Hackney cyclists no longer top of the podium

Cyclists along Mare Street in Hackney

Cyclists along Mare Street in Hackney - Credit: Archant

Campaigners say more must be done to keep Hackney ahead of the pack on cycling.

Cyclists along Mare Street in Hackney

Cyclists along Mare Street in Hackney - Credit: Archant

The council has pledged to get more people on their bikes by 2025 – but new data reveals the borough has been unseated from the top of London’s cycling league by Richmond-upon-Thames.

For the first time, Hackney is not the London borough with the highest proportion of cycle commuters, Transport for London revealed.

Back in December, TfL announced plans to award Hackney £3.9m – some of it intended for cycle provisions – as part of Boris Johnson’s transport strategy.

The funding included £1.33m for improvements within the Narrow Way, £250k for the Well Street and Mare Street junction, and £349k to go towards resurfacing the worst of the borough’s trunk roads.

There was an extra £2m fund for a raft of other programmes that focused on parking for cyclists, bike loan schemes and training plans.

A Hackney Council spokeswoman welcomed news Richmond had overtaken east London.

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“We will continue our efforts to make Hackney’s roads the most attractive and safest roads in the UK,” she said, “and have set targets to increase cycling locally to 15 per cent by 2025.”

But Brenda Puech, of the Hackney Cycling Campaign, said more could be done to reduce the space taken up by cars.

“We could do a lot more to encourage people to walk and cycle,” she said. “While pedestrians are the majority of people on streets, we are forced onto narrow footways that are crowded with car paraphernalia.”

Oliver Schick, secretary of the London Cycling Campaign in Hackney, told the Gazette: “Hackney has done excellent work on cycling in the last few years and has greatly contributed to a positive perception of cycling in the borough.

“The cycling parking programme is transformational. Lack of cycle parking is one of the biggest barriers and when it gets addressed, levels of cycling rise very quickly. We have been working with the council on this for years.”

Campaigners have cited record viewing figures for this month’s parliamentary cycling debate as evidence to suggest more investment is needed. More than two million people tuned in online.

Cyclists believe the social media response demonstrates the huge support cycling has and sends a clear message to the government.