WANSTEAD: Renewed calls to stop cyclists riding on pavement (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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WANSTEAD: Renewed calls to stop cyclists riding on pavement
RENEWED calls have been made for police to tackle cyclists who ride on the pavement in Wanstead High Street following concerns that signs banning bikes are being ignored.
Redbridge Council have installed a number of warning notices on the walkway in recent years reminding cyclists of the law, but several associations in the area have reported that their members are growing increasingly frustrated with continual flaunting of the rules.
Speaking at Wanstead's area committee meeting earlier this week, Cllr Thomas Chan said he had been approached by several residents concerned about the issue.
He said: “the problem of cyclists on the pavement in Wanstead High Street [is] not just [about] young kids learning to ride their bikes but adults riding quite aggressively on the pavement.”
Helen Zammett, of the Counties Residents Association (CRA) said: “We can understand why some people do ride on the pavement because the traffic pressure can be enourmous in the High Street, but some of our members are concerned about the speed of cyclists on the pavement.
“There are a lot of elderly people who use the High Street and the consequences of a knock or a fall can of course be far worse for them than for younger people.”
Fellow CRA member Phillip Carnelley added: “We have one elderly gentleman who said he has nearly been knocked down on more than one occasion.”
However Redbridge Council insist it is not their responsibility to enforce the signs.
Council officer Steve Grayer told the committee meeting: “We do have notices saying ‘no cycling’ but it’s really a matter for community police officers to bring to people’s attention.”
But it has also been suggested that the problem could be solved by making the highway safer for cyclists in the first place.
Katriye Ibrahim of the Wanstead Society said: “I cycle on the High Street pavement purely because the cars are parked up on one side and the delivery lorries are parked up on the other side and you don’t feel safe.”
Redbridge Police have denied they are not taking the issue seriously.
Police Sargeant Brett Hagen said: “My officers are proactively stopping all cyclists in Wanstead High Street and asking them to dismount accordingly.
“We are taking these enforcement measures seriously and have planned a safer cycling awareness day for Thursday July 29 to address these issues.”
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