May 24 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Pedestrians using the Greenwich foot tunnel under the Thames are facing danger from cyclists using it as “a race track.”
Protests have been made to Tower Hamlets council about cyclists speeding through the walkway linking the Isle of Dogs and Greenwich.
Now trial measures are proposed aimed at stopping cyclists speeding after complaints raised by Isle of Dogs councillor Peter Golds, whose Blacklwall & Cubitt Town constituency includes the tunnel entrance at Island Gardens.
“It’s a real safety issue for pedestrians—especially at night,” he told the Advertiser.
“Pedestrians often have to scatter when the cyclists race through. It has become a race track at night.”
Tower Hamlets transportation chief Tony Davis has passed the complaints to Greenwich Council, which manages the tunnel, only to discover Greenwich had also received complaints about speeding cyclists.
He told Cllr Golds that it was sometimes “difficult to deal with individual cyclists—other than enforcement by police.”
A trial measure was now proposed to erect two sets of railing chicanes in the tunnel to prevent speeding that won’t impede people in wheelchairs or parents with pushchairs.
“We hope this will make it difficult for cyclists to ride here,” Mr Davis added in his response to Cllr Golds.
“The barriers will carry the instruction ‘Cyclists dismount.’ New signs at the entrances will also make clear the tunnel is part of the London cycle network—but a dismounted section.”
The tunnel has recently undergone the most extensive refurbishment in its 110-year history. It was first opened in 1902 for workers living on the south side of the Thames to reach the Millwall Docks and the wharves and factories on the Isle of Dogs, after a campaign by Poplar trade unionist Will Crooks, a leading member of the London County Council who became MP for Woolwich a year later.