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

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.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.


ironmancole [358 posts] 3 years ago

I'd gladly volunteer to drive past government movers and shakers at 85mph whilst yelling abuse about using 'my road' if they really want a genuine UK cycling experience.

I guess with a bit of a twisted arm I could be persuaded to seriously injure some of them, accidentally of course and give them a personal UK cycling experience involving extreme bias towards myself as the aggressor and frustrating lack of justice and care by the entire 'justice' system.

Just to top it off I could show them how my life has been utterly ruined because I've had to pay a £200 fine and narrowly escaped a 4 week driving ban just because I'd forgotten to get any insurance whilst all they had to deal with was paralysis, a touch of brain damage and a lost career leaving their life in tatters.

Yep, welcome to cycling in the UK movers and shakers. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want to get involved in the sport or consider it as a viable transport alternative, just beyond me.

MaxP [81 posts] 3 years ago

It would be cheaper if it was possible to change all the drivers in the UK's mind-set, and made them drive in the correct manner.