* UPDATE: The group has called itself Hackney People on Bikes. It has since met Hackney councillors and officials from other London bodies as part of its campaign for cycling safety
A GROUP has formed in Hackney to demand more segregated cycleways. Ruth-Anna Macqueen, of Clapton, has set up the first meeting of the group, for tonight.
The young parent of a young child, she has been commuting by bike to her job as a doctor.
She told potential members, who came together via social media, that she had become fed up with Hackney council’s priding itself on being the “best borough for cycling” yet providing little for two-wheeled travellers in the way of segregation from motor traffic.
Some councillors, she said, flatly opposed the idea of paths being segregated – also termed “dedicated” – and some even claimed that fear of traffic was not relevant.
The result was low rates of cycling among children, the old and people with disabilities.
Macqueen thought that a “huge number of people” would like to cycle but were “too scared”.
For any group to try to change the cycling policies of Hackney council, not
to mention of TfL, which controls many borough thoroughfares, is ambitious.
The council has been much influenced by the local branch of the London Cycling Campaign where, according to one member of the embryonic Macqueen group, “the loudest voices” are those against segregated lanes.
And despite London’s having a cycling commissioner and a cycling mayor, the masters of London transport have done little for two-wheeled travellers, although they have introduced cycle boxes, such as the one pictured above at Dalston Junction.
David Altheer 191114
* The pressure group will meet at the Pembury Tavern, 90 Amhurst Road (junction with Dalston Lane) E8 1JH, Wed 19 Nov 2014 at 7.30pm.
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