Protest ride as campaigners demand better cycling networks in the borough
PUBLISHED: 15:05 19 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:05 19 August 2020
Havering Extinction Rebellion and Havering Cyclists are set to take part in a protest cycle this Saturday, August 22, as they continue their campaign for better cycling networks in the borough.
Starting at noon, participants will ride from Harrow Lodge Park to Romford’s Town Hall, where they will present local councillors with a follow-up letter to that sent in early July.
The first letter — sent six weeks ago — urged council leader Councillor Damian White to “take some bold decisions” to improve the borough’s cycling infrastructure.
It read: “We accept that the opportunities for segregated cycle lanes within our borough are limited to the widest of our main roads, so we will also need a number of selected road closures with clear signage to create corridors that will be safe and pleasant for people to use.”
It asked the council to implement some of the measures provided within TfL’s Streetspace for London plan, such as pop-up cycle lanes and the widening of schools streets and pavements.
This weekend’s protest comes as a result of both groups feeling dissatisfied with a perceived lack of action in the time since.
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The public invite reads: “As a follow up to our open letter, we now know that the council didn’t actually seek any funding to enable cycling, though they have proposed a scheme for timed closing of roads containing primary schools.”
In response to these concerns, Councillor Osman Dervish said: “The council is working hard to look at various options to improve cycling infrastructure and safety within the borough.
“This has included applying for various funds to undertake these projects, including applying for funding from TfL and the department for transport.
“We will also be looking to support cycling schemes with schools, to encourage more cycling to and from school from September. As part of TfL’s new Healthy Street Officer programme, we have been allocated funding to support projects in schools that encourage cycling.”
The cabinet member for environment added that the council is also set to deliver free cycle training and free bike check sessions later this year.
Cllr Dervish assured residents that “we are listening”.
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