Friday, 15 May 2015

Encouraging considerate cycling

Ladywell Fields is a pleasant route between Ladywell-Catford, well-used by pedestrians, skaters and cyclists alike.  This is to be encouraged.  However the park is also used by dog walkers and young children who, at times - especially in the vicinity of the cafe - find that some cyclists using the pathways pay scant regard to safety and seem reluctant to moderate their speed at all.
The 'official' cycle route through the park runs down the eastern (Hospital) side, adjacent to the River.  However that path is less direct and in quite poor condition in places.  So it's not at all surprising that cyclists opt to use the western path, adjacent to the railway, which is straighter and has a better surface.
This problem has been the subject of discussion amongst park users, and with the Council's Parks Team,  for years - but there's no obvious solution.  Additional signage will just clutter the park and is unlikely to make much impact - and we don't really want humps or chicane-type obstacles even if they were to solve the problem.  In the meantime the few inconsiderate cyclists seem to be giving the responsible majority a bad name - and invariably the offenders will be affronted at any suggestion that they're exibiting poor behaviour.
However on 15 June, between 7.30-11.00am, the Council will be running a 'Doctor Bike' session outside the 10,000 Hands Cafe and plans at the same time to hand-out leaflets which, inter alia, encourage considerate cycling.  Lewisham Cyclists have been invited to meet to discuss the issues and to feed into the proposed leaflet.
Robert Sheppard