Britain’s First Black Cycling Champion Maurice Burton Shortlisted For London Cycleway Renaming – Forbes



Montage of Maurice Burton, 1970s cycle star.

De Ver Cycles

Former pro cyclist and three-time British track champion Maurice Burton is in the running to be picked as the new name for CS7, one of London’s “Cycle Superhighways,” which would become the Maurice Burton Way.

Transport for London (TfL) discontinued the Cycle Superhighways branding in December 2018. Four months later it switched to calling the curb-protected cycle routes “Cycleways” instead.

However, despite the switch the “C.S.” prefix has remained, with the Cycleways numbered from 1 to 8—CS1 runs from Tottenham to the City of London; CS8 runs from Wandsworth to Lambeth Bridge.

Climate crisis solutions charity Possible and London-based folding bike maker Brompton launched a competition to rename the capital’s cycleways, and CS7—an eight-mile route from Tooting through to the City of London via Clapham—will be renamed after Burton, deceased Black cycling activist Olive Morris or the MV Empire Windrush, a ship which docked in Tilbury in 1948, bringing Black workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago to help fill post-war labor shortages in the U.K.

“My uncle came [to the U.K.] on the Windrush,” Burton told me. He added he was “shocked” and “surprised” to have been shortlisted for the renaming competition.

CS7 runs about half a mile away from Burton’s bike shop, De Ver Cycles, which he has owned since 1987.

Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, with a Brompton bicycle in Covent Garden and … [+] standing on a large format map of London’s Cycleways.

Possible

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Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner said: “As our network of Cycleways continues to grow—and more and more Londoners use them to get around—it’s fantastic to see brands like Brompton engaging so positively with our work.”

The shortlisted names to replace CS7 are Windrush Way, Olive Lane, or Maurice Burton Way. A public vote to choose the replacement name ends on November 24.

The “Windrush Garden”, conceived by television presenter Floella Benjamin to commemorate the 70th … [+] anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush vessel in Britain, is displayed at the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Chelsea Flower Show in London, Monday, May 21, 2018. In 1948 the Empire Windrush ship brought hundreds of Caribbean immigrants to a Britain seeking nurses, railway workers and others to help it rebuild after the devastation of World War II. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

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Windrush Way

This name was nominated because CS7 passes Clapham South deep shelter where the first arrivals on the MV Empire Windrush were initially housed.

The Google Doodle on Friday 26 June 2020 honored activist Olive Morris.

Google

Olive Lane

The Olive in question is Olive Morris, a Jamaican-born South London community leader, feminist, Black nationalist, and cyclist, who died from cancer in 1979, aged 27. She was a member of the British Black Panthers and squatted in 121 Railton Road in Brixton, where today there is a Low Traffic Neighbourhood.

Graphic of London’s Cycleways produced by climate crisis solutions organization Possible.

Possible

Maurice Burton Way

Burton was a star of the Six-Day track racing circuit in the 1970s alongside the likes of Eddy Merckx. Born in Catford, Burton’s cycling career was stellar, but it could have been even more successful were it not for institutional racism that may have limited his opportunities.

“Including his name on the route and emphasizing his achievements might start to counter that prejudice and encourage more inclusive participation in cycling,” said a statement from Possible.

Shortlisted names for London’s other Cycleways include Tao’s Route for CS1, named for Hackney’s Tao Geoghegan Hart who won this year’s Giro d’ltalia cycling race, and Lamartine Lane for CS3, named for suffragette Rose Lamartine Yates who, in 1907, became the first woman elected to the council of the Cyclists’ Touring Club.

Cycle routes elsewhere in the world have been named for individuals. In Montreal, the curb-protected cycleway in the Canadian city’s Central Business District is named for Claire Morissette, a cycle campaigner active in the 1970s and 1980s. The Piste Claire-Morissette was built in 2007, replaced a car lane, and was named for Morissette, who had died from cancer earlier in the same year.

A man bikes on the Dr. Paul Dudley White Bike Path on March 20, 2020 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. … [+] (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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And in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Dr. Paul Dudley White Path is named for President Dwight Eisenhower’s physician who “did more for bicycles than any man living or dead,” Ray Caparros, the advertising manager for Schwinn Bicycle, told the New York Times NYT at the start of the Great American Bicycle Boom of 1970–1974. Dr. Paul Dudley White’s numerous promotional campaigns to get more Americans on bicycles – he advocated daily bicycle rides, and in the 1950s he was the face of American Bike Month – led to sales surges.