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£40,000 of taxpayers’ cash “wasted” by Islington Council in cycle lock-up “cock-up”

16:51 23 May 2013

Leo Chapman shows how two bikes can already be attached to traffic posts without the cycle hoops

Leo Chapman shows how two bikes can already be attached to traffic posts without the cycle hoops

Dieter Perry

Town hall chiefs were this week accused of squandering more than £40,000 of taxpayers’ cash on scores of cycle lock-ups – after riders claimed they were fitted to the “wrong” type of street post.

The 211 cycle hoops – which cost Islington Council £200 each – have been fitted to traffic sign posts rather than lamp posts.

But cyclists say they can already secure their bikes to sign posts with D-locks because they are much narrower than lamp posts – rendering the £42,000 total spend “wasted”.

The council defended the spend after saying fitting them to sign posts was not a mistake.

Leo Chapman, a Finsbury resident and keen rider, said: “Most cyclists use D-locks to secure their bikes, which are four inches wide, but sign posts are three inches in diameter, meaning D-locks fit on them anyway.

“But lampposts are around seven inches in diameter and so are too wide for D-locks. Cycle hoops should be on these instead, because it’s these we’re currently not able to lock our bikes up to.

“Islington Council has wasted £42,200 by putting these on the wrong posts.

“To put these on posts we can already attach our bikes to is a complete waste of money and a waste of scarce resources.”

Scores of the hoops – metal loops sticking out both sides of a post – have been installed along Old Street and Goswell Road as well as other cycling hot spots across the borough.

Cyclehoop Ltd – the company which supplied the lock-ups – says the product can be supplied for lamp posts as well as traffic sign posts.

Cllr Terry Stacy, leader of the council’s Lib Dem opposition, said: “What a wasted opportunity. These 200 bike hoops should not have been put where you can already attach a bike anyway.

“Anything the council does to encourage cycling is a good thing and I support that cause, but this is a total waste. It doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence.”

A council spokesman said: “We want to provide safe and practical places for people to secure their bikes. Cyclehoops on sign posts offer this, while minimising obstructions for pedestrians.

“We don’t allow bikes to be secured to lamp posts as we need to have unimpeded access to their electrical entry points for maintenance and emergencies.”

Anthony Lau, managing director of Cyclehoop Ltd, said: “The councilor mentioned in the article does not understand that cycle hoops are installed onto signposts to help reduce the risk of theft or bike damage.

“They prevent thieves from stealing the bike by lifting it over the top of the sign post or ripping the post out of the ground.

“They also prevent the bike from sliding down the post and getting damaged, as well as blocking pedestrian pathways, which is particularly inconvenient for pedestrians with disabilities and parents with pushchairs who may require extra pavement space.”

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