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Gazette letters: Cyclists and Hackney’s climate emergency

PUBLISHED: 08:30 22 March 2020

Should the Highway Code be forced on cyclists. Picture: TfL

Should the Highway Code be forced on cyclists. Picture: TfL

© Transport for London

Hackney, it seems, has a policy of tolerance for bikes that push the boundaries of what I used to know as the Highway Code. So far so good – I have a bike, writes Ken Rolph, Hackney.

I shall follow the example of speeding on all park designated and non-designated paths, I will use no lights, I will travel against the one way system on Victoria Park Road, I will borrow a child so that I can ride pillion in the wrong direction down Fremont Street, and I will not be surprised when at 9.44pm on Sunday, March 15 I am nearly mowed down by a delivery motorbike crossing London Fields park because he thinks that the council will not enforce the rules.

Relaxing rules can have unintended consequences, perhaps we should still enforce the rules on cyclists when they break two of the rules at once?

Just a thought.

This letter is a response to Hackney Council’s Declaration of a Climate Emergency in June 2019...

write Divest Hackney, Education for Sustainability, Hackney Fixers, Hackney Food Partnership, Plastic Free Hackney, Sustainable Hackney, Hackney Living Streets, Extinction Rebellion, Tree Musketeers, Gabriel Davalos, Michael Calderbank, James Diamond, Ed Carver, Daisy Hutchison, Bettina Maidment, Bethany Martin, Philip Pearson, Hannah Eskell, Jan Kuiper, Richard Payne, Sandra Edwards, Sandra McLeod, Merle White, Briony Pete, Mireille Tchapi, and Christine Kings:

It is submitted on behalf of Hackney-based voluntary and community organisations and individuals who champion various aspects of climate and environmental action.

We have discussed and debated the eight “resolves” declared by the council at meetings and workshops.

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We have endeavoured to keep this response as practical and action focused as possible.

But we appreciate the significant challenge that the council has ahead.

We may not all agree with every detail of this response.

But we believe that residents and knowledgeable community activists (many of us both!) can support you to act upon the emergency you have declared.

This response to each of the declarations in turn raises questions we have about each proposal.

We suggest many practical actions – some of which the council may already be doing that we may not be aware of.

We ask you consider and respond to each point, especially where we seek your engagement with our campaigns and action-focused activities. We are poised ready to help.

The fight to rebalance our intricate ecosystems, and delicately balanced climate is of the utmost priority. Everyone has a part to play. Leadership, accountability, urgency and telling the truth about the emergency must be the backbone of how the council moves forward at this most-critical moment.

Our future depends upon you.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

We look forward to your response.

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