Friday 21 September 2007

The disappearing cycle stands

The hypocrisy and impudence of the Council's advice that residents should "go car free" and "try cycling instead" is nowhere more blatant than in the little matter of cycle stand provision. All over the Borough there are council-owned properties used on a daily basis by members of the public which lack even a single cycle stand.

And how about the Selborne Walk Shopping Mall? This has 850 parking spaces. And cycle stands? By the main entrance in the Town Square it has just seven cycle stands, which as the photo below shows is grossly inadequate. Cyclists are reduced to locking their bikes to nearby railings. Read on - it gets a lot worse than this:

But wait! Didn't the Council install an extra 5 cycle stands near the High Street entrance to Bhs? Yes, it did. It employed contractors who didn't install them in the ground deeply enough. No sooner were they in place than one by one they started coming loose, like rotten teeth. Ah, but surely an efficient local authority would take note of this and get the contractors to come back and do the job properly? Yes, it would. But this Council is more interested in Greenwash than practical action. If you look at the photograph below look at the white patches on the ground - that is where four of the five racks used to be. I shan't be at all surprised when the last one goes.

And this isn't the only place where cycle stands have simply vanished, never to be replaced. There used to be three outside 530 Forest Road. They've simply vanished and now there is no cycle parking for anyone shopping there. There used to be three on Vernon Road E17; one has vanished without explanation. There used to be a stand on Rosebank Villa. It was removed during resurfacing and never put back. There used to be one on Hoe Street opposite the Victoria pub. It was removed during resurfacing and never put back. There used to be one in the High Street to the right of the old library entrance - now all that's there is a litter bin. There used to be one at the High Street entrance to the shopping Mall - that was taken away when the entrance was revamped after the fire. There used to be three cycle stands in the Town Square, just past the Nat West. They were new stands and hadn't been there all that long. All three have collectively vanished without explanation or logic. That's a grand total of 15 cycle stands which have been removed. And quite plainly no one in the London Borough of Waltham Forest has either noticed or gives a damn.