Friday 5 November 2010

Is an outright ban really the only way forward?

I don't receive the newsletter of my MP, Kate Hoey, but someone who does has reported that it says:

Progress on local issues:

· Cycling on the riverbank - meeting held at St Thomas' to further the No Cycling signs.

This worries me given that the South Bank and Waterloo Cycling Strategy hasn't been finalised since the public were invited to comment on the draft.

I know there are inconsiderate cyclists just as there are inconsiderate drivers. However, I have to report that today I saw no inconsiderate behaviour or any reason not to permit people to pootle along on a bike. I did see PCSOs who could take action against individuals cycling recklessly were it necessary to.

I also know there are times when parts of the South Bank are so heaving with people that most riders would dismount or make use of a good quality parallel alternative. Having said that, much of the time, like today, there is all the space one could realistically seek.

My hope is that the Strategy and actions following from it aim to develop attractive alternatives for commuters etc. so they choose not to use the Thames Path. Cycle tourists and the like who then wish to cycle considerately along the riverbank should not then be a issue. Particularly if measures are undertaken to nurture considerate cycling, based on successful models elsewhere, taking on board the undoubted expertise of the borough's sustainable travel officers. It is surely worth trying this, rather than jumping to an outright ban without first creating attractive alternative routes.

Anyway, here are the sequence of photos from my pootle at around 11am this morning - I sincerely hope that I'll be able to continue to gently ride this way in the future: