Cyclist with disability ordered off tricycle on South Bank path

photo Cyclists are lobbying for the continuation of considerate cycling rights along the South Bank

The charity Wheels For Wellbeing has complained to Lambeth Council after a lady with a disability was ordered off her mobility tricycle on the South Bank.

Ann Wright (pictured right) was stopped by a Community Support Officer and told she should not be cycling along on the riverside path by Lambeth Bridge.

When stopped Mrs Wright showed the PCSO her elbow crutch as proof of her disability, but "without any effect".

The wide path, which runs by Thames from Lambeth Bridge to Westminster Bridge, has recently had 'No Cycling' signs erected on it by Lambeth Council, despite being used by cyclists for many years.

Kennington residents can raise the issue with councillors and the local MP Kate Hoey who has supported the ban on Saturday 29 January 2011 at the Prince's ward community coffee morning, from 11am-12:30pm, St Anselm's Church Hall, Kennington Cross (see a map of the location).
A Lambeth Council statement on the SE1 website says: "The signs are currently advisable [sic], but they allow the PCSOs that patrol the South Bank to ask cyclists to dismount in order to talk to them about considerate cycling."

Although the council says it's "monitoring the effectiveness" of the signs, cyclists believe the signs themselves are polarising opinion against cyclists by making walkers think cycling along the path is inappropriate and illegal.

London-SE1 reports that the council said that a "traffic regulation order (TRO) would be required to make the ban legally enforceable".

On shared routes in the Royal Parks and along canals signs usually say "pedestrian priority, considerate cycling permitted".

The cyclist who was stopped, Mrs Ann Wright, recently purchased a tricycle after participating in the Wheels for Wellbeing cycle activity programme.

"She has yet to complete her cycle training," a spokesperson for Wheels For Wellbeing said, "so tackling the busy traffic on Lambeth Palace Road and the roundabout at the bottom of Westminster Bridge is still a challenge for her."

Lambeth Palace Road is the alternative to using the Thames path. And has been described by the local MP Kate Hoey as "an excellent cycling route", despite having multiple lanes of fast-moving traffic, including lorries.
The local LCC group, Lambeth Cyclists, is calling on cyclists to write to Lambeth Council at to make their views known.

They suggest that Considerate Cycling rather than No Cycling should be the policy on the South Bank.