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London council 'putting lives at risk' with signpost failures

Riders are forced onto dangerous roads due to cycle path closures - but there are safer alternatives

Cyclists in South London say their lives are being put at risk thanks to a failure to redirect a popular cycle route.

The group Southwark Cyclists says the council should be doing more while the Surrey Canal Path is shut.

This has put riders in the way of traffic on Willowbrook Road in Peckham, where they have to turn across the oncoming flow with a poor view due to a bridge hump.

Southwark Cyclists have identified safer routes nearby and have lobbied the council to signpost the them - but the pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

“They should be doing more to keep cyclists safe,” Sally Eva, SC secretary told Southwark News.

“Cyclists’ safety is crucial here.”

The council has put up a “slow down cyclists merging ahead” sign at the roadside, which the group says is inadequate.

“The more shocked you are the less confident you are. This is thrusting new, inexperienced cyclists onto a dangerous route,” said Sally.

Billy Clerkin, ex-cycling instructor said: “This is definitely a dangerous route for inexperienced cyclists. You have to turn across oncoming traffic, partially blind and going up a hill.”

Andy Cadwell, Chair of Southwark Cyclists, said: “It is irresponsible to knowingly allow cyclists to put themselves at risk in this way when there are easy and safe alternatives”.

Councillor Ian Wingfield, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for environment and public realm, said: “We are aware of the concerns raised by Southwark Cyclists although the temporary route was already in use by cyclists prior to the closure. We’ve taken on-board their concerns and installed additional signage on Willowbrook Road to alert drivers to cyclists joining the carriageway on the signed diversion route.”

“As such, the temporary diversion route should not create any additional hazards for cyclists. Unfortunately, the route suggested by Southwark Cyclists has been reviewed but cannot be adopted without a formal safety audit. The temporary route will be lifted by the end of the month once the Burgess Park works are near completion.”

 

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