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Inaugural Parliamentary Walk & Wheel event takes in London's most walkable spots

Parliamentarians visit Strand/Aldwych and review new plans for Regents Street and Waterloo Station

The inaugural Parliamentary Walk and Wheel took place yesterday in London, attended by a number of Parliamentarians. The event was organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking (APPGCW), Footways and the University of Westminster, in conjunction with Network Rail, Lambeth and Westminster Councils, the Northbank BID and The Crown Estate, and was attended by MPs, Peers, executive members of councils and other organisations involved in the promotion of safety for those walking and wheeling. 

The walk and wheel, the first of its kind, was hugely successful and it is hoped that this will become an annual event in the Parliamentary calendar. The route started at Waterloo station, where attendees heard about new proposals for improved public realm.

The route included a stop at the impressive new Strand/Aldwych, which has transformed this area of London. The group then went through the pedestrianised streets and public spaces in Covent Garden and Leicester Square, ending at The Crown Estate office, where attendees heard about an exciting new vision for the future of Regent Street’s public realm. Announced in January 2024, this partnership between Westminster City Council and The Crown Estate will also include public realm improvements to Haymarket and Piccadilly Circus. 

The walk and wheel was guided by Emma Griffin and David Harrison, Co-Founders of Footways, and paid special attention to the areas around stations - hugely important in making sustainable travel by rail accessible to all. The route is available here.

Selaine Saxby MP, co-chair of the APPG for Cycling and Walking said: 

‘’Being a Member of Parliament for a rural constituency, I have been flying the flag for the APPG for Cycling and Walking. This event was an important opportunity for Parliamentarians to understand the importance of street design and how it can both positively and negatively impact pedestrians.’’

Fabian Hamilton MP, co-chair of the APPG for Cycling and Walking said: 

‘’Increasing levels of walking and wheeling, particularly to replace short car journeys, would have a significant positive impact on public health and a reduction in congestion and air pollution. This event was extremely useful in identifying how the design of our streets and roads enable more people to feel safe walking and wheeling.’’ 

Cllr Paul Dimoldenberg, Cabinet Member for City Management and Air Quality, Westminster Council, said: 

'On behalf of Westminster City Council, I was delighted to participate in the inaugural Parliamentary Walk, which highlighted the excellent walking environment in parts of the borough and promotes walking. We believe that walking is an extremely important mode of transport and have a powerful vision to make improvements across the borough to encourage people to walk more and further.' 

Cllr Rezina Chowdhury, Deputy Leader (Sustainability and Clean Air) of Lambeth Council said:

'On behalf of Lambeth Council, I am delighted to participate in the inaugural Parliamentary Walk, which highlights the importance of walking as a mode of transport. This is a top priority for Lambeth, and I am pleased to highlight our plans for the Waterloo area, which will encourage people to walk more and further in a much improved pedestrian environment' 

Simon Harding-Roots, Managing Director, London at The Crown Estate, said: 

“We are focused on delivering a place that is more accessible, diverse and sustainable, better reflecting the hopes and needs of all our visitors and customers.

“Support from Parliamentarians, including those who have joined the Inaugural Parliamentary Walk, is vital if we are to make the improvements necessary to benefit both the West End and the wider capital.”

Ruth Duston, CEO of the Northbank BID said: 

'The Northbank team is proud of the transformation of Strand/Aldwych, a leading example of what can be achieved through partnership. This fantastic new civic space replaces a congested gyratory and has brought cleaner air, more greenery, a safer pedestrian experience and a renewed sense of place to this historically significant part of London. One of the key roles of a business improvement district is to act as stewards of an area and convene interested parties to bring about strategic improvement. This project is the perfect example of what can be achieved when we work together towards a shared vision.  The Inaugural Parliamentary Walk is a crucial initiative highlighting the fantastic work taking place to improve our city, as well as the challenges that must be tackled, and we are very pleased to support it.”

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact:

Jack Mayorcas 


You can view images from the event HERE

About the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking (APPGCW) 

Since the 1970s, the APPGCW has worked on a cross-party basis to promote all forms of cycling and walking, working with representatives of organisations in the private, public, and third sectors that share their vision. 

The group works to communicate the benefits of active travel within Parliament and conducts inquiries on pressing matters relating to cycling and walking.