The ride will be a good-natured protest highlighting the issue of the division and impermeability of the boroughs of Barnet and Brent for cycling because of the North Circular Road. Particularly it will be highlighting the rebuild of Henly's Corner by TfL last year, which made it much more dangerous for cyclists. The policy TfL carried into operation at Henly's Corner is the same single-minded prioritisation of motor traffic flow above all other considerations, especially pedestrian and cyclists safety and convenience, that is evidenced also in their recent changes at Blackfriars, and coming up at Kings Cross. We can expect more of this, at more junctions all over London, unless we can make them see that a large number of Londoners are not happy with this agenda.
If you have any doubt about the issues around the North Circular, Barnet LCC have made this brilliant video showing just what the protest is about, including what it is like to cycle at Henly's Corner and Staples Corner. See also the letter to the mayoral candidates asking them for their views on the issue.
Though primarily a north London event, we expect to be joined by cyclists from all over London. It should be quite a carnival, and, with a large group, which will be thoroughly marshalled, negotiating some of the worst junctions in London should be easy even for children (who are welcome to come if they are up for something like a 20 mile round trip from Brent). We expect media and quite a bit of publicity. The ride ties in both with The Times's Cities Fit for Cycling campaign (which is calling for redesign of Britain's most dangerous junctions) and LCC's Love London, Go Dutch campaign, which is calling for London's streets to be "as safe and inviting for cycling as they are in Holland".
The ride will start at New Southgate Station at 10:00 am, but you could also join one of the two feeder rides from Brent and SW Barnet:
1) Start 9:00 am from the forecourt of The Crown pub, Cricklewood Broadway. Ride will be led by Mustafa Arif (mob. 7966 924728).
2) Stat 9:00 am from Kingsbury Station. Ride will be led by David Arditti (mob. 07866 456390)
After uniting at New Southgate we will head back west, crossing the North Circular about 10 times, finishing around lunchtime with a picnic at the "secret park" in the centre of Staples Corner (no, I've never been there either).
So get your picnic together, and I hope to see you there.
|The Great Divide Ride will allow you to cycle safely with your children through junctions like Staples Corner West. Take the opportunity: it could be a once-only occurrence.|