NEW proposals to bring about a ‘step change’ in cycle use in Redbridge are to be discussed at council meeting on July 18.

Redbridge Council recently received a grant of £385,000 from Transport for London to promote cycling in the borough.

And as part of plans to put the money to use, councillors will consider proposals for new cycle routes on many of the borough’s roads.

When TfL announced their grant, Gill James, who represents the London Cycling Campaign in Redbridge, said: “We would welcome physical improvements to the local network.

Those sentiments were echoed by cyclist Sylvia Skacelova, 39, who lives in Epping and cycles to work at the Biketrax bike shop in Cambridge Park, Wanstead.

She said: “It’s not very pleasant to cycle to work at the moment.

“There are cycle lanes, but a lot of them are quite damaged and there’s a lot of gravel lying about on them which can cause punctures.

“Any plans to improve cycle lanes or add new routes would be good news.”

But other residents are less convinced by the need for new cycle routes.

Nick Affleck, 35, who lives in Wanstead Park Avenue, which is one of the roads suggested as a new cycle route, said: “I’m not sure new cycle lanes or routes are needed, especially on some of the smaller roads.

“I used to cycle into work in the city all the time, but I never used cycle routes and I wouldn’t change my route for one if I were to cycle now.

“If the council have money burning a hole in their pocket, there are better things to spend it on.”

He was backed by Maxine James, 56, who lives in Claremont Grove off Snakes Lane East in Woodford which is also the site of a proposed local cycle route.

She said: “There are already problems with cars and delivery vans round here, encouraging more bikes would just create even more chaos.

“I wouldn’t use a bike round here, not on your nellie!”

The Council has set a target to increase the number of journeys made by bike in the Borough from the current 1 percent level to 1.5 percent by 2013, in line with the Mayor of London's strategic goal to get more people cycling throughout London.

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