Gazette letters: Pavement cyclists, Stamford Hill junction and seagulls on our streets

Vishal Vora last week complained about cyclists on the pavement (Picture: Nigel Sutton)

Vishal Vora last week complained about cyclists on the pavement (Picture: Nigel Sutton) - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Maybe the problem of getting police action over the issue of pavement cyclists (Gazette, August 18) could be solved by initiating a points system, with the points accrued being recognised with an annual bonus, writes Tom Uprichard, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Stoke Newington.

Say for every murder solved, the responsible officers are awarded 100 points, while for every successful prosecution of a pavement cyclist, they gain one point. I’m sure it would not be difficult for an officer on the beat to gain as many points as his colleagues in the homicide squad over a year. The fines levied would cover the cost of such a scheme. Or bring back the stocks.

I have never been more perplexed as I was when I read of the decision not to proceed with the Stamford Hill road safety scheme (Gazette, August 11, p5), writes Cllr Vincent Stops, Hackney Central ward (Labour).

Such schemes should not be lost without good reason.

It seems the decision was largely influenced by [Stamford Hill Tory ward councillor] Cllr Simche Steinberger gathering hundreds of objections and some cycle campaigners wanting an unspecified, unfunded, alternative scheme.

Stamford Hill junction has a casualty history.

Developing road safety schemes at busy junctions is not easy.

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TfL had designed one that would have saved casualties and was funded.

It is a really disappointing decision not to progress this scheme.

I hope residents who want to get this safety scheme back on track might consider signing my petition.

Cllr Stops’s petition to Jennette Arnold asking her to lobby the Mayor of London over the junction plan

Steely gazed and perfectly preened, gulls are stalking the streets of Hackney, asserting themselves in their new city home, writes Hackney resident Will McCallum.

Seagull has never been the correct term for these birds, but now seems even more inappropriate – just plain old “gull” will do.

Exactly why numbers have boomed in the past few years isn’t completely understood, but reasonable guesses include the constant supply of food spilling from our bins satisfying their scavenging nature and tall buildings to nest in, keeping their eggs and chicks out of reach of predators like foxes and rats.

Whether it’s young black-headed gulls searching for worms in Victoria Park or more recognisable, boisterous herring gulls in Holloway Road tossing around food scraps with hooked yellow beaks, these neighbours are here to stay. Are they a pest wreaking havoc on the high street, or a welcome guest filling our skies with the sound of holidays past? Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, it’s best not to feed them. If cities really are the place for these birds, it’s probably better they seek their own fortune. Gulls are hardy, used to migrating thousands of miles through harsh sea-spray only to find themselves at the wind-battered cliffs of our coast. They’ll be fine.

Silhouetted against our muggy summer skies, there is something absurd about these magnificent birds choosing to feed from the pavements of north London, their high pitched “queeee-ooh” bouncing off our concrete estates.