Why some cyclists are out of favour in public's eyes

During Camden s review of anti-social behaviour, the citizens panel was asked, without prompts, what behaviour, in public places, did they find irritating or disrespectful. The majority of the responses were those expected by the experts (ie street drink

During Camden's review of anti-social behaviour, the citizens' panel was asked, without prompts, what behaviour, in public places, did they find irritating or disrespectful. The majority of the responses were those expected by the experts (ie street drinking, drug taking, begging, etc) but Camden residents also cited spitting and cycling on the pavement.

Responsible cycling is very important. Shortly after joining the council in 1998, I raised pedestrians' concerns at cyclists failing to stop at red lights or at zebra crossings, cycling on pavements and cycling the wrong way down one-way roads.

To their credit, the Camden Cycling Campaign responded by putting up a guide to responsible cycling on their website (it now seems to have been taken down).

Schools in Camden are doing their best to encourage more pupils to walk or cycle to school. Local residents will accept that young children will need to cycle on the pavement. However there is no excuse for adults, and a few anti-social cyclists are ruining the reputation of many others by ignoring these concerns.


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Of course children are much more likely to die if they are in collision with a car than a cyclist. But if cars have stopped at a red light or a zebra crossing then the last thing children (or adults) will expect is a cyclist suddenly zooming past the stationary traffic as they cross the road. All this type of behaviour will do is to drive mothers back into cars with their children as they will fear for their safety as they walk to school.

I would like to see the police clamp down on such anti-social behaviour. Cyclists do not wear licence-plates or other forms of identification - although given the level of nanny-state politics in this country this will undoubtedly come in before long - but a visible attempt by the police to photograph anti-social cyclists and then displaying their images on the web might be a form of deterrent. Camden's 100-plus CCTV cameras at road crossings and in bus lanes could surely supply the photos.

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Cllr Andrew Mennear

(Cons) Frognal & Fitzjohn's Ward Executive Member for Schools

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