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Safety fears over cycle route through Meath Gardens

PUBLISHED: 15:00 29 September 2016 | UPDATED: 15:14 29 September 2016

Parents are concerned about cyclists using Meath Gardens as part of a new cycle lane. Picture: Ken Mears.

Parents are concerned about cyclists using Meath Gardens as part of a new cycle lane. Picture: Ken Mears.

Archant

The introduction of a new cycle route through a park will turn the site into a thoroughfare, according to concerned residents.

The proposed Quietway 6 would run from Bancroft Road, in Mile End, to Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, taking cyclists through Meath Gardens.

However the Friends of Meath Gardens group says that the park already has existing issues with cyclists and believes that the proposed route would exacerbate the problem.

“We’d like TfL and the council to consider a different route,” said Anju Aggarwal. “We don’t want it to become a thoroughfare for cyclists. There’s plenty of viable alternatives.”

The park’s health and safety was placed under the spotlight a few months ago when the Advertiser ran a story about eight-year-old Gracie Chessis who was left with a broken leg following a collision with a cyclist.

As well as the safety of children in the park many of the residents have spoken of the abuse they’ve received when they challenge speeding cyclists.

Anju said: “I’ve had several incidents where I’ve asked them to slow down and some have had headphones on when they are cycling.

“People love this park but children’s safety has to be a priority. Do we need more accidents for them to listen?

Alison Nicholls, from Friends of Meath Gardens, has been frustrated by the council’s response.Safety fears over

“We get the impression the consultation is being held after the fact. Also, most residents have not received their consultation papers, it’s been incredibly frustrating.

A spokesman for Tower Hamlets Council said it has made changes to the original plans which it will discuss at a public meeting.

“This includes consolidating and improving a single preferred cycle route through the park, to encourage responsible cycling, reduce conflicts with other park users and further restrict mopeds and powered two wheelers from entering the park.”

Sam Monck, TfL’s head of borough projects and programmes, said: “The consultation on this section of the Quietway is still open and all submissions will be carefully considered. The proposed route was carefully chosen after consultation with Tower Hamlets and we will continue to discuss plans with all interested parties to arrive at the best solution.”

If you’d like to sign the online petition to keep Meath Gardens from becoming part of the cycle route visit change.org/p/tower-hamlets-keep-meath-gardens-a-child-friendly-park-not-a-thoroughfare


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