Pedestrians urge cyclists to be more cautious down Hackney’s Narrow Way

Cyclists and pedestrians share the space on Narrow Way Hackney Central 09.02.21.

Cyclists and pedestrians share the space on Narrow Way, Hackney Central. - Credit: Polly Hancock

Hackney pedestrians have reported being increasingly worried about safety along the Narrow Way, with some calling for cyclists to be banned from the shared zone.

Narrow Way was previously open to motor vehicles like buses and cars, but was redesigned in 2013 as a shared space for pedestrians and cyclists.

However, residents like Rhonda Bickles have lodged complaints with the council about cyclists and those on electric scooters travelling at high speeds through the space.

Rhonda said: “Cyclists and people on electric scooters just go mad down there. This is very dangerous. Something ought to be done.”

 But, while many cyclists are considerate of everyone’s safety and cycle at a walking pace in shared zones, resident Marcia Roberts thinks they should be more careful.

 

Cyclists and pedestrians share the space on Narrow Way Hackney Central 09.02.21.

Some pedestrians are concerned at the pace at which some people cycle through the Narrow Way. - Credit: Polly Hancock

“There have been times when I’ve had to dodge out of the way of cyclists tearing down the Narrow Way. People should be more considerate,” she said.

 In 2015, a consultation revealed 90 per cent of respondents supported plans to redesign the street, but eight pc were concerned about the potential risk of conflict between pedestrians and cyclists and requested further measures be introduced to slow cyclists down at the most northern section of Mare Street.

Cyclists and pedestrians share the space on Narrow Way Hackney Central 09.02.21.

The Narrow Way was redesigned in 2013 as a shared space for pedestrians and cyclists. - Credit: Polly Hancock


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Speed, Hackney cyclist Susan Chernaik says, is "the thing” when it comes to the Narrow Way.

“The rule of thumb I always go by is if I am cycling near to pedestrians, I literally cycle at a walking pace, making injury very unlikely,” said the cyclist.

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“The thing is to consider others – not just their safety but their own perception of the risks, not making them feel uncomfortable.”

Twitter user Hackney Cyclist, who preferred to only be identified by their Twitter handle,  told the Gazette that in Hackney, cyclists have often “predominated” in design and decision-making processes.

They believe this choice, however, is not always a “conscious” one.

“Cyclists have received a great deal of attention in recent years," added the Twitter user. 

“Pedestrians, on the other hand, do not have a specific representative which means that the pedestrian is represented much less often.”

Hackney Council has been contacted for comment. 

Cyclists and pedestrians share the space on Narrow Way Hackney Central 09.02.21.

Some have even called for cyclists to be banned from the shared zone. - Credit: Polly Hancock

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