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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

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.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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