London Mayor Boris Johnson urged to “get a grip” on cycling issues before Games begin

11:15 18 July 2012

A protest on the towpath against its sudden closure

A protest on the towpath against its sudden closure

Archant

Green Party London Assembly member Darren Johnson has expressed concern Olympic chiefs are encouraging people to walk and cycle during the Games next week, but are making it difficult for people to do so.

Last week a towpath from Homerton Road, billed as a primary cycling and walking route to the Olympic Stadium, was suddenly fenced off for “security reasons.”

A long and complicated diversion includes notoriously dangerous roads, and commuters are up in arms.

“The Mayor and the Olympics organisers are encouraging people to cycle and walk, rather than driving or using public transport, but they are not making it easy for many people to do so,” said Mr Johnson.

“Cycling should be one of the quickest, healthiest and most convenient ways of getting around London during the Olympics,” he said.

“But cycle parking at the Olympic Park is actually a 30 minute walk away from the entrance and people who work in the park have nowhere to change or store cycling clothes and equipment.

“A major cycling route has been closed off along the towpath near the Olympic Park and the advertised alternative routes include the notorious Bow Roundabout.”

Mr Johnson expressed concern that people who stray into the Games Lanes will face a fine of £130, and that with just over a week to go, the plans for the extra cycle parking promised for commuters in central London are still not clear.

“I do hope the Mayor can get a grip on these issues before the Games begin, otherwise it could dull some people’s enjoyment of what should be a great event,” added Mr Johnson.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games has not answered the Gazette’s request for comment.

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