Cycling in West Redbridge: Too many promises, too little action! An article by Nat Pabla (Redbridge).
I’ve been cycling around the western parts of Redbridge Borough since moving to the area in 2000, and also cycle frequently around Hackney. There is a stark contrast between a borough that prides itself on being “cyclist friendly”, and ours that merely pays lip service to non-car drivers. One only has to read the council’s plan for 2017-2022. Two weak phrases sum up the lack of vision for addressing how Redbridge could both improve the health and well-being of its residents and also reduce air pollution by actively encouraging cycling in the Borough: Firstly, the council vaguely aims to 'make the borough cycle-friendly' and intends to 'work to open up safe cycle and walking routes' (p13). I think many of us would like to know when, where and how this will be achieved!
Cycling from South Woodford to Wanstead, Snaresbrook, Woodford Green and beyond is fraught with many perils: heavy & speeding traffic, unsafe & poorly planned junctions, impossible right turns - and not least cycle lanes that, where they do exist, are narrow and don’t add any real benefit to the cyclist’s journey. Of course, drivers of cars, vans and lorries can play their part in keeping cyclists safe. Similarly, cyclists must do their best to follow the rules of the road. But, what can our council do to encourage more people to consider cycling as a viable option for their journey? How can we keep our cyclists safe and on the road? Well, I have a few ideas borne out of the experience of preferring to arrive at my destination in one piece, rather than feeling uncomfortable by pushing my bike over a junction - or by travelling further, in order to turn around to avoid a fearsome right turn!
The junction on Wanstead High Street with Redbridge Road:
Mark this so that cyclists can go in front of the traffic queue, several seconds before the main lights change. This would enable the car drivers to see who is going straight ahead and who is turning right. Alternatively, introduce a segregated cycle path with lights to enable three options: left, right and straight ahead.
Woodford High Road:
Widen, and preferably segregate, the existing cycle lane to extend from Hollybush Hill through to Woodford Green. Cycle-specific traffic lights should be introduced to enable safe right turns, especially into other important local roads, such as Snaresbrook High Street, George Lane, Queen Mary Avenue and Churchfields. So, these are a couple of suggestions from me. Please contact us with your views & suggestions: [email protected] Kind regards, Nat.
Nat Pabla (South Woodford Liberal Democrats): 30 June 2020
Dr. Mark Twitchett (Ed.)
On behalf of:
Dr. Mark Twitchett, Martin Rosner & Gwyneth Deakins: Churchfields Focus Team
- Fighting for a fairer future & for more powers for the people of Redbridge -