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Cyclists on the Thames Path and Albert Embankment

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Wednesday 13 May 2009 1.51pm
As a person who tends to support all things "green" and isn't a fan of cars I find it rather odd that I feel sufficiently cross about this to start a new topic. I live just off Albert Embankment near Lambeth Bridge and work at London Bridge. I've already desisted from taking the pleasant walk directly to work along the Thames Path each morning because it is, frankly, too dangerous. The reason is the behaviour of a substantial proportion of the cyclists who use the same route. Part of it is not for cyclists because it is not suitable. Despite this nearly all pedal past the signs. A good number cycle too fast and "buzz" pedestrians as if they were some sort of wartime air fighter strafing its prey. Some months ago I decided that I preferred to avoid getting a broken limb and most days I take the "less nice" route via Lambeth Road because it's a lot safer.

However there are some days when I have to get the bus. Crossing Albert Embankment at about 8am each day is interesting. A large number of cyclists use the road to get to work and most ignore all the traffic signals. Think once think twice think bike takes on a new meaning when trying traverse the pedestrian crossing on green. Otherwise you may well get mown down! And then there is the issue of the pavements. The pavements on Albert Embankment are clearly suitable only for pedestrians and are not in any case designated for cyclists particularly as the bus lane on both sides of the road is also a cycle lane. However this is often ignored two and I've witnessed countless incidents where people trying to get to work by using the bus stop at that time of day have had to leap out of the way of the two wheeled idiots that insist on using the pavement.

I think it's time to reclaim the Thames Path and the Albert Embankment pavements for pedestrians. Thoughts?
Wednesday 13 May 2009 2.50pm
Cyclists and pedestrians don't mix. I don't cycle in London, but cycled everywhere when I lived in The Hague. On a bike the compulsion to pit mind, body and wheels against the rest of space and time just takes over. It's easier in Holland where the 3 modes tend to be segregated. Moreover my wife was driving in the city and was hit by a bike going the wrong way up a 1-way street with no lights at night and the cyclist smelled of pot. The Dutch cops gave my wife a hard time.

I distrust anthropogenic global warming as a strategem for more state coercion, but I do favour banning the car and most trucks from London altogether. Cycling is just a superb way to get around quickly and enjoyably, but in London cyclists are sandwiched between other vehicles and pedestrians. Pedestrians should be using the river walk and cyclists the Lambeth Road etc. The tensions will persist until bikes displace cars. Cycling is quicker anyway.
Wednesday 13 May 2009 3.47pm
I'm not about to get into this discussion all over again, there is a fairly ill-tempered thread here somewhere, just to note as someone who used to use the Albert Embankment as a cyclist that it was always a much safer route than the bus lanes you suggest, that particular stretch of road is pretty scary. However, as Mark says cyclists, cars and pedestrians have a hard time with each other regardless of relevant laws and ones views are very different depending on which perspective you approach it from and I'm afraid the arguments can become rather unproductive in the end.
Wednesday 13 May 2009 4.19pm
Interesting thoughts! Actually I think there is a solution which is quite simple. It's called making cyclists obey the rules that car drivers have to abide by. Like not going on pavements and jumping traffic lights!! I find it quite interesting that the police officers that seem to patrol the area in the morning seem to think that this is perfectly acceptable behaviour. It's not and it's a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

As for the Thames Path in central London - I really do think a blanket cycling ban is in order. The campaign starts here.
Wednesday 13 May 2009 4.33pm
You're all going to get a telling off from James, and he's right, we've talked this one to death.

Just accept that we live in London, which has a greater concentration of inconsiderate people than anywhere else the country, it's not about cyclists, it's about lack of manners amongst some people.

All you can do is resolve to be polite and respectful to everyone, and the more of us that do this, the nicer a place London will be...
Wednesday 13 May 2009 4.36pm
Well this is the first time I've ever posted to this forum or even read it. I'm not here to talk but to canvas views before I do. The next step is contacting Kate Hoey.
Wednesday 13 May 2009 4.43pm
Is the Albert embankment controlled by LB Lambeth/Southwark et al for things like this?

I can't agree with you on banning bikes, but if we could all just try to be more considerate to each other we wouldn't have these problems...
Wednesday 13 May 2009 4.50pm
Zoe wrote:
...All you can do is resolve to be polite and respectful to everyone, and the more of us that do this, the nicer a place London will be...

Delly wrote:
The same is happening everywhere but where are the Police when you need them ?. .. if I spot one whilst Im down here at the weekend I will knock them off their bike.
Wednesday 13 May 2009 4.58pm

All the views you'd ever need for your campaign Tim.
Wednesday 13 May 2009 6.46pm
Of course nobody should knock cyclists off their bikes, but I do wish the police would enforce no-cycling rules where they are in place. I ride a bike, but the other cyclists scare me more than the cars, and when I am walking I really loathe having people speed by me on a bike when it's supposed to be pedestrian-only.

For you cyclists who do ride where you know that it is pedestrian-only, I'm curious what your justification is?
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