I was deeply shocked to hear about the death of a cyclist in Woodford last week, especially as I myself happened to be cycling nearby at the time and frequently use this route.
This incident, along with an accident at Charlie Brown's roundabout in which a cyclist was seriously injured just a couple of days later, has confirmed my worst fears about the dangers of cycling in Redbridge. The fact is that many main roads in the borough are not safe for cyclists and we need more segregated paths - many other boroughs are doing something about this, and Redbridge is lagging way behind.
To take the example of Woodford High Road - to cycle north on it through Woodford Green involves negotiating a large roundabout and several junctions where you have to change lanes in fast-moving traffic, simply not worth the risk. The cycle lanes at the side of the road are worse than useless. Also, at the junction where the fatality happened there is clearly an issue with speed, as pedestrians have been killed there as well.
I'm happy to say that both Wanstead & Woodford Friends of the Earth and Waltham Forest & Redbridge Green Party are calling for safer cycling in the area.
Meanwhile the London Cycling Campaign is asking candidates in the forthcoming local elections to back its goals for safer cycling, which include "protected space on main streets and through major junctions".
I would urge all those concerned about road safety to join us.
Robert Greenall, Finchingfield Avenue, Woodford member of Wanstead & Woodford Friends of the Earth