Supporting RoadPeace – why two wheel safety is everyone's issue

Cycling is the massive opportunity for the future of sustainable cities. We all have to make it work, says Antony Oliver.

Cycling in London

I am firmly on record as a fair weather cyclist – a sniff of moisture in the air or a forecast showing the likelihood of excessive wind and I’m frankly not up for it.

Fortunately, despite general opinion to the contrary, the weather around my home in London is usually conducive to my kind of cycling – not too fast, not too hot.

"Solving the cycle safety issue in London and across the UK is a long term challenge and one which requires investment in infrastructure but also investment in people."

And as Spring starts to spring others agree. The roads are rapidly filling up with two wheeled commuters, each battling to dominate their space on the capital’s over-crowded tarmac. 

There are of course large numbers even at the worst of times weather wise, taking the strain off the public transport system and easing the health service budget with exercise. A sniff of sunshine and, hey presto, the numbers swell as folk like me get stuck in.

It’s not for everyone, of course. Not cycling, but cycling in London. With so much traffic and so many large vehicles hammering around the streets it can be an intimidating, dangerous place. 

The pressure and challenge is particularly heightened right now by the Mayor of London’s programme of work to try to turn around this situation by investing £913M over the next ten years improving the lot for bikes with segregated cycle paths and cycle superhighways. The digging has started and is causing some degree of short term chaos.

It will be worth it as many really dangerous parts of the network are eradicated. But it will not be the complete solution. For this a more holistic community engaged approach is needed.

The ACE Progress Network (London & South East) is holding a seminar "Going up a Gear - The Future of Cycling" to discuss the issue of cycle safety on 25th June 2015 at Imperial College, featuring Andrew Gilligan, the London Mayor's cycling commissioner. For details and to book click here.

Earlier this month I joined a team of such holistic thinkers from highways contractor FM Conway in the London Sportif cycling event from Dulwich Park to Herne Hill Veledrome, the historic 1948 Olympic venue. Which is not far at all.

Of course when I accepted the invitation I didn’t factor in the route going via Reigate (or via Box Hill and Dorking for the hard core). Still 50km was a doable distance even for me and while my team didn’t win the Conway Cup, it was a pleasure to be out in the sunshine with a couple of thousand other bikes.

FM Conway is part of the increasing community that is standing up for two wheels. As a business it certainly impacts the capital’s street with lorries and vehicles aplenty, so is actively working to install warning devices and to train its drivers (and cyclists) to ensure that its fleet is a safe as possible - the safest on the road.

The event raised money for RoadPeace, the charity that works tirelessly to make the nation’s roads safer, and supports cycling campaign charity See Me Save Me which is dedicated to reducing the dangers to cyclists from lorries.

Because solving the cycle safety issue in London and across the UK is a long term challenge. It is one which requires investment in infrastructure but also investment in people. By taking such a visible role in the solution, businesses such as FM Conway can only win. 

"Cycling really is a massive opportunity for the future of sustainable cities (in my case weather permitting!). So we all have to make it work."

As the Conway Cup and the London Sportif which they supported – as Herne Hill Velodrome which they resurfaced – demonstrates, they are firmly part of the solution. We all, as road users – cyclist, car drivers, motorbikers, HGVs, taxi, buses etc – must also engage and be part of that community for change.

Cycling really is a massive opportunity for the future of sustainable cities (in my case weather permitting!). So we all have to make it work.

See viewpoint by New London Architecture chairman Peter Murray on the need for construction to take the lead on cycle safety.


The Conway Cup 2015

For the record, the Transport for London team of John Murray, Andrew Coventry, Rhys Milier, Joe Stordy and Andy Heather came out on top in the 2015 Conway Cup. Congratulations the team and of course to all who took part and helped FM Conway to raise money for RoadPeace.

Full runners and riders were: (and there are photographs but all involve the wearing of lycra so not necessarily fit for public consumption!)


  • John Murray
  • Andrew Coventry
  • Rys Millier
  • Joe Stordy
  • Andy Heather


  • Adrian Ward
  • Layla Davidson
  • Tom Buttrick
  • Tim Surry
  • Alison Squires


  • Mark Robinson
  • Alan Trumper
  • Doug Napier
  • Kris Witherington
  • Eugene McDonald
  • Simon O'Meara


  • Robert O'Rourke
  • Mark Goudy
  • David Reynolds
  • Mat Tallon
  • Dominic O' Donoghue

FMC Team

  • Alan Kraven
  • Ed Jennings
  • John Nuttall
  • Russell Sawer


  • Richard Rogers
  • Phil Boyd
  • Chris Barrett
  • Chris Broadhurst
  • Craig Sutherland


  • Julie McCauley
  • Peter Boucher
  • Peter Sparham
  • Neal O'Meara
  • Cadet Skepple

Conway & Co

  • Antony Oliver
  • David Arminas
  • Dan Bullock
  • Lesya Liskevich
  • Andrew Lewis

Cycle Confident

  • Michael Corden
  • Pim Jones
  • Felix Chan
  • Dean Wicks
  • Gavin Davies


  • Tim Davies
  • James Palser
  • Joe Webb
  • Sandra Godwin
  • Simon Tottle

London Underground

  • Natalie Edwards
  • Matthew Galvin
  • Jonathon Graciano
  • Monika Agoston
  • Timothy Perry

FM Conway Riders

  • Frans Maselela
  • Scott Tracey
  • Russell Bowra
  • Roland Sikk
  • Marcio de Melo
  • Mike Conway
  • Matt Best

FM Conway Riders

  • Andrew Dunn
  • William Scott
  • Robert Gatsman
  • Alan Smith
  • Abhay Rane
  • Matt Mckenzie
  • Simon Parrington
If you would like to contact Antony Oliver about this, or any other story, please email