Sunday, 27 April 2008

The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority’s inadequate cycle parking provision

The LVRPA is a quango controlled by Tories and run by sleek corporate types, though if you want the official version of its identity you can read it here. A chunk of your council tax goes towards funding its multi-million pound activities. You have a local person representing you on its governing panel (but I bet you didn't know it).

Among the jewels in its crown is The WaterWorks centre in Leyton, which includes sporting facilities, a golf course and a nature reserve. It has been open to the public for five years.

What’s more The WaterWorks is a Quest accredited centre, an award within the Leisure Industry that recognises best practice.

Best practice? Don’t make me laugh. This is a Centre which illegally blocked the public footpath which runs beside it with a padlocked metal fence and which still refuses to sign it. This is a Centre where the public footpath is full of pools of water because of it’s been churned up by LVRPA vehicles, making it inaccessible to people with a mobility handicap. I’m referring to Public Footpath F130.

When the plans for the WaterWorks were first put forward they showed 8 cycle stands. Planning permission was granted. When the building opened it turned out only 5 had been installed. It’s an old trick but it usually works - especially when the planning authority is the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

That’s right. A major leisure centre in the Lea Valley has just five cycle stands. This is grossly inadequate as my photos show.

(Above) Five cycle stands, with rather more than ten bikes attached to them. (The motor scooter is not using a stand.)

There is, naturally, extensive free car parking. As for cyclists. Because cycle stand provision at this centre is grossly inadequate, once the stands are full other cyclists just have to search for some fencing or a sign, or something suitable. (Below)

If this situation bothers you, why not select someone from this list and pass on your concerns. Or go direct to the governing board.

The board member representing the London Borough of Waltham Forest is Cllr Bob Sullivan.