Monday, 8 August 2011

Dollis Valley Green Walk - what is Barnet council playing at?

Where's the bike?
A while ago the Mayor of London granted £400,000 to do up the Dollis Valley Green Walk.

Barnet council even ran a competition to choose a new logo for the revamped walk. The competition was completely absurd, asking residents to choose between five nearly identical logos. Don't say Barnet council never consults its residents on anything important!

Now they appear to have cooked up some scheme with TfL to turn part of the Green Walk into a shared cycle and pedestrian path and local campaigners, Friends of Windsor Open Space (FoWOS), who helped to win the money for the scheme, are protesting. What they say sounds reasonable to me.
[Barnet's] Greenspaces Manager then entered into an arrangement with TfL to turn most of the walk into a joint walk/cycle path. “As TfL came waving a cheque for £250,000 it’s easy to see the temptation”, says FoWOS chairman Dennis Pepper, “but not the decision to renege on voters. It is quite clear what people voted for and it wasn’t to have cyclists on the walk.”

FoWOS approached Pam Wharfe, Interim Director of Environment, who came up with the ingenious solution that it is all right if cycling is permitted so long as it’s not promoted. Not as far as walkers are concerned it isn’t.

Brian Coleman, Barnet’s controversial councillor for the Environment, signed off the agreement with the GLA even though it incorporated cycling alongside walking....

Dennis Pepper points out that Cllr Coleman will be asking for votes if he stands for re-election to the London Assembly next year. “Will he expect to take his place if he secures the most votes, or will he be happy for officers to arrange for someone else to do so if they think this would benefit more residents?”
FoWOS say they are not anti-bike, just that Dollis Valley Green Walk is... a walk, not a cyclepath, and it should stay that way. I'm not anti-bike either, but it is nice to have some places that are just kept for walking.

And what of that competition to choose the new logo for the refurbished Green Walk? None of them had a cycle in it...


Mr Mustard said...

Now Vicki come on the Green Walk is for walkers not cyclists, whatever next ?

Francis Beckett said...

The idea of cycle paths is to get people out of their cars. So why are they always put in places where they elbow walkers out of the way, not cars?
Francis Beckett

Anonymous said...

Francis: Because Brian is in charge.

Mrs Angry said...

I'll bet Barnet have not considered the impact on elderly, very young, and disabled users of the footpath. My local safer neighbourhoods' panel has a member who is a wheelchair user and is a passionate campaigner for stronger enforcement of sanctions on cyclists who insist on riding on pavements: he has every right to be concerned, I think. Anyone who has ever walked with small children knows how vulnerable they are to speeding cyclists too. Yet another idiotic decision by
Coleman, aided by his new friend.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with having a cycle path continuing through Windsor Open Space, it is already in place along the rest of the Dollis Brook. Most cyclists are responsible people who know how to use their brakes when they see elderly people and mums with pushchairs. I'm fed up of cyclists getting a bad press, at least we're not polluting the earth with petrol fumes!!!

Anonymous said...

I too am disgusted! The official project site says that Brook Side Walk is already a permitted cycle track. It is not. It is now used by cyclists because when the fence came down at Fursby Avenue the 'No cycling' notice was lost and since then LBB has made no attempt to stop cyclists endangering walkers. I have been pushed off the footpath on a regular basis by rude cyclists.