Francesca Savage and Harith Canna, members of Haringey Cycling Campaign, argue the need for segregated cycle lines, LTNs and bike storage
Last month, we took our son down to Finsbury Park to join around 80 others on Haringey Cycling Campaign’s (HCC) latest community cycle ride around Stroud Green.
It was great to see so many people across a huge range of ages and abilities out on wheels. Bells were ringing and big smiles were across everyone’s faces.
HCC has monthly bike rides, organised in collaboration with Haringey Living Streets, in different parts of the borough. These rides encourage more people to give cycling a go and highlight what needs to be
done to make safe, enjoyable cycling possible for all.
HCC wants to make it easier for people to get around by bike, whether it’s to go to work, the shops or for children to get to school. Put simply, they want better cycling facilities and safe, healthier streets for everyone. To make this possible, segregated cycle lanes on major routes, more low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) and plenty of places for people to store their bikes are needed.
We have been cycling on roads with our son by our side since he was three, however there are areas of the borough which we are very fearful of. A few weeks ago, we needed to go along Green Lanes. We were surrounded by vehicles and were beeped at several times. We thought: heck this is pretty terrifying!
Haringey Council has made some progress recently but there is more to do. We desperately need safe cycling routes east to west across the borough and from north to south. If Enfield and Hackney can have segregated routes down their bits of Green Lanes, surely Haringey can do the same.
Recently, the council introduced LTNs in Bounds Green, Bruce Grove, and St Ann’s. We live within these LTNs and feel they have improved the area. There is less and slower traffic, and people now feel safer to travel around the local streets on foot and by bike. 60% of Haringey’s households do not have access to a car. The introduction of the LTNs was a brave measure by the council to promote active travel and to tackle the social injustices caused by the over-prioritisation of cars.
To complement the LTNs, we strongly feel investment in additional active travel infrastructure is needed. This is the only way people will see a bike as a feasible alternative mode of transport.
People need to be able to get the entire way from A to B safely, not just random patches of it. If there was better infrastructure, people wouldn’t need to make so many car journeys. This would lead to fewer traffic jams, less pollution, and free up the roads for buses and taxis.
That’s why HCC is campaigning for the council to rollout LTNs across the rest of the borough. HCC was founded in 1978 to campaign for better cycling facilities in Haringey. Over the years we have had many meetings with the council and responded to local consultations. Our aim is to make Haringey a place where there is safe, enjoyable cycling for all.
On Saturday, 30th December, we’ll be joining HCC’s post-Christmas bike ride. Everyone’s welcome, the more the merrier! And there will be plenty of marshals to keep everyone safe. Why not dust off your bike and come and join us from 11am in Chestnuts Park.
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