A London housing organisation has scored an unusual first by installing a set of costly speed bumps on a popular route for cyclists.
Islington Council’s Homes for Islington (HfI) organisation paid £3,000 to install fourteen 4cm-high ‘rumble strips’ on a quiet back street in Canonbury, North London, after local residents complained of cyclists regularly speeding on the path.
Douglas Road South
was a popular route with cyclists trying to avoid heavy traffic on nearby main roads, but HfI took action after residents complained.
Stacey Roswell told the Islington Gazette: “Kids are always playing out the back but there are a lot of cyclists coming down here really fast. It’s not a bike path but they think it is. Something had to be done but it’s ridiculous that we’ve got these horrible humps. They’re an eyesore and some of them don’t even go right to the edge so you can cycle round them anyway!”
Maureen Elliot, 68, said: “I think the speed bumps are a really good idea because it slows the cyclists down and makes it more tolerable. Before they were put in place they would just come whizzing down the road and one of my grandchildren even got knocked down by one.”
But the measure has divided opinion, with some residents complaining that the garish black and yellow speed control devices are an eyesore.
Cyclist Phill Millership told the newspaper: “It may be an economical solution but it’s certainly not a practical or aesthetic one – for bike users or residents. It’s ill-conceived. People have got prams and all sorts to get down here.”
HfI have installed the humps in a bid to force cyclists to use a nearby path along a canal, which hasn’t gone down well with local two-wheeled commuters.
Samantha Thomson, 28, who lives in Angel, north London, said: “The windy path next to the road with the bumps is dangerous, especially at night, because there’s no light sometimes I’m scared I might fall in the canal. I think it’s ridiculous, especially when people are being so encouraged to cycle instead of using cars.”
A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: “It’s vital in shared spaces such as
that cyclists be aware that their speed can intimidate, but it seems these speed bumps may create more problems than they solve, especially for elderly pedestrians who will have to walk over them.”
A spokesman for HfI said: “The estate tenants and the residents’ association wanted the ramps following issues with speeding cyclists on this narrow path which is shared by pedestrians and cyclists.
“They were installed due to a health and safety risk as residents said that the alleyway was becoming like a cycle track – a large volume of cyclists were using it every morning and evening – and they were concerned that one day someone would walk out of their home and be knocked down,” he added.
“If in hindsight it does not work we will review it with them.”