Readers' Letters

Cyclists are a menace

PUBLISHED: 16:03 10 September 2008 | UPDATED: 08:56 21 July 2010

MY neighbours and myself commend the policy on the crackdown on cyclists who break the law by riding on pavements and going through red lights, as reported in the Hackney Gazette (August 21)...

MY neighbours and myself commend the policy on the crackdown on cyclists who break the law by riding on pavements and going through red lights, as reported in the Hackney Gazette (August 21).

We have long complained of this problem in Seven Sisters Road. Even a green-man crossing does not protect you from red light-jumping cyclists.

With shorter daylight hours, you often do not see speeding cyclists on the pavement until it's too late.

Cycling groups may complain about problems with one-way systems, but to endanger pedestrians is not the answer.

The average age of cyclists caught by the police was 38.

They should be responsible adults and I would rather see them given fines than see themselves or innocent pedestrians seriously hurt.

The government has told us it is up to local police to prioritise policing.

In an inner-city borough such as Hackney, to have respect for each other and to care for our environment is a priority.

The news that the police will be running further operations should be welcomed by all residents and visitors to Hackney.

Terrence Wood,

Burtonwood House,

Woodberry Down Estate.

THE London Cycling Campaign in Hackney is as opposed to inconsiderate footway cycling as John Thornton (Letters, August 28) - but we do not think that "crackdowns" of the type carried out last month are an effective remedy.

The police have been doing these purges in Stoke Newington High Street for years. So why do lots of people still cycle on the pavement there?

Answer: the abominable one-way system. People are cycling south on the footway because the whole width of the carriageway is devoted to northbound traffic.

Return the streets to two-way, as the community has been asking for more than a decade, and the problem will largely evaporate.

Footway cycling was also common on the main streets of Shoreditch until we got rid of the one-way racetrack there in 2002.

Now Shoreditch High Street and Old Street are filled with people cycling, 99 per cent of them on the carriageway.

The other big factor behind footway cycling is fear of motor traffic.

The London Cycling Campaign and Living Streets (formerly the Pedestrians' Association) both agree that the speed limit for London's streets should be reduced to 20mph.

Cutting out all the pointless acceleration and braking will help nervous riders feel safe enough to take to the road.

Fixed penalty notices should be reserved, as the Home Office advises, for those who are actually riding inconsiderately. For the rest, let's encourage people to take up the offer of free cycle training and have a big, positive publicity campaign to put over the message that: "It's quicker and safer on the road."

Trevor Parsons,

Co-ordinator, London Cycling

Campaign in Hackney,

Kingsland Road, Haggerston.

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