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The thin brown line: Poo from police horses on Quietway 2 in Islington ‘puts cyclists at risk’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 December 2017

'Dangerous' horse waste on the Quietway 2 cycle route in Basire Street, off New North Road. Picture: Bennett Golder

'Dangerous' horse waste on the Quietway 2 cycle route in Basire Street, off New North Road. Picture: Bennett Golder

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Police horses are putting cyclists in danger – because they are pooing all over a major bike route.

An uncropped view of horse poo on the Quietway 2 cycle route in Basire Street, off New North Road. Picture: Bennett GolderAn uncropped view of horse poo on the Quietway 2 cycle route in Basire Street, off New North Road. Picture: Bennett Golder

Bennett Golder has complained to Islington police about the beasts’ “dangerous and disgusting” dumps, which he claims are blighting Transport for London’s (TfL) Quietway 2 through Islington’s backstreets.

Bennett, from Hackney, uses the cycle lane to get to work in central London.

He said faeces constantly fester in locations such as Basire Street off New North Road, Colebrooke Row near where Boris Johnson used to live, and Arlington Way off Rosebery Avenue.

“It’s been bothering me for a year now,” Bennett told the Gazette.

“It has to be police horses because police officers are the only people I have ever seen on horseback in Islington.

'Dangerous' horse waste on the Quietway 2 cycle route in Arlington Way, off Rosebery Avenue. Picture: Bennett Golder'Dangerous' horse waste on the Quietway 2 cycle route in Arlington Way, off Rosebery Avenue. Picture: Bennett Golder

“On my commutes through Islington, there is always horse poo on these roads. I always made jokes with my friends about how I was going to collect some and return it to Islington police station.

“But it’s actually serious – when it’s raining, there are times when my bike slips. It’s a definite safety hazard.

“There are times when the poo has flung up and got all over me, which was disgusting. And you don’t want it getting in your mouth or eyes.”

Bennett said he messaged an officer about the problem, but was told there is little police can do about the “natural occurrence”.

But Bennett said: “It’s never cleaned up. Why not just take the horses on roads where cyclists aren’t going to ride over it? Cars can drive over no problem, but cyclists don’t have protection.”

"I always made jokes with my friends about how I was going to collect some and return it to Islington police station. But it’s actually serious"

Bennett Golder

The Gazette, through Islington police, approached the Met’s mounted branch for comment but did not receive a response.

It’s the latest, and probably most bizarre, in a series of rows between cyclists and the authorities over cycling safety in the borough.

Campaigners despair at Islington’s supposedly inadequate cycling provision, and blame the council for not doing enough to protect vulnerable road users. Earlier this month, protesters made a human lane for bicycle users during a morning rush hour in Penton Street.

But the town hall has consistently rejected the cycle lobby’s accusations, insisting Islington is a “cycling friendly borough”.

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