Let Havering Cycle protest ride
Upminster and Cranham Residets’ Association team member Oscar Ford recently attended the Let Havering Cycle protest ride. Below are his thoughts –
‘On Saturday 11th September I had the pleasure of joining fellow cyclists on the ‘Let Havering Cycle! Protest Ride’ from Harrow Lodge Park to the Town Hall. Organised by Extinction Rebellion Havering, and open to all, the ride was a follow up to last year’s protest when a petition calling for the Council to take action to improve cycling facilities in the borough was presented to the Leader of the Council. Since then it is claimed that little has been done to address the issues raised. The Cabinet Member for Environment stated that this is due to a lack of funding, pointing to the Mayor of London and delays in obtaining grant funding.
The suggestion that things are bad for Havering cyclists is backed up by the Healthy Streets Scorecard, which recently ranked Havering as second worst in London for cyclists and for making changes to make our streets healthier.
Cycling from the park to the Town Hall I took the opportunity to talk to several of the riders, asking them what their key wishes were for better provision. They identified some specific elements such as better signage, more dedicated cycle routes and, where practical, shared footways, but the overwhelming desire was to be listened to and to have their views properly taken into account.
Looking at the Council’s plans for better cycle provision it is hard to find any clearly defined strategic approach. The Council has previously put forward proposals for Quietway routes but failed to secure funding from Transport for London (TfL) to progress these. It does have indicative funding plans for cycle provision in some new developments and for a review of signage, way-finding and advanced stop lines, though all these approaches seem piecemeal and lacking in commitment, ambition and strategic direction. A position that our Residents’ Associations must seek to change.’
For more information on the Healthy Streets Scorecard visit their website www.healthystreetsscorecard.london/ .