Anti-cyclist Sign a Pain in the Butts

Opponents say that ban on bikes on pathway is a waste of taxpayer's money

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Cycling enthusiasts Cllr Andrew Dakers (Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Brentford & Isleworth constituency) and John Bradley (Green Party parliamentary candidate at the 1997 General Election) have teamed up to highlight the waste of taxpayers money on two signs banning cyclists on a 15 metre stretch from Market Place to The Butts in Brentford.

Since the signs were installed late last year Andrew and John have never seen a cyclist follow the draconian measures, which they argue are both unrealistic and unnecessary on such a short stretch of pavement. Both have complained to Hounslow Council calling for the removal of the signs, but so far their complaints have fallen on deaf ears.

Cllr Andrew Dakers said, "John and I don't see how a dismount length of approximately 15 metres is going to stop anyone from cycling down there. It is completely impractical and unrealistic. Considerate cyclists will anyway cycle slowly in this area due to the bollards. Unfortunately it risks causing some cyclists to speed up in order to get out of the 'illegal' area as quickly as possible."

The route is shown on Transport for London's cycling map as a recommended route for cyclists. This was introduced after Transport for London were lobbied by the Hounslow branch of London Cycling Campaign. It is the only route through to the High Street without making cyclists having to go via the busy junction at The Beehive on Half Acre.

Cllr. Dakers added, "The signs constitute a complete waste of taxpayers' money at a time when the new administration claims it is going to deliver greater financial prudence. "

John Bradley, speaking for Hounslow Green Party, added, "When this area was repaved and renovated as part of the Brentford Regeneration Scheme some years ago I discussed, with others including the then Councillor Mike Carman, the problems of cycling through this area. The solution was to put bollards in to slow any cyclist down who might ride
inconsiderately and, at the same time, allow sufficient space for people with pushchairs or wheelchairs. The bollards are not evenly spaced. This was a deliberate design to ensure that cyclists took the corner from the Butts 'wide' to prevent anyone being surprised by a cyclist coming through from Market Place to The Butts or vice versa. To my knowledge it has worked well since. I have often cycled through here and never had a problem with pedestrians nor have I had a problem when I've walked through there and met cyclists."

They add that adding a large sign to an already crooked lamppost has not improved the look of the conservation area.

June 19, 2007