Thursday, 7 April 2011

Waltham Forest council: discouraging cycling and encouraging car dependency among its employees

Come with this blog on a tour of the car parks of the borough. Today we are stopping off at Chestnuts House, home of the Council’s Community Learning and Skills Service. And one thing all members of the local community need to know is that if you work for the Council then free car parking is widely available. But please, no bicycles.

The Community Learning and Skills Service is based just a short distance from Walthamstow Central, which offers both Victoria Line tube trains as well as overground rail services running between Chingford, Hackney and Liverpool Street Station in the City of London. It is also on numerous bus routes. So no one who lives locally needs to drive here to work at all.

(Below) More free car parking at Chestnuts House.

Part of the site is devoted to an outfit called Connexions, which seems to dispense advice to teenagers. Free parking available for both staff and the younger driver.

And if you choose to come to work by bicycle? You are obviously some sort of freak. At Chestnuts House there are no bike stands at all. The Council has no policy on supplying cycle parking for staff who work for it – that’s because management all drive cars (it’s the grey fleet culture), and the same seems to apply to councillors. But if you go round the side of the building you could always lock your bike to the fire escape (below). It’s probably a breach of health and safety law but, hey, the Council has never worried too much about stuff like that. Except, of course, when it’s necessary to deny members of the public access to council meetings!