Wandsworth cyclists – please respond to the consultation about use of parks & let’s get the daft cycling by-laws changed

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GuyD73
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Wandsworth cyclists – please respond to the consultation about use of parks & let’s get the daft cycling by-laws changed

Postby GuyD73 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:35 pm

I’ve lived in Wandsworth for 19 years and have often thought that the prohibition of cycling across much of our parks and green spaces is nonsensical for a whole host of reasons.
 To my mind cycling (among many other things) is precisely what parks and commons ARE FOR! Obviously no-one wants to see MAMILS (middle aged men in lycraJ)flying along dangerously close to small children, dogs or people pushing buggies, but in my experience that simply doesn’t happen. Speed merchants that do want to bomb along tend to use the major roads, there’s more space and the surface tends to be much kinder to thin tyres than the paths in our green spaces.  I live right on the edge of Wandsworth Common Westside and we’re often playing in different parts of the common  5 or 6 times a week, so I see how people behave in all weathers and times of day. Many people who live in the St Annes region of Wandsworth, who regularly cycle to Clapham junction station will find their most direct route takes them across two small areas of common shown in the map. The current by-laws require any cyclist to dismount for both sections of this route, pics of which are attached.      Exhibit A - Wandsworth Common Northside to Trinity Road underpass.  My kids pretty much learned to cycle on this little stretch. It’s used for races by kids on scooters, skateboards, balance bikes, roller skates. It’s perfectly wide enough for pedestrians, cyclists, those with buggies or using wheelchairs to happily and respectfully coexist and never once in 8 years have I seen an altercation, near miss, anything. Neither in those 8 years have I ever seen a single cyclist dismount. Sure there are signs (spanking new ones £££), but people assess the situation and clearly find the instruction daft. Are the good burghers of Wandsworth really ALL universally law-breaking yobs? Or are they perhaps just using their common sense?  On the other side, the path leading from Trinity road to Spencer Park, it’s the same situation. Lots of shiny new signs the council saw fit to spend our money on and NOBODY EVER observes the by-law. If they are cycling to get somewhere, it adds to their journey time and if you’re pootling around the neighbourhood for pleasure, it seems absurd too. What it boils down to is the council are asking everyone with young children to go all the way down to the lower part of the common before there is a path on a green space which they can use without risking a fine. Really??? It’s bonkers, which is why everyone ignores it.  There are many, many other examples of paths where there is no good reason whatsoever to ban cycling. Try this one for size…  Exhibit B - Opposite the County Arms, a very wide path skirts the cricket pitches that lead to the entrance to the Common. The road alongside, Dorlcote road, is narrow with cars turning around at the top, so dangerous for kids. To make this path no cycling is utterly unhinged.  There are so many of these examples, but I’ll just include one more here.  When one reaches the man part of the Common, it’s equally mad. You face a three pronged junction, only the middle path of which is dual use. To turn left and approach the playground is verboten, so the only other choice is to cycle over the grass or dismount, which again, I’ve never seen anyone do in 7 years of visiting this playground. To the right there’s an extremely wide cinder track where it’s also verboten, why?  This is an entirely separate issue but I heard from a local yesterday that they were fined £50 each for cycling on the grass on Tooting Common. This frankly despicable behaviour and if the council think this will encourage cycling, they are seriously mistaken. I’ve never made a fuss about this nonsense before because I just assumed it was one of those stupid things that no-one had bothered to change, and if people cycled considerately and there was no enforcement, I couldn’t see a problem. However, that seems to have changed. My partner saw a Met police officer in Battersea Park on Sunday fining people (so I’d imagine the council have specifically requested this enforcement), when there are so many more important things that officer could be doing. From what I’ve read, Parks police hid behind some trees on Tooting Common, so they could nick as many people as possible at the weekend too. I also saw 3 PCSOs skulking by the railway bridge on Wandsworth Common recently hoping to catch someone.  So anyway, what to do about this daft state of affairs? Well, I think there are enough people who want this to be changed, to bring considerable pressure to bear on Wandsworth council to change this by-law. So I intend to start a petition and we’ll see what degree of local support it can garner.  The council are also running a consultation on use of our green spaces which ends TOMORROW, so please, if you think this needs a change to a sensible approach, make your feelings known on the link below, I believe it’s the last question (19?) which is the important one in this regard.  https://haveyoursay.citizenspace.com/en ... pen-space/ If you’re a cycling-minded Wandsworth resident then I would really encourage you all to sign up for the newsletter and email group of Wandsworth Cyclists, whose aim is to promote cycling and make it safer and better for everyone in the borough. There’s a monthly ride and a bike buddies scheme to help new or nervous cyclists.  Website - https://www.lcc.org.uk/boroughs/wandsworth Email group - https://groups.io/g/WandsworthCyclingCampaign/join Newsletter - https://membership.lcc.org.uk/wandswort ... paign-news Twitter - https://twitter.com/Wandscyclist  Here are some thoughts that Wandsworth Cyclists sent to its extensive membership recently, and I have to say I agree with every word.   This is an opportunity for us to say we would like to see Wandsworth's parks opened up for cycling - i.e. to allow responsible cycling with pedestrian priority on all paths.  It would be great if people could submit responses to this quick survey!  Permitting responsible cycling with pedestrian priority on all paths in Wandsworth parks would significantly enhance the parks and commons for many people:- Permitting cycling would improve visitor accessibility to the parks and commons by opening them up to many people on two wheels. - The policy has been shown to work in other London boroughs such as Lambeth. The experience is that few of the "lycra clad commuters" use the parks as it tends to be a slower way to travel. They are used by families, older people, and slower cyclists either for recreation or for slow rides to local destinations like shops, - The current cycling ban is not practical as the police do not have the resources to enforce it. It would make more sense to go for the achievable aim of asking cyclists to behave responsibly rather than the unachievable one of banning cyclists. - During Covid-19 many more people are visiting our green spaces using bikes to get there and they should be encouraged to do so. - During Covid19, the overcrowding due to more cyclists and pedestrians using the few permitted paths such as the Wandle Trail has forced cyclists to use other routes to maintain social distancing.- The borough needs to encourage cycling as per its transport action plan and the WESS and government policy. - Some of the roads surrounding our parks and commons (e.g. Trinity Road, A205) are among the busiest and most dangerous in the borough and a deterrent to cycling - safer for new cyclists to use the park instead. - Cycling through parks is particularly welcome for new and inexperienced cyclists who are reluctant to start on exposed roads. Parks have been particularly popular with our buddies - a shame there are so few parks they can ride!
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muddyboots
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Re: Wandsworth cyclists – please respond to the consultation about use of parks & let’s get the daft cycling by-laws cha

Postby muddyboots » Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:07 pm

I’ve not read your whole post as it’s too long ... like the endless brexit ones were

I would like to add however that your personal experience doesn’t make anything a fact.
I had a very scary near miss with man in Lycra who was very close to mowing down my child on the cycle lane near the bandstand where they should give way to pedestrians crossing.

I thinks you can’t guarantee cyclists being responsible as you suggest and perhaps that is why park laws were put in place in the first place
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GuyD73
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Re: Wandsworth cyclists – please respond to the consultation about use of parks & let’s get the daft cycling by-laws cha

Postby GuyD73 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:18 pm

Firstly, I'll make my posts as long or short as I please, thanks very much. 

Secondly I didn't say anything was fact but that my extensive experience of this space leads me to a particular conclusion. I occupy these spaces almost every day, for considerable periods of time, and have done for the best part of a decade and I have two young children, so I feel fairly well qualified to comment.  

I'm sorry about your experience with a mamil, I can only say experiences like this thankfully appear to be very rare. Anyway, the very occasional selfish actions of a tiny minority don't justify a law that makes little sense, diminishes well-being and actively discourages cycling. 

There is no bandstand on Wandsworth Common so perhaps you're mixing up your parks... Clapham perhaps? 

Just watch me get thousands of signatures on a petition and get this particular by-law changed. 



 
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Sprigs
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Re: Wandsworth cyclists – please respond to the consultation about use of parks & let’s get the daft cycling by-laws cha

Postby Sprigs » Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:52 am

The desegregation of the cycle paths across Tooting Common has been a total disaster. They are now dangerous. Cyclists should stick to Dr Johnson Avenue. I’ve had enough near misses with my kids.

I also take great pride in forcing cyclists off the paths on which they’re not supposed to riding. Their sense of entitlement is often grotesque (as often are their testicles, peeking through the lycra).
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: Wandsworth cyclists – please respond to the consultation about use of parks & let’s get the daft cycling by-laws cha

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:53 pm

GuyD73 wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:18 pm
Firstly, I'll make my posts as long or short as I please, thanks very much. 




 

What a most charming attitude; this is exactly the way to go about it if you want to convince people to sign your petition.
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