Manor Park cyclist slams council over superhighway delay

A cycling group spokesman has slammed Newham Council for holding up plans for a bike superhighway to the Olympic Park.

The completion of Route 2 of the Barclays Cycle Superhigway, which is meant to run from Aldgate to Ilford but currently ends at Bow Road roundabout, has been put on hold until after London 2012 because of regeneration works in Stratford.

Arnold Ridout, joint co-ordinator of Newham London Cycling Campaign, said: “The issue of Cycle Superhighway 2 highlights the antipathy of Newham Council to cycling which has now become embarrassing (as you will see if you cycle from Aldgate to Ilford).

“Public money was wasted on redeveloping Stratford High Street without cycle facilities, a mistake exacerbated by then blocking the cycle superhighway.

“Newham cyclists have been pressing the council for the reasons and have had a series of spurious answers (to put it kindly).”

The Forest Drive, Manor Park resident added the council had wasted money on “useless” bike lanes and blasted borough chiefs for missing the deadline to join the Mayor of London’s scheme, which offers participating boroughs �4m in funding to promote cycling.

A Newham Council spokesman defended the decision not to extend the cycle lane at this time on the grounds of safety.

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The spokesman said: “Newham has recently appointed a cycling supremo to work on developing the borough’s cycling network.

“Although we have invested in cycling such as using money from Westfield to provide safer cycle routes to Stratford, we acknowledge that we could do more in this area.

“We will be looking at using the development opportunities in the borough to create well connected and attractive places and properly considered cycling infrastructure and a safe urban realm should be a key requirement of planning permissions.

“We are keen to increase cycling across the borough and we hope to participate in the cycle hire scheme.

“Any future plans will be in line with Newham’s existing highways design guidance and subject to future consultation with our residents.”