Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Great local sights while cycling - no.2

On the Albert Embankment is a fine memorial to the courageous Special Operations Executive agents of the second world war. The SOE was secretly formed for the purpose of recruiting agents, men and women of many nationalities who would volunteer to continue the fight for freedom, by committing acts of sabotage in countries occupied by the enemy.

It may be time for a similar organisation to battle for freedom against the tyranny of the South Bank Employers Group. Their draft Cycling Strategy says, "The River Walk is not a designated cycle route and private landowners in the study area recommend that a ban on cycling in this location be enforced. Although it is technically illegal to cycle on the River Walk....."

The SBEG want to force cyclists to be on the road and enjoy this view of the memorial instead.

But look, here's an underground photo taken by the Resistance below Westminster Bridge where it is "technically illegal to cycle" - Good grief, sabotage seems to have started already with markings installed to indicate where cyclists and pedestrians should be in the tunnel. Cunningly they appear to have been aged to look as though they've been there for years.

It is of course reassuring to know that "A number of options were discussed that assessed the various options available to landowners, with the safety and security of pedestrians on the River Walk as the paramount consideration."

The purveyors of tat, sorry, employers, have decided that The River Walk is clearly too narrow for cyclists and pedestrians and there is no alternative solution but to ban one or the other. Look how narrow it is here:

and here:

It's narrow here too, no room for cyclists at all:

While outside Gabriel's Wharf it's a real pinch-point:

Here's a point of real concern:

May the reborn SOE descend, throw these obstructions into the recycling bins and ban those responsible from the River Walk forever.


Tim said...

This blog is another example of bicycle headbanging as championed by Batty Boris and his barking mad Boris bike scheme (which I'm pleased to note has been a huge failure so far). The reason why the employment group wishes to make the south bank a pedestrian only zone is because it is safer to do so. Currently the behaviour of a large proportion of the cyclists who do use it make it means that they are threatening the safety of those on foot. Additionally they are actually making the area intimidating for older people, people with mobility difficulties and small children. Issues, in no particular order, include riding at high speed, not allowing for distance between themselves and those on foot and not paying attention properly to the area in front of them. A particular problem is Albert Embankment where cyclists seem to think that the pavement area is a permissible place to cycle (it isn't) and which is very narrow at certain points. The tunnel illustrated in this blog is an area I use every day and was actually ridden into by a lunatic on a bike last week who then claimed I should have got out of his way. It would help too if the cyclists that do use the road actually paid attention to the traffic lights. Many don't making attempts to cross Albert Embankment, as I do every morning at the pedestrian crossing outside the Fire Brigade HQ, an unnecessarily hazardous undertaking. This ban can't come soon enough and, I believe, the majority of fair minded local residents will applaud it.

Anonymous said...

it looks to me like there IS room for bikes ... but not Barclays/Boris bikes!
As a cyclist and (obviously) a pedestrian working near Borough market I don't think that the solution is to get all righteous about cyclists rights (sorry). There needs to be provision for pedestrians who need to be safe from rogue cyclists, just as there needs to be provision for cyclists, who need to be safe from traffic.

Helz said...

There was an idiot cycling over the (very busy) Golden Jubilee footbridge this afternoon.

SE11 Lurker said...

Agree with all you have to say here. Bad behaviour by some cyclists doesn't mean that everybody should be banned from cycling. Why not put a cycle lane in place on this part of the South Bank and encourage cyclists to dismount and walk the pinch points?

ric said...

Employers are fretful about the risk of increased insurance costs. Ideally they would like to avoid paying any kind of third-party liability if someone trips on a paving stone or get knocked down by a bike.