Sunday 27 November 2011 2.10pm
Cycling east along Tooley Street
at 10:05 on Sunday morning (27 Nov), as I came past Hays Galleria in the narrow cycle lane, red and white tape blowing in the wind wrapped itself around my bike and particularly around front axle. It was pulling behind me also without tearing off. I had to stop.
I saw the full tape roll was in the road and tape was now wrapping around a white van that was passing, and he was struggling to clear from windscreen and throw off from wing mirrors. The roll was unraveling fast in middle of road, the van drove over it with rear wheel, but metres were unrolling in seconds, threatening more cars. If it wasn't for the potential danger, it would have made a great scene for film, letting hundreds of metres of tape unroll and gradually wrap up all passing traffic like a spider's web, the strands lifted windscreen height by the slight breeze.
However, pedestrians were also in the road, including woman with small children, as the contractors (some had James Glancy Designs
on their vests) had closed the pavement leaving a gap too narrow for pedestrians, by simply wrapping tape around lamp-posts, etc. but There were no signs or protection for pedestrians against the traffic. Many families were stepping around and into the road, already narrow because of road works and the counter cycle lane.
I went into road to pick up tape and pulled it in as fast as could to clear traffic danger as I felt roll was unraveling fast and I worried there could be major problem.
I gave one of the workers the roll. He would not apologize, but said “it’s the wind”. I asked for the name of his firm and he refused to give me any name, saying he is only a subcontractor and refused to give me any more details. I went back later to take photos and found the firm is James Glancy Designs.
I find managing agent for Hays Galleria, CBRE
, or the owner, Kuwaiti St Martin's Property Corporation
, really unfriendly and unhelpful, and trying to act very alien to a SE1 neighbourhood where people also live and work. How should we know not to put bikes anywhere in the block between Tooley Street
and river unless they put up signs saying "bikes not welcome" or similar? Luckily their securities are so dozy they usually only come up to complain when you collect the bike. But I wonder are we supposed to be mind-readers? I would be very annoyed if they actually took the bike or damaged the lock, if there are no signs.