London borough's cyclists say scary conditions and poor driving biggest deterrents

Waltham Forest cycle campaigners look to get council officials on board by taking them out for a ride

by Simon_MacMichael   December 10, 2009  

Walthamstow Town Hall.jpg

A survey has found that cyclists in a London Borough are deterred from cycling more by “scary road conditions” and “bad drivers.” The poll was conducted by Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign (WFCC) at this year’s Tour de Waltham Forest guided ride in which 300 cyclists participated.

Issues on which riders were surveyed included points that WFCC had raised during this year’s Bike Week at a series of Movers & Shakers rides that the group, which is affiliated with the London Cycling Campaign, had held with council staff and elected representatives in the North-East London borough, which includes areas such as Leytonstone, Walthamstow and Chingford.

Those included increased funds and improved consultation for bike-friendly road design, better highway maintenance and a pressing need to target dangerous driving. Pursuit of using the London 2012 Olympics to leverage more funding for the south of the borough, which contains the northernmost part of the Olympic Park, has also been identified as a priority.

Simon Munk, Movers & Shakers Co-ordinator at WFCC, told the Waltham Forest Guardian: "Getting key movers and shakers in the council out on bikes, including council leader Chris Robbins and deputy leader John Macklin, really helped get them to see those issues from a cyclist's perspective.

"That should mean an even better borough for cycling in the future,” he added.

The survey also found that positive aspects about cycling in the borough included quiet, traffic-free routes in Epping Forest and the Lea Valley.