Cyclists riding at London’s Regent’s Park have reported having their tyres punctured by tacks apparently spread on the road surface. Some believe the incidents may be linked to opposition to the proposed Cycle Superhighway 11, which is planned to pass along one of the roads involved.
On Friday morning, a tweet from the Twitter account of Regent’s Park Cyclists, the group set up to represent cyclists who ride and train on the roads within the park, said that there had been “two separate reports of Tacks being thrown down on the road” inside the park.
Group spokesman Justin McKie, quoted in the Ham & High, said: “Five or six cyclists got in touch with me to say they had tacks in their tyres and had spotted the tacks on the road.
“The cyclists themselves picked them up and sorted it. I reported it to the police and the Royal Parks. Luckily nobody was injured.”
The newspaper says that tacks were found on the Outer Circle – which is on the proposed CS11 route – at 7am on Friday, which followed a similar discovery on the Inner Circle eight days previously.
The Outer Circle is particularly popular among road cyclists as a unique location in Central London where laps can be ridden at times there is relatively little traffic around such as early on weekday mornings.
“Cyclists doing laps generally travel at around 20mph, so getting a puncture which causes loss of control will quite often leave the rider on the floor and most likely injured,” said Mr McKie. “If that’s in front of a car, then that’s the big concern.”
The results of a consultation into CS11, which is scheduled to run from the Swiss Cottage gyratory in north west London to Oxford Circus, were published in March this year, with two in three respondents saying they backed the scheme.
Opponents of the scheme, which Transport for London (TfL) is due to make a final decision on in the coming weeks, claim it will displace motor traffic to areas such as Hampstead.
In September, a crowdfunding drive was launched to finance a judicial review of the scheme, despite the final plans not having been revealed yet. Currently, a little less than £5,000 of the £150,000 target has been raised on Just Giving.
Earlier this month they held a demonstration against the plans outside Hampstead Theatre, with people in favour of the infrastructure holding a counter-protest there.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.