Thursday 5 August 2010

What good's a rule if you can't enforce it?

The draft South Bank and Waterloo Cycling Strategy's Summary of Recommendations includes:
"River Walk policy
• Private landowners Southbank Centre and Coin Street Community Builders to support enforcement of no cycling rule on the River Walk between Oxo Tower Wharf and London Eye.

Should no enforcement support be agreed with police, landowners to support signage plan in (b) below if funded by external agencies

Lambeth Council to support educative methods and signage to encourage cyclists to use designated routes away from the River Walk (between Westminster and Lambeth Bridges), with no enforcement of cycling ban."

Thank goodness for a dose of reality.

We know that illegal trading on a regular basis shouldn't be possible in central London from a parked vehicle (big enough to have enough Semtex to make a real mess) in a major security zone, within a bus lane, and a cycle lane on a red-route . It breaks so many laws it's not true.

Indeed, enforcement against these ice-cream van traders on Westminster Bridge is a priority of TfL. Yet today the organised criminals were out in force yet again - while a police support officer looked on powerlessly. Half an hour later (12.30 - 1pm) and no ticket had been issued, no request to move on made, no arrests.

Whether the authorities wish to enforce considerate cycling or no cycling makes no difference to the reality that either option requires resources.

Without resources there's no point in putting up signs banning cycling because they'll be ignored by the type of person who talks on their phone while driving. Law abiding, considerate cyclists will however feel compelled to mix it with the HGVs on Belvedere Road.

What kind of result is that?

And, if resources can be found for enforcement, surely enforcing considerate behaviour by all space users should be the priority!