Cycling on London’s South Bank under threat

Report calls for ban enforcement

London's Lambeth Council may ban cycling on River Walk on the Thames' South Bank

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A popular route taken by cyclists alongside the Thames between the London Eye and the Oxo Tower is the subject of controversy. Once a proposed cycle route for the London Cycle Network, this fine stretch of riverside could become off-limits to cyclists.

The Draft South Bank and Waterloo Cycle Strategy 2010 – 2012, commissioned by the London Borough of Lambeth from a group of major local organisations, says, “Opinions volunteered were fairly evenly divided between local residents and their representatives who wish to see cycling on the riverside prohibited and London-wide cyclists who wish to see it permitted. The River Walk is not a designated cycle route and private landowners in the study area recommend that a ban on cycling in this location be enforced.”

As well as suggesting enforcement of the cycling ban on River Walk, the report also recommends improvements to National Cycle Network Route 4 which runs pretty much parallel to the South Bank from behind County Hall, along Belvedere Road and Upper Ground behind Jubilee Gardens and the National Theatre to Blackfriars Bridge.

Information collected by Lambeth Council in 2008 suggested that for cyclists, River Walk is a largely commuter route, 80% of cyclists using it for work purposes. They found that many people were concerned particularly about cyclists who do not cycle slowly with respect to pedestrians or who do not dismount at pinch points such as the Oxo Tower Wharf or Westminster Bridge.

The report points out that the opening of the London Eye in 2000 and its continued success has contributed to an increase in annual visitors to the South Bank from 3 million to approximately 17 million.

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Other issues for the area which the 100 page report covered include cycle theft, cycle parking provision and workplace travel planning. To read it, go here. If you would like to comment on the report contact by 10 September.