Monday 20 October 2014 1.32pm
This morning I was cycling on the pavement of Union St, between Southwark Bridge Road
and Great Guildford St. There is a cycle lane on the pavement, which ends about 10 meters before the junction with Great Guildford St.
Cyclists are supposed to dismount midway through the street, cross the junction and hop again on their bikes on the other side of the street.
I did not do this and was stopped by two Southwark Council
wardens who gave me a £30 fixed penalty notice. I believe the Council is dead wrong on the approach is taking towards this issue and is offloading responsibility on road users instead of tackling the problem.
The issue of the cycle lane on the pavement in that small section of Union St has existed for many years. have found a comment to a BBC article from 2009 which highlighted how the corner between Union St and Great Guildford St was dangerous given how narrow the pavement is. However, the council has not provided any solutions whatsoever, beyond punishing cyclists with fixed penalties for not dismounting and walking 10 METERS. This kind of measures are hardly a deterrent (while I was talking to the wardens I saw at least 10 cyclists cycling by without dismounting).
Why does the council not find a real solution, once and for all? The cycle lane runs along the pavement of Union St between Borough High St and Great Guildford St, and there are two other junctions along the way (Redcross Way
and Ayres St). So the "cyclists dismount" sign midway through the section between Southwark Bridge Road
and Great Guildford St is puzzling at best.
Should the council eliminate the cycle lane in that section of the road and suggest alternative routes? Should that section of the road be closed to traffic, except for bikes and pedestrians?
I think Southwark Council
needs to get its act together and stop penalizing road users (both cyclists and pedestrians) as a result of its inaction.