H&F Cyclists have responded to this blog about the barrage of criticism cyclists have come in for fromresidents attending public meetings in the last months. At this Borough Summit last year the complaints from residents were so trenchant that the Deputy Commander of Police in the borough promised that his officers wouldn't hesitate to hand out tickets to people on bikes where they shouldn't be.
And at this month's Crime Summit the topic of rogue two-wheeled bandits was much in evidence again leading to more promises of action from local politicians and Police alike. So what is going on with all this anti-bike-ism!? As a part time cyclist myself, and having covered the issue of cycling in the Bush after several of you expressed your concern about the dangers posed to cyclists in and around Westfield after this tragedy, I asked John Griffiths from H&F Cyclists for his views, almost as a 'right to reply'. Here's what he had to say:
It is true that rogue or problem cyclists cause problems, and I am completely behind attempts to deter or curb them. Recently the police have changed there attitude to cycling on the pavement, and are only giving fines, FPNs, to cyclists cycling to the danger of others. They still stop cyclists for being on the pavement if they are careful and considerate, but no fine as before.
However pedestrians and cyclists should really be acting together to try and thwart the problem
I have been trying to influence the Council and the police to see the dominance of motor traffic to be the cause of problems. Pedestrians and cyclists have a common cause in that they are squeezed together because of the complete bowing down to the ownership of cars and the flow of motor traffic. I would like to see roads designed, and traffic limited, so that cyclists can always get through on the road.
I would like to see car parking spaces given up so that shared car companies can have places for there cars. However when the council suggests that residents oppose it and it does not happen. I would like to see car parking spaces given up so that cycle parking could be put on the street rathere than on the footway, little hope there.
I am also hoping that the police will treat the theft of cycling more seriously. Apparently there was an 18% increase in reported cycle theft last year.
The people who come to the summit are not a random cross section of the population, but self selected.
H&F Cyclists are a great local organisation and are responsible for the annual GREENFEST event which takes place this year in Furnivall Gardens on Sunday 20 June, 1-5pm. A completely free event Ladies & Gents. see www.greenfest.org.uk More about that later.