Drivers warned to avoid blocking cycle lanes

Evidence gathered of drivers persistently parking on cycle lane in Enfield Wash, reports James Cracknell

The C1 cycle lane in Enfield Wash is consistently being blocked by multiple vehicles
The C1 cycleway in Enfield Wash is consistently being blocked by multiple vehicles, at various times of day

Drivers are being warned not to block cycles lanes after Enfield Council and Transport for London (TfL) were granted new powers to punish them.

The government recently gave TfL and London borough councils the power to fine motorists who infringe on cycle lanes in the same way that they currently do for bus lanes and yellow box junctions.

Existing CCTV cameras will be used to enforce contraventions in cycle lanes at key locations.

The council already has the power to fine motorists who block cycle lanes by parking in them, however the Dispatch has gathered evidence to show that these laws are being persistently broken – often by drivers of the same vehicles.

Since being awarded ‘Mini Holland’ funding from TfL eight years ago, the council’s Cycle Enfield programme has installed around ten miles of segregated cycle lanes along key routes in the borough. For much of their length these lanes are now protected by bollards, however the gaps between them are sometimes big enough for cars to park between.

Along Hertford Road in Enfield Wash, between Ordnance Road and the entrance to Albany Park, multiple cars have been found blocking the C1 cycleway on almost every occasion the Dispatch has visited since the start of April – a total of 14 separate visits, on both weekdays and weekends. On one particular visit, nine vehicles were photographed illegally parked in the cycle lane along this 0.25-mile stretch of road.

Some of the offending vehicles in Enfield Wash are regulars, with one car – a black Mercedes Benz – photographed parked in the cycle lane on four separate occasions.

Asked what action the council was taking to tackle the problem, a spokesperson said: “The council has and will continue to enforce motorists who park in cycle lanes.

“From 1st April 2021 to 31st May 2022, the council issued 698 PCNs [penalty charge notices] to motorists who were parked in cycle lanes in the borough and 319 of these were issued on Hertford Road.

“The new legislation allows Transport for London and local authorities to issue PCNs for driving in a cycle lane and PCNs will also be issued for this offence as appropriate.

“If anyone sees illegally parked vehicles, they can call the council’s vehicle pound on 020 3856 0036.”

Only pedal cycles and rental e-scooters within a trial area can legally use cycle lanes. To maintain the safety for cyclists, all other road users including motorcycles and other types of e-scooters are banned from using cycle lanes.

Road danger “remains a barrier to people walking and cycling more” according to TfL, with more than half of Londoners choosing not to cycle because of concerns over road traffic. It says the additional enforcement powers recently granted will help “protect designated space for cyclists and make the capital’s roads more attractive for Londoners to cycle on, helping to build on the huge increases in cycling seen in the capital since the start of the coronavirus pandemic”.

Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, added: “Making London’s streets safer is our top priority. These new enforcement powers will deter motorists from infringing on crucial space specifically designated to keep cyclists safe and will help improve cyclist’s confidence when getting around the capital.”

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