Cyclox is 20 years old
By Andy Chivers
Andy is a Cyclox trustee
In September 2003 a small group of cycle campaigners held the first meeting of Cyclox. The group had its origins in Oxford Friends of the Earth. The first campaign was for the 20mph speed limit on residential roads. Those first five Cyclox activists went on to:
- run commuter challenges
- produce a DVD with the bus companies to improve understanding between cyclists and bus drivers
- meet with county councillors to encourage better cycle infrastructure
All five of those founder members are still involved in active travel locally in different ways.
Two decades later
Twenty years on, Cyclox is an established charity, has 700 members, and has the same strong campaigning ethos. We have attracted grants and donations which have enabled us to get paid support. Our volunteers help keep our many activities going, and our backroom team keep our communications live on website, Facebook and Twitter.
in 2022 the tragic and shocking deaths of four young women in 2 years, all killed by HGVs turning left into their path, galvanised Cyclox to campaign for Vision Zero. This an internationally based project which aims for zero road deaths or serious injuries. The City and County Councils agreed to commit to Vision Zero and are involving us and other campaigners in their planning.
How are we celebrating the anniversary?
Cyclox wants to celebrate its twentieth year by helping as many people as possible to get on their bikes and ride. We have organised two Kidical Mass family bike rides already this year. On 7 May about 100 people of all ages rode into Broad St from four locations, with a celebratory loop round the city, returning to Broad St via St Giles. The next Kidical Mass will be on Sunday 24 September.
In addition, we are funding (through our members’ subscriptions and donations – thank you) a series of Dr Bike sessions. These are run by professional bike mechanics, and they provide simple bike repairs and maintenance for people whose bikes need a bit of help to be safe. Mostly this involves tightening brakes and oiling gears, pumping up tyres and adjusting saddle height. We will be at the Pride event on 3 June with a stall and Dr Bike. We want to reach the people who may not think of cycling as a core mode of transport, so we’ve had stalls and Dr Bikes at schools, youth clubs and most recently at the Eid Extravaganza, with more to come.
What does the future hold for Cyclox? It does seem that walking and cycling are now taken seriously by central and local government. But changing behaviour is not easy and we need a consistent effort to make active travel more attractive for short journeys. Making our roads safe is a high priority. We need better cycling infrastructure, quiet off-road routes, safer main roads, particularly at junctions, a 20mph city and safer HGVs. We will be strengthening our campaigning in all these areas during this, our twentieth year.
- We want to persuade the County Council to achieve Vision Zero (at least in Oxford city) by 2030. The current aim of 2050 is almost a generation away and not nearly ambitious enough.
- We are calling for 20mph across the city.
- We are working with groups in Oxford and Oxfordshire that promote cycling and walking – this will amplify our efforts.
- We will be funding more bike repair sessions to encourage people to keep riding their bikes.
How can you help?
Please support Cyclox’ work on your behalf by becoming a member. Come to our monthly meetings, tell us your views at our stalls, join us on our next Kidical Mass family bike ride, and best of all – get on your bike.