Thursday, 30 June 2011

No room for cyclists - get off and push

Summer at the Oval and cricket means the closure of a section of London Cycle Network route 3 adjacent to it. Normally this road is two-way and fully parked up on both sides. On match days parking is banned and this popular cycle safe route becomes a one-way street.  It seems to me that there should be no objection to this important cycle route being "No Entry Except Cyclists". Here's what Lambeth Council wrote when I asked them about this ban last June:

Firstly, please accept my apologies for the late response to your question regarding the arrangements around the Oval cricket road closures and one-way workings. This is something we will look at next year, as it is now too late to amend the Temporary Traffic Order.

I have spoken to the Lambeth Cycling Officer, and in his opinion it would be simpler to tell cyclists to dismount for the short section of Kennington Oval for which the one way working is in operation.

The diversion would be too long otherwise as it would entail using Clayton Street, Kennington Road, Kennington Park Road, Harleyford Street and then into Kennington Oval (the Red Route section) to rejoin LCN 3.

I appreciate that this is inconvenient, and as a cyclist myself I would find this irritating, and we will promise to look at this next year, although we will have to consult with the Police as a major part of the reason for the restrictions are safety related and allow the Police to monitor all traffic, including cyclists.

I hope this goes some way to answering your question, if you have any further issues, please do not hesitate to contact me,

Kind regards,

Tony Fellowes
Project Engineer
Transport & Highways
Housing, Regeneration and Environment Dept.
London Borough of Lambeth

I've emailed the Council to ask them why the police turned down their request for cycling to be allowed this year.

I'm willing to bet that most cyclists ignore the signs and the police ignore the transgressors. And somebody will be whinging about cyclists going the wrong way down one-way streets.


aaa said...

Just take care, be considerate and assume there will be lots of inebriated cricket fans milling around.
This restriction has been around for years. People just ignore it and the police and marshals at the other end don't bother anyone. Just because there's a no-entry doesn't make it one way, and it doesn't make it illegal to cycle on the road beyond the sign. Even if it's forbidden to cycle past a no-entry, you can walk your bike through it. In any case there are all sorts of rules on the positioning of signs that would make a prosecution difficult.

aaa said...

While I'm on the subject, this bit of road is normally double parked. Motors come round it quite fast and because of the poor sight-lines caused by the parked vehicles, don't see you till the last moment. So the cricket restrictions make it a lot safer. And don't get me started on the nearby turns on LCN Route 3 between Harleyford St, Meadow Rd and Oval, which are lethal.