Fixing London – from King’s Cross to Southwark

The Fixer is a feature on Bloor bikes arranged by community feedback through the website Get London Fixed. Letters may be edited for space and clarity.

‘I didn’t see the car’

The big news is the rejuvenation of the section of Bloor between Mall Lane and Windmill Lane, the big kerbside bike lane they’ve re-opened in Greenwich. It’s been almost 10 years since its original opening, and it’s incredibly important for cyclists to be able to ride through a good area of the city.

For months it was literally impossible to find any cyclists in this section – I was able to get out there and ride the bike lane, but couldn’t find any more bikes than on their last visit. Then slowly the bike lobby decided to take the case to work and mobilise its supporters. The police also stepped in to raise awareness. The information-gathering side of this has been a key factor.

I went back again just before the construction deadline and found a steady stream of cyclists every night. There was a group on the corner of Mall Lane and Windmill Lane around 3am every night; I tried to get them to stop, but they knew the bike lane was closed. They knew that this section had been used long before they were born and they didn’t think it mattered at all. Once the letter to a newspaper was published about the group, it quietened down. Now the road is open, things are starting to normalise.

The biggest challenge was getting the cyclists to realise they did have a voice. If you do something for more than a couple of months, the cyclists become discouraged and unhappy.

The fix was to remind people that there is a viable, legal, good cycling route, which is good news for residents and companies who want to encourage staff to bike to work.

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