'We need delivery': Councillor concerns over borough's cycle network

Embargoed to 0001 Saturday January 29 File photo dated 25/01/22 of traffic passing a cycle lane as a

The number of cycle lanes in Redbridge was discussed at a place scrutiny committee meeting - Credit: PA

Redbridge Council has been told to take action on improving the borough's cycle network.

In its new sustainable transport strategy, the council states it aims to see 80 per cent of all local journeys taken by foot, bicycle or public transport by 2041, in line with the Mayor of London’s policy.

At present, car use still makes up around half of the borough’s journeys, while car ownership is estimated to be ten percent higher than other London boroughs.

During a place scrutiny committee meeting on June 27, the borough’s cycling network was compared to neighbouring Waltham Forest, which has a vast network of cycle lanes known as ‘Mini-Holland’.

Councillor Paul Donovan said: “What concerns me is we have been talking about this stuff for four years, we need delivery, not just to keep talking.

“I know funding is a problem because of the situation with TfL… but delivery is important I think.

"Neighbouring boroughs like Waltham Forest and Newham, we can cycle there and it’s fantastic. What’s going on in Redbridge?”

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During the debate, councillors agreed that a “culture change” will be needed among Redbridge residents, who drive more than the average Londoner.

There are no bike-hire companies operating in the borough after operators Ofo and Urbo pulled out of London in 2018.

Cabinet member for environment and civic pride, Jo Blackman, said the strategy would be “underpinned by data and evidence” about how people travel to “target resources”.

She added: “That should help us try and take residents with us. We would have a mandate to actually implement a whole range of schemes rather than going from one to another.”

Redbridge Council's cabinet member for environment and civic pride, Jo Blackman.

Cllr Jo Blackman said Redbridge's sustainable transport strategy would be “underpinned by data and evidence” - Credit: Jo Blackman

The council aims for the new policy to be formally adopted by autumn this year “or later”.

In late 2020, the council U-turned on the installation of low traffic neighbourhoods, known as Quiet Streets, seven weeks into a six month trial after opposition from residents and councillors.

A map of Redbridge’s existing and proposed cycle routes can be found here: my.redbridge.gov.uk/map/cycle-routes.