Published: 28 June, 2012
• I AM as relieved as everyone else in Camden that the chaotic works around Britannia Junction, in front of Camden tube seem to be completed.
But as a cyclist, I’m shocked that it seems no thought has been given for where people can now safely lock their bikes in the area.
Going north from the station, the first proper bike racks are outside the Elephant’s Head, and then only really once you’ve got to Hawley Street do they start regularly appearing on the pavements, but only at four at a time.
Proper bike racks aren’t just about securing your bike – they make it safer for pedestrians and disabled people as well, as bikes are less likely to fall down and obstruct people or possibly hurt them when they fall.
But now, there’s nowhere to leave a bike by the tube, nowhere outside Inverness Street market, nowhere by the Parkway Odeon... it’s all well and good people complaining about Camden’s car parking strategy around Chalk Farm, but surely it would be better for businesses to be able to encourage people who come to the area to arrive by bike.
Cycling has never been so popular; Transport for London’s own strategy targets a 400 per cent rise in bike journeys by 2026 compared with 2001 levels.
Given that the public transport services have long been clogged on a weekend, and the roads have now been made far more congested, to get rid of bike parking facilities as well seems incredibly short-sighted. How are visitors supposed to get to Camden now, fly?
What will it take for the council to demonstrate genuine support for cycling, and an understanding of how providing better bike facilities can boost the local economy?
Camden Green Party