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TOPIC: A message from Winchmore Hill Police

A message from Winchmore Hill Police 14 Jan 2018 17:44 #3540

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A message from Winchmore Hill Police 15 Jan 2018 15:33 #3541

Felt bad for WH police. Honest and innocent posting for a genuine and fair intended purpose. However totally failed to guage anti-cycle propaganda hate campaigning and the inevitable backlash from drivers.

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A message from Winchmore Hill Police 15 Jan 2018 16:30 #3542

David - for non Twitter types (like me) could you fill the gaps to explain what you mean please. Seems reasonable Police guidance; eg I wouldn't expect my nephew, who has cycled Edinburgh to London in 48 hrs, to be other than outpacing cars on the main carriageway.

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A message from Winchmore Hill Police 15 Jan 2018 16:43 #3543

No problem. I agree it's sensible advice from WHP. I think what they were trying to get ahead of was angry sentiment from cars users who sometimes see cyclists not using cycle lanes and often complain about it (especially controversial high-cost projects like EMH). WHP were making it clear that cyclists do not HAVE to use cycle lanes. Projects like EMH are for the convenience of all cyclists but most specifically designed for less confident cyclists, those who wouldn't otherwise get out on a bike, such as the elderly or children etc, it gives them a safe zone to pootle along in.

More confident cyclists (which they refer to as fast and on expensive bikes, perhaps accurate but not the most helpful descriptors) are sometimes called 'vehicular cyclists' and don't mind the more fast paced aggressive cycling required to filter in with vehicular traffic. For them, slowing down for designated junction crossings, bus stop by passes and the occassional wistful pedestrian, is an inconvenience they are happy to avoid.


However, fuelled by tabloid press (Times as well as Daily Mail type rags) and things like the Briggs Campaign, 2017 demonstrated a massive backlash against cycling and cyclists in particular. Any post mentioning it on social media is inevitably met by a barrage of cyclist-abusing posters, normally complaining about road tax, red light jumping and what a danger cyclists are and that they need mandatory licencing registration and taxation to curb this (isn't exactly working well for cars!).

And that's what happened here. Well-meaning post met with a barrage of anti-cyclist abuse.

Personally I love EMH, it's the only proper cycle infrastructure I get in 10 miles of commuting, so I enjoy using it irrespective of being a confident moderately fast vehicular cyclist.

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A message from Winchmore Hill Police 15 Jan 2018 17:30 #3544

I’m shocked. You say the police give out general advice and information on personal safety, somewhat focused on the safety of children and the less able, often older, community members and they get a tsunami of abuse?

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A message from Winchmore Hill Police 16 Jan 2018 09:17 #3545

I wouldn't say they get the abuse specifically. The focus/subject of it is cycling, however its delivered in response to a sensible and well meaning tweet from the police force.

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A message from Winchmore Hill Police 20 Jan 2018 20:08 #3558

I understand where they are coming from. An immense amount of funds was spent on the project, and I suppose it is rather galling to see very few cyclists along Green Lanes, and fewer still actually using the cycle lanes which have caused (and still cause) disruption to our journeys (along with costing rate-payers indirectly). I suppose it is a feeling that the investment we have put into the scheme (both financial and temporal) is being wasted due to low use and a refusal to use the expensive infrastructure installed.

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A message from Winchmore Hill Police 22 Jan 2018 09:53 #3562

Tristan - who and what do you mean by 'rate payers'? Funds came from TfL, ring-fenced for active travel infra, therefore have not cost Enfield and have not opportunity costs vis a vis other spending in the borough. Equally business rates for commercial premises along EMH have been unchanged (one of SOGL complaints) therefore there has been no impact on Council revenues.

I see cyclists using EMH every time I'm on it, though I appreciate the name may seem a misnomer as uptake is not on Dutch levels.

I've suffered no disruptions personally. Partly because I guess I've been lucky when in the car, and partly because for short local journies I leave the car at home and use EMH - pootling along past all the traffic caused by people in cars who choose not to do the same.

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