Local residents are taking to Hackney’s towpaths in a battle against inconsiderate cyclists.
Dick Vincent, the Towpath Ranger, has been setting up events across Hackney to raise awareness on the dangers of speeding on towpaths.
During one of these events held today (Wednesday) at the City Road Lock, ‘Towpath Rangers’ gave out bells to those cyclists without one, asked speeding cyclists to slow down and made sure they were spreading the word of the Towpath Code of Conduct.
Vincent is also part of the Two Tings campaign, which asks cyclists to give two tings of their bell whilst cycling, to avoid conflicts with pedestrians.
The Two Tings campaign aims to make “towpaths safer, more attractive and accessible to the thousands of people who use them every day.”
Nicholas Blucert, 27, who works at Lock 7, says that speeding cyclists on the towpaths are “obnoxious” and a “big problem.” He said: “Pedestrians certainly have the right of way there, it should be policed really.”
Awareness groups and the council are working together towards improving safety for cyclists as well as pedestrians.
Gracia Douglas, a Media Officer for Hackney council said: “The Council actively supports responsible cycling and cooperates with British Waterways in their work to promote considerate cycling.”
In raising awareness of the Towpath code of conduct, Vincent has noted a number of factors in the conflicts between pedestrians and cyclists, such as limited width, poor sight lines and some ‘inconsiderate’ cyclists going too fast.
Joylon Whaymand, 24, of Bikeworks said: “I think there are some cyclists who should exercise a bit more caution, but I think some pedestrians get in the way on purpose, to prove a point.”
The Two Tings campaign has a number of upcoming events in Victoria Park and the Limehouse cut, in the hopes that a cooperative effort of cyclists and pedestrians can make the towpaths safer. Visit their facebook page to keep up-to-date with these events.