Monday, July 02, 2007

Letter to the local papers


Dear Sir,

I hope Tory Council leader, Mike Fisher, attended one of the Bike Week events (16th-24th June) in Croydon. After all, his party leader, David Cameron MP, is forever trying to portray his party’s green credentials. Mr Cameron even cycles to work for that crucial photo opportunity! By the way, we are encouraged to dismiss the fact that his official car is carrying his shoes and his briefcase in tow. This exposes the level of hypocrisy and greenwash the main three parties peddle – no pun intended.

So how much does Mr Fisher buy into his party leaders’ supposed green enlightenment? The answer is ‘not very’ if you look at the amount of investment on cycle routes in Croydon
In London around 2% of journeys are by cycle. Yet cyclists represent 8% of road users who are killed or seriously injured. Cyclists and also pedestrians in Croydon are all too aware of the perilous roads in the borough. One cyclist has started a blog called ‘Crap Cycle Lanes in Croydon’.

On the one hand we are all being encouraged to “get on our bikes” but this Conservative Council has failed to put its money where its mouth is.

I contacted the council about an accident waiting to happen on the junction between St James Park and Windmill Road, which is part of the London Cycle Network. It is a two way street for cyclists but one way for motor vehicles with a glaring blind spot where cyclists approaching Windmill Road cannot be seen. The council officer came to view the road layout and was quick to acknowledge the danger. However, 6 months later nothing has been done. Moreover, I was told when I called to chase up my enquiry that there were many other urgent cycle route corrections which have not been carried out. One can deduce that it is the usual reason -‘cuts!’

Cycling in Croydon is fraught with danger. It is essential the council leader is fully aware of this. That is why I have written to Mr Fisher asking him to join me on a cycle ride around Croydon. Only then will he realise the risks cyclists have to endure.

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan
Croydon Green Party
Windmill Road

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