which means that during the winter we will have to make difficult decisions about what we should spend money on.

“Most instructors are tired of the conditions, the lack of salary improvements, the silly cancellation policy we have to accept, and do all the administrative work for free.

“We continue to fight and improve the industry, but many will not be able to keep going to see the better side of it.”

Cycling instructor Mariam Draaijer commented: “I have been working as a cycling instructor for the last three years and I work mainly with women from the BAME community and help them overcome barriers to cycling.

Without cycling training, many adults will not take up cycling as an alternative mode of transport that helps them avoid using a car. It is vital that we fight to get the funding of cycling instructions back to pre-covid levels, especially as cycling has become so much more popular during the pandemic.

“I am a mother of two, and with less work available, I will struggle enormously to pay our rent and pay the bills,” she added.

“Bicycle training in some parts of the city has already stopped completely. We play such an important role in keeping London moving, but now we have to fight to maintain our livelihood. ”

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