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Cyclists suffer punctures as drawing pins strewn on planned Quietway in South London

Several reports of punctures at Mawbey Street in Southwark, just off the Old Kent Road - Metropolitan Police investigating

Cyclists in South London are being urged to be vigilant due to drawing pins being repeatedly scattered on a street in Southwark that is due to be closed to motor vehicles to form part of one of the capital’s Quietway cycle routes.

The charity Cycling UK was alerted to the issue by cyclist Richard Allalouf, who asked for its help in alerting the south east London cycling community to the problem.

He wrote: “On Mawbey Road in Southwark (a small road with heavy cycle use that runs onto the Old Kent Road) an individual has repeatedly scattered handfuls of drawing pins. This is resulting in many many punctures!”

He added that he had submitted a street cleaning response to Southwark Council, who subsequently replied and said they would clean up the drawing pins – although of course it was not an isolated incident.

The Metropolitan Police Cycle Safety Team also highlighted the problem on Twitter and said they were investigating and would be monitoring the area.

Last year, Transport for London held a consultation on proposals to close Mawbey Road at the junction with OId Kent Road to non-emergency motor vehicles as part of a Quietway linking Honor Oak Park to the existing Quietway 1 from Waterloo to Greenwich, which runs along Oxley Close a couple of hundred metres to the north.

One Twitter user who suffered a puncture suggested someone against the scheme – 51 people were fully in favour of TfL’s plans, with four opposed to them – might be responsible.

Another revealed that three members of a group he had been on a weekend ride with had also had punctures in the area.

Sam Jones, Cycling UK Campaigns Coordinator, told “This sort of reprehensible and illegal behaviour targeting cyclists might be seen as a joke by the miscreant wasting their pins, but it is not just inconvenient but downright dangerous.

"We can only hope this is a one off, rather than a coordinated, if misguided, protest at Mawbey Road’s turning into a Quietway,

“Thankfully Southwark Council is making sure the route is swept clear, and the Met Cycle Team is on it and will hopefully bring those responsible to justice.”

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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