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Cyclists conflict with pedestrians using Greenwich and Woolwich tunnels

16:52 19 May 2014

Conflict with pedestrians is growing from cyclists, skateboarders and rollerskaters riding through two public foot tunnels under the Thames in east London.

Half the 3,000 people daily using the Greenwich and Woolwich tunnels linking the Isle of Dogs and North Woolwich to the other side of the Thames are riding through on bikes and skateboards, a survey has found.

More than half the tunnel users are now calling for bylaws banning bikes and skateboards to be relaxed, a pedestrian lobby group admitted this week.

The conflict is “increasing ill-will” among users, says Friends of Greenwich & Woolwich Foot Tunnels.

Their survey found 56 per cent now favoured relaxing “the unenforced” bylaws and allowing 24-hour shared use. Only 35pc wanted the bylaws enforced, while nine per cent opted for overnight “shared use” between 10pm and 8am.

One-in-four tunnel users suggested wardens patrolling or lift operators with authority to sanction offenders, while a fifth called for random police action.

There is no policing in the tunnels, the Friends group points out, while people’s behaviour “appears to be worsening”. The lobby group is holding talks with Greenwich council, which manages the tunnels, on what is allowed in future.

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