Sunday, 13 January 2008

Where are the Village cycle stands?

Cycle stand provision in this Borough is patchy and incoherent. At some locations it is excellent, at others inadequate, and at some locations it is non-existent. Quite a lot of stands have even disappeared, and plainly no one gives a toss.

The Council boasts that it is "one of the leading London local authorities on the provision of cycle facilities". And yet many buildings owned by the Council and used by the public on a daily basis lack even a single bike stand.

A few years ago the Council spent £10,000 blocking off a section of Orford Road, E17, to celebrate "Car Free Day". Today, Orford Road still lacks a single cycle stand. This is truly extraordinary, because between the junctions with Beulah Road and Wingfield Road, this is the hub of "the Village", the centre of old Walthamstow. It has six popular restaurants, two popular pubs, a post office and a range of shops including a bakery and the sausage shop. Further along is the popular Nag's Head pub and St Mary's Church. Just round the corner is the Vestry House Museum. And there are no cycle stands anywhere.

This anomaly was brought home to me when I was pedalling through the Village this morning. In a fifty metre section of Orford Road I spotted four bikes, which their owners had been forced to lock to street furniture and other objects, because there are no bike stands. In the first photograph a pair of bikes are locked together to a lighting column, and if you look very carefully(or enlarge the photo) you'll see another bike locked to the lighting column on the other side of the road. Beyond that (next photo) is a bike locked to a lottery signboard outside a shop.

The final photograph shows there is ample space for the provision of cycle stands outside the shops, restaurants and pubs of Orford Road.