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Cyclists and Southwark Council join together to create a safer borough for bikes over the next five years
Published Wednesday, 08 February 2012
A new network of safe routes for cyclists is being identified across the borough and could be developed within the next five years, it was announced today.
Southwark Council and Southwark Cyclists have agreed to work together on the plans with a pledge to develop as many of the routes as possible free from intimidatory traffic.
Surveys show that many people want to cycle but are put off by fear of traffic. This initiative aims to reduce those fears.
Southwark Council has already spent £1.1m this year on infrastructure and training to safeguard cyclists. It plans to spend £500,000 on two schemes next financial year, one in East Walworth the other in Camberwell, with at least another £3.4m earmarked for the future.
The move will bring together the 'hands on' knowledge' of Southwark Cyclists and the professional skills of the council's experts, under the guidance of elected councillors. It will also help further cement the relationship between the council and Southwark Cyclists who are committed to improve cycle safety in the borough.
Both organisations also said they will continue to lobby Transport for London to make TfL managed Roads safer for cyclists as well as pedestrians. Figures show that nine out of the ten most dangerous junctions on the borough are under the control of TfL.
Cllr Barrie Hargrove said: "I want no one to be in any doubt that we are fully committed to developing safe, cycle routes free of intimidatory traffic for those who travel across the borough by bike.
"The council's planning and transport teams will work hand in hand with Southwark Cyclists, who have already begun to identify where these routes might be to ensure that we can deliver on our promise to the community.
"We are also committed to lobbying Transport for London to ensure that the roads and routes that they are responsible for are as safe as possible for all vulnerable road users.
"Both Southwark Council and Southwark Cyclists will meet regularly for updates on progress and to work through any issues that may arise."
Alex Crawford, Coordinator, Southwark Cyclists, added: "Southwark Cyclists is a voluntarily run local group representing an 800 strong membership. We are committed to the interests of all those who cycle in Southwark, those who aspire to do so and those who are currently unaware of the benefits cycling brings.
"Southwark has been the site of too many cyclists deaths and injuries in recent years so we warmly welcome this new commitment to develop safer cycling routes across the borough.
"We look forward to working closely with with the Council to develop these plans and will continue to lobby fiercely for other improvements, including following Islington's lead and becoming a 20mph borough, introducing segregated cycle lanes on the Transport for London roads and more training of both drivers and cyclists."