Ilford town centre regeneration plan prompts concerns about lack of designated cycle lanes

PUBLISHED: 17:29 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:29 17 July 2017

Redbridge Council regeneration team took meeting participants on a tour around Ilford town centre. Picture: Ellena Cruse

Redbridge Council regeneration team took meeting participants on a tour around Ilford town centre. Picture: Ellena Cruse

ellena cruse

Community groups have raised concerns about cycling proposals in the Ilford town centre regeneration designs.

Under the plans “shared spaces” would be in operation, enabling cyclists and pedestrians to use the same concourse.

Although many cyclists already do ride through the pedestrian town centre, they are not permitted to do so.

In response to a tweet asking about the impact of regeneration on people with additional needs, Redbridge Council met with Redbridge Concern for Mental Health, Transport for All, Redbridge Disability Consortium and Redbridge Transport Action Group.

At the meeting, held at Forest House, Clements Road, Ilford, the council said it had previously held consultations with residents and put on exhibitions at Redbridge Central Library, online and in the town hall for them to share their views on the scheme.

Some audience members expressed their worries about not having a designated cycle lane and Catherine Smith, campaign officer at Transport for All, said the High Road would be a much more inclusive space if there was a designated area.

“It has been flagged up in the House of Commons that other shared spaces do not work,” she said.

“Would it be possible to factor in a walkway to help people with visual impairments?”

Marc Clark, of the Redbridge regeneration team, said that a segregated cycling area could affect the “balance” for everyone in that space and residents could negotiate the walkway without a designated lane.

“We are fortunately at the point where we can tweak the plans,” he said

“We will monitor it to see if we are achieving what we want to achieve with the space.”

Jon Abrams, cyclist and staff member at Concern for Mental Health, was worried about the “public health impact” of not having cycle lanes.

He warned that people would be put off coming to Ilford and this could lead to social isolation.

Mr Clark said he welcomed the comments and agreed to discuss this issue in more detail with concerned groups.

Mr Abrams told the Recorder after the meeting: “I am pleased that the council met with us and listened to us and I look forward to discussing it in further detail.”

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