Cyclists call for a reduction in car parking spaces


Merton Cycling Campaign is asking for more bike bays to replace some car parking spaces


By Sam Dale

Merton cyclists are calling for bike bays to replace some car parking spaces.

Merton Cycling Campaign says the bays would be good for commerce, the environment and road safety.

The Campaign’s co-ordinator, Charles Baraball, said: “Every cyclist has £5000 a year extra in their pocket as they don’t have a car. They have more money to spend in shops.”

Merton Council announced a reduction in parking fares this week to boost trade.

Tom Walsh of Sustainable Merton said he supported the idea of cycling bays.

“Encouraging driving like this completely goes against the Council’s climate change strategy and sends the wrong signal,” he added.

“They need to be more inventive with car park spaces.”

Mr Baraball added that gridlock in town centres was good for cyclists as they could weave in and out of traffic easily.

“I would ask drivers to turn their engines off when they stop. It reduces air pollution and is more sustainable,” he said.

Council cabinet member for planning and traffic management William Brierly said they regularly meet Merton Cycling Campaign.

“We have bid for funds from Transport for London that would enable us to provide a large number of additional cycle stands around the borough.

And have also bid for money to help fund a two-year training programme for novice cyclists which hopefully would lead to more people using pedal power.”

Merton is working with the London Mayor Boris Johnson on the new Cycle Superhighway which will link Colliers Wood to central London. 

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