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Families furious at ‘Boris Bikes’ outside their homes in Old Ford

PUBLISHED: 09:45 30 September 2013 | UPDATED: 09:45 30 September 2013

Michelle Jones (far right) and her neighbours furious at Boris bike rack installed outside their homes

Michelle Jones (far right) and her neighbours furious at Boris bike rack installed outside their homes

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Families who thought they had seen off ‘Boris bikes’ being “dumped” on their doorstep in London’s East End are furious at suddenly finding a large cycle rack being put up outside their homes.

Parking spaces vanish with Boris bike rack being installed in Old Ford Road Parking spaces vanish with Boris bike rack being installed in Old Ford Road

Michelle Jones and her neighbours woke one morning to find they had lost several parking spaces as contractors moved in to erect a docking station in Old Ford.

They had already managed to stop it being erected at the end of Old Ford Road during last year’s Olympics with a petition with 400 names—but have now found the rack is being built anyway.

“Our community rallied last year with the petition and succeeded in stopping it,” Michelle explained.

“But we woke up to find builders digging up our street to put the rack in front of our homes—and we thought we had won this battle!”

No so—TfL have used last year’s planning permission from Tower Hamlets council to install the docking station.

The rack doesn’t need to be in Old Ford Road where car parking is limited, the families maintain. It could be installed at the other end of the footbridge over the A12 or at the bottom of Wendon Street in a gap between housing where it would have no impact on people’s homes, they point out.

“It’s disastrous trying to find somewhere to park,” Michelle added. “Our only single yellow line which allows just three cars after 5.30pm has been taken away and this monstrosity put up in its place.

“We are livid—this is just so soul-destroying.”

Some families say they never received a letter in the summer informing them what was proposed.

But Barclays Cycle Hire which runs the ‘Boris bike’ scheme claims there was “extensive consultation” with planning permission by Tower Hamlets council in August last year.

Cycle Hire manager Nick Aldworth said: “Residents were informed by letter drops and through the usual process for planning applications.”

The bike-rack was not put in last year due to the Olympics, he revealed, but is now being added as part of TfL’s east London bike network expansion.

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