Lambeth Cyclists have come out strongly against the threat of a ban on cycling on the South bank of the Thames.
South bank businesses working through their representative body the South Bank Employers’ Group want to ban cycling along the stretch of the riverside encompassing the London Eye, the National Theatre and Gabriels Wharf between the Albert Embankment and the Oxo Tower.
Support for this stance has been offered by St Thomas’ Hospital and the local MP Kate Hoey.
The argument of those in favour of a ban is that antisocial cycling is a major problem which can only be tackled by banning all cycling.
We in Lambeth Cyclists believe that simply imposing a ban on all cycling will do little to improve the area – irresponsible cyclists will simply ignore the ban whilst vulnerable cyclists who obey the rules will be expected to cycle on the A road parallel to the South Bank which is very cycle-unfriendly.
We feel that this car-free, child friendly and tourist friendly route with its stunning vistas should be preserved for leisure cycling. Instead of banning all cycling we support council officers who want to promote considerate cycling reminding all cyclists that pedestrains have priority. Enforcement activity shoul be focussed on those who endanger pedestrian safety through reckless cycling. On a procedural note we are concerned that action to ban cycling is being taken whilst the South Bank and Waterloo Cycling Strategy is still at a draft stage. We submitted a response to the draft earlier in 2010 proposing changes to the existing situation to make it more cycling and pedestrian friendly.
Lambeth Cyclists will be continuing a dialogue with Lambeth Council, the SBEG and other stakeholders such as Lambeth Living Streets. We hope to develop a mutually beneficial solution to the issue of antisocial cycling on the South Bank.