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Woking cycling ban means children can ride to school but not home again

"It's not always the case of accidents taking place, but people feeling they have been involved in a near miss"...

Woking is to review its ban on cycling in the town centre after it was pointed out that schildren are currently allowed to ride to school but not home again.

Woking was awarded Cycling Town status in 2008, but saw a restriction on town centre cycling introduced in March 2011.

Cycling is currently prohibited through the town centre and along Commercial Way between Chapel Street and Chobham Road between 10.30am and 4pm.

In 2018 police officers patrolled the town issuing yellow cards, an initiative that was described as, “a positive and polite request for cyclists to think of others and dismount.”

There have been no known prosecutions.

Cycling UK have previously questioned the policy, pointing out that case studies indicate cyclists tend to adjust their behaviour in areas of heavy footfall.

Surrey Live reports that Norman Johns, the chairman of Woking Cycle Users Group, called for the ban to be lifted at a meeting of Surrey County Council and Woking Borough Council (WBC) Joint Committee on Wednesday.

"The enforcement, as it stands now, makes it impossible for children to cycle across the town square – which they would do naturally – then cycle back because they are breaking the law doing that."

Andrew Milne, area highway manager, responded that the measure was introduced due to concerns about cyclists mixing with pedestrians.

"There's been a lot of strong feeling on both sides with changing the existing arrangements,” he said.

"We do have to balance these with all highways users – not just for cyclists but so pedestrians are safe.

"It's not always the case of accidents taking place, but people feeling they have been involved in a near miss."

WBC leader David Bittleston said with several major developments in the town centre coming to completion, it would be worth reviewing the ban.

"Now is an appropriate time to start looking at how we improve it for the future; how do we solve some of the problems we have created in the past?

"It does seem like a sensible time to go back and have a review because in 12 months' time Victoria Square opens."

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7 comments

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brooksby | 3 years ago
2 likes
Quote:

Andrew Milne, area highway manager, responded that the measure was introduced due to concerns about cyclists mixing with pedestrians.

After nine years, you'd think they'd have all the data they needed to determine whether the concerns were justified...

Avatar
Crazyhorse | 3 years ago
14 likes

"It's not always the case of accidents taking place, but people feeling they have been involved in a near miss"

Fair enough - but (in the interests of equity) does that mean that public roads with a history of close passes by motorists on cyclists will be closed to motor vehicles

Avatar
maldin replied to Crazyhorse | 3 years ago
14 likes

That was my first thought as well - the safest way to prevent further accidents on roads where cyclist have been injured or had near misses, is to ban cars during busy cycling periods. If that seems absurd to the authorities, then surely they can see the absurdity in this ban too. I guess not.

Avatar
billymansell | 3 years ago
9 likes

Are the people who think cyclists are dangerous the same people who think all muslims are terrorists and that all blacks carry knives?

Any policy by such prejudice is patently absurd and discriminatory. Any policy should be evidence based and not pandering to ignorance.

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Sriracha replied to billymansell | 3 years ago
2 likes

Whilst I see the point you are trying to make, it is badly made. People have no choice regarding their own colour, and to a degree would say they have little choice regarding their faith since they equate it with the truth. Hence these are protected characteristics, and discrimination based on them becomes an issue. The choice to dismount a bike for a while however is relatively easy.

Avatar
billymansell replied to Sriracha | 3 years ago
4 likes

You've missed my main point which is that policy by prejudice is wrong, policy should be evidence based.

I gave a few examples of discrimination but could give hundreds and their relative merits weren't the issue here. It's that councils that develop policy by prejudice based on nothing more than conjecture and hearsay are actively engaged in discrmination.

Avatar
roubaixcobbles replied to Sriracha | 3 years ago
1 like

The point is not badly made at all, your point is. People have choices about many things such as their political views, how they dress, the cultural groups with which they identify - just because they have a choice about these things doesn't mean it's OK to discriminate against them because of it. Stopping people using their preferred (and less damaging) form of transport because some other people have developed an irrational non-evidence-based bias against it is neither fair nor rational, it is discriminatory, and it is an issue. Saying you have a choice and can get off your bike is like saying women have a choice about how they dress and so shouldn't wear short skirts late at night - in both cases the answer is the same, why the feck should they?

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