Chairman's Blog - September 2012

A very angry resident wrote to me from her address in the lower part of Grand Drive about cyclists who come onto the pavement to avoid the queue of vehicles at the traffic lights. She said that they take little notice of pedestrians, and are rude, and dangerous. I drew this to the attention of the local police, and asked what enforcement action the police took generally about adult cyclists using the pavement, and pointed out that we also have complaints about cyclists not dismounting in the tunnels under the railway. The reply I got was that the police were aware of the problem but the only action they took was to warn the offenders.
We know that the roads are very dangerous for cyclists, particularly at junctions, and that over 20 cyclists a year are killed in London alone each year.  I used to own a cycle but gave this up when I realised that I had no control whatever over whether a car would avoid me. No one, I suppose,  would wish to stop young children cycling on the pavement where the alternative is a busy road, provided they do so with proper regard to the safety and comfort of the pedestrians for whom the pavements are intended.
Given that we are unlikely ever to have the sort of cycle lanes that they have in Holland, the only answer is for responsibility on the part of both motorists and cyclists. Motorists need to give cyclists a wide berth, and to hold back from overtaking except where it’s safe. But cyclists need to get off their cycles when going onto pavements which are narrow and where there are lots of pedestrians, such as is the case with the approach roads to the station. If they won’t do so willingly, then the police should enforce the law.
My own view is that the time has come for cyclists also to carry some form of registration, so that the small minority that pay little regard to pedestrians, who are aggressive, who jump lights, and whose cycles are unlit at night,  can be easily identified and reported.


Our joint Secretary, Jan Bailey, pointed out an article in the Evening Standard stating that the Department for Transport is considering axing the Thameslink service. It is proposed to stop the through service that runs from Wimbledon, Wimbledon Chase, and South Merton right through to St. Paul’s, Farringdon, St. Pancras International, and then goes on to Luton, and Bedford.  Instead, the trains will stop at Blackfriars from 2018, where a change will be necessary.
This service is highly convenient for those of us who work in the City, or need to get to the Eurostar services or to Luton Airport. Obviously those with luggage or who have mobility problems will be most affected.  It does seem a wholly retrograde step to take when people are being urged to leave their cars at home and use public transport.  The formal consultation on the proposal ended on 23rd August, but I urge all of you who use the service to protest strongly to the Department, as we have done. To read more, click here.

Network Rail has confirmed that the platforms at Raynes Park Station are going to be extended to take trains with 10 carriages as opposed to 8.  Platforms 1 and 4 will be extended in December, and 2 and 3 in October. There is still no solution to the gap that exists between the trains and the platforms. This is, of course, highly dangerous, and impossible to bridge for an elderly person or someone with a disability. 

John Elvidge

Join us on:


Share this page: