Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Gerhard Weiss is fed up

Gerhard Weiss is the Waltham Forest Cycling Campaign representative on the London Borough of Waltham Forest's Transport Liaison Consultative Group, which met last night at the Town Hall.

It says on the Council’s website that The agenda will be displayed in the week before the meeting.

Needless to say it wasn’t. That’s open democracy in the digital age for you.

(Well it carried that message on the website up until last night. Today, strangely, it has disappeared!)

I managed to locate a hard copy. What interested me about the agenda is that it included a two page discussion paper written by Gerhard Weiss entitled “Waltham Forest cycle track maintenance”.

Gerhard is a bit fed up about the poor maintenance of cycle tracks in the borough. He zooms in on the Orient Way cycle lane under the Lea Bridge Road bridge – a lane that has featured from time to time on this blog, such as last December and last month

Gerhard tells a familiar tale. On 10 February he emailed Waltham Forest Direct asking for the cycle lane to be cleared of the various obstructions and enclosing photographs. He received a reply with no reference number (a clear breach of procedure but one I've experienced myself) telling him his complaint had been forwarded to the cycling officer.

18 March. Rubbish removed but overgrown vegetation not dealt with.

31 March. Another email to WF Direct. Gets reply saying ‘Kier will be looking into it and work is scheduled for 14 April.’

5 May. Gerard emails WF Direct ‘to say that work is overdue’.

11 May. Gerhard told that ‘the Street Care team will deal with it as soon as possible’.

20 May. Still no work done.

3 June. Work finally done.

Gerhard says

So it took almost four months to clear a badly obstructed cycle track that forms part of the LCN+ strategic cycle network. Parts of the track are already overgrown again.

Gerhard is anxious not to apportion blame but to reach agreement that there is a problem, to understand the problem and to hopefully find solutions for it.

And I wish him the very best of luck.


Strangely, no one from WFCC ever seems to cycle down Lea Bridge Road, the second major cycling commuter route in the borough, where there has been absolutely no maintenance of a 'shared use' cycle lane in the seven months from December to July!