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Readers' Letters

Gazette letters: Autumn colours, crowdfunder thanks, pavement cycling and dangerous junction

15:54 19 October 2016

Autumn garden in Hackney  (Picture: Martin Sugarman)

Autumn garden in Hackney (Picture: Martin Sugarman)

Martin Sugarman

[Look at] the autumn display in this Hackney back garden, writes Martin Sugarman, full address supplied.

We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has helped us reach our Kickstarter campaign target, making it possible for us to turn our basement into a permanent event space, write Sam Fisher and Jason Burley, Burley Fisher Books, Kingsland Road, Haggerston

Since we opened in February we have been overwhelmed by the support shown by everyone in the local community.

Bookshops thrive on enthusiam, so thanks for getting behind us.

We have a week till the campaign comes to a close, and the total is still rising. We are now hoping to raise enough to buy equipment in order to live-stream our events, to make them accessible to all.

Once again, thank you ever so much for your support. We can’t wait to see you at an event!

The crowdfunding campaign closes on Tuesday (see p2).

• Visit kickstarter.com/projects/911378190/burley-fisher-books-events-to-keep-print-alive

Further to your article on “pavement cyclists” published on August 16, it seems I am not alone in feeling vulnerable on the pavements of Hackney, writes Dr Vishal Vora, Stoke Newington.

I searched on Twitter and found many other people in London seem to find pavement cycling annoying. Many think cyclists are fast becoming a menace.

The fact is, cycling on the pavement is against the law and can result in a £50 fixed penalty fine.

With Hackney now having more people commuting to work by cycle than any other area of Britain, perhaps some type of education program ought to be considered.

Perhaps many cyclists simply do not realise they are breaking the law. Whatever the reasons may be, the fact remains many two-wheeled “pedestrians” do not display any common courtesy to us walking pedestrians, instead simply expecting everyone to move out of the way upon their approach.

The pavement is for pedestrians, NOT cyclists, unless it’s designated a cycle track. Why shouldn’t we pedestrians be able to walk freely without fear of being knocked over?

I’ve tried several times to stop cyclists on the pavement, only to be met with verbal abuse and threats of violence – this for simply trying to keep myself and my young children safe. I walk the streets of Stoke Newington daily, yes, most of the time pushing a buggy, but in doing so, I remain a conscientious pedestrian, happily sharing the pavement with my fellow pedestrians.

I am fed up with traffic-light-ignoring cyclists treating the pavements of Hackney as if they are cycling superhighways. Here’s a novel idea: stop riding on our pavements and instead try the roads and stick to the rules. Yes, cycling is good all-round, but not to the detriment of fellow Londoners.

We were very saddened to see recently a young woman was very seriously injured at the north end of Mare Street while cycling, writes Jono Kenyon, Hackney Cycling Campaign chairman.

We offer her and her family best wishes for a speedy recovery.

While we do not know the circumstances of the collision, we believe this is a dangerous junction that needs urgent remedial action. For years there have been clusters of collisions in this area, which should have indicated a need for change, and similarly the north end of Mare Street was highlighted in our recent member survey as an area where cyclists felt unsafe.

Hackney Cycling has flagged up problems about this area, including the very hostile conditions for people accessing the Narrow Way from the south, turning right across a busy road with poor visibility. We recently indicated to the council that we want to see progress made on plans we have seen.

This collision hotspot, within yards of the town hall, needs urgent attention if Hackney is to become a truly “safe and attractive borough for cycling”. As Hackney’s population grows, and more people walk and cycle, we want to support the council in making these journeys safe and attractive.

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