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South London cycleway repeatedly targeted with drawing pins

Councillor brands perpetrator as “mean spirited” with one local business owner revealing she has suffered a number of punctures due to the sabotage

A segregated cycle lane in south London is being targeted by someone dropping drawing pins on it, with a number of cases of such sabotage happening over the past two years, causing cyclists to puncture.

Police have been made aware of the problem and say that they will keep an eye out for such criminal behaviour while on patrol in the area around Bermondsey Underground station on Jamaica Road, which is on the route of Cycleway 4, which opened three years ago.

Liberal Democrat local councillor Rachel Bentley, who has been selected as the party’s parliamentary candidate for Bermondsey & Old Southwark, warned cyclists of the latest instance in a post on X, the platform previously known as Twitter.

“I’m sorry to report that the drawing pins are back on the cycle lane by #Bermondsey tube,” she wrote. “Such mean-spirited behaviour. Do take care when cycling through.”

She said that she had reported the problem to the Metropolitan Police, Southwark Council and Transport for London “on several occasions over the past year. It’s my ward so I take a particular responsibility and interest.”

Quoted on Southwark News, Lydia Maxwell, who owns and runs the dog-walking business Dogboxx and ferries her four-legged customers around by cargo bike said that she had suffered a number of punctures due to the unknown saboteur.

“Whoever it is has clearly stepped up their game because we’ve seen it happen 10 or 15 times this year and had about three or four punctures this year,” she said.

“I’m running a small business. Replacing my tyres definitely digs into my bottom line,” she continued.

“But it’s more of a dent in morale knowing that somebody out there wants to hurt you,” she added.

Councillor Bentley added: “Dogboxx is the cutest business on planet Earth and she’s having to spend shed loads of money on replacement tyres. It’s just mean-spirited.”

In response to her post on X, North Bermondsey Police said: “Many thanks for bringing this to our attention, we did also have an email.

2Anyone carrying out this action would be committing a criminal offence. When we are on patrol in the area we will keep an eye out.

“If anyone witnesses pins/sharp objects being dropped please call police,” they added.

Simon joined road.cc 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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15 comments

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HoldingOn | 3 months ago
0 likes
Quote:

A segregated cycle lane in south London is being targeted by someone dropping drawing pins on it, with a number of cases of such sabotage happening over the past two years, causing cyclists to puncture.

I think they might be using their cycles wrong, if they are being punctured instead of their tyres...

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to HoldingOn | 3 months ago
1 like

Balance bike boom?

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bigwheeler88 | 3 months ago
0 likes

Just ride in the road where you are entitled to.

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neilmck | 3 months ago
1 like

Get Marathon Plus tyres. I once saw a video on YouTube where someone put drawing pins around the circumference of the tyre and rode his bike on it. It tried it myself (one drawing pin in the tyre) and there was no puncture.

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brooksby replied to neilmck | 3 months ago
5 likes
neilmck wrote:

Get Marathon Plus tyres. I once saw a video on YouTube where someone put drawing pins around the circumference of the tyre and rode his bike on it. It tried it myself (one drawing pin in the tyre) and there was no puncture.

Marathon Plus are great until the 1/1000000 chance that something does puncture them and you break your fingers taking the tyre on/off... 

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wtjs replied to brooksby | 3 months ago
0 likes

Marathon Plus are great until the 1/1000000 chance that something does puncture them and you break your fingers taking the tyre on/off... 

Many people say this, so it must depend critically on minute variations in rim size. Mine are no trouble at all and puncures are vanishingly rare, even at the present hedge cutting season

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Muddy Ford | 3 months ago
3 likes

mean spirited? I bet if someone was to put nail boards on roads that courier vans were using the police would launch a full scale investigation and stake-out to capture the fiends waging a war on motorists..

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Peowpeowpeowlasers | 3 months ago
4 likes

This happened on a local byway at the start of covid (Brickkiln Lane in Dunham).  Someone didn't like the fact that people were cycling perfectly legally during lockdown.

I gathered up as many as I could and my response, were it to happen again, was going to be to put signs up saying "WARNING, LOCAL DOG HATER IS DROPPING PINS ON THE ROAD.  PLEASE TAKE CARE, THIS PERSON HATES DOGS."  It didn't happen again though so I didn't get the chance.

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bigwheeler88 replied to Peowpeowpeowlasers | 3 months ago
0 likes

Nice LARP

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BIRMINGHAMisaDUMP | 3 months ago
4 likes

For the business owner - upgrade your tyres and put inserts in like Tannus Armour.  I use them on my cargo bikes which I also use for business. I haven't had a puncture for years and years. A pin similar to these will not get through Tannus Armour. Or another tip is to use an old inner tube and place it inside the tyre over the actual inner tube. This also adds protection. A cargo bike puncture is a hassle to fix and slows down the business considerably. 

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ktache | 3 months ago
1 like

Much sympathy for the victims and nasty perpetrators, but do you really need to change tyres because of a few drawing pins? And butyl tubes could be patched...

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Car Delenda Est replied to ktache | 3 months ago
4 likes

Can't say I have any sympathy for the nasty perpetrators myself

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wtjs | 3 months ago
5 likes

When we are on patrol in the area we will keep an eye out

...so that we can look the other way/ turn a blind eye more efficiently

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Sriracha replied to wtjs | 3 months ago
5 likes

It's fair to say, they won't see the point.

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brooksby | 3 months ago
14 likes
Quote:

Police have been made aware of the problem and say that they will keep an eye out for such criminal behaviour while on patrol 

  

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