Tuesday, 1 May 2012

black path bodge

Despite our warnings about the dreadful changes planned for the black path, the Millfields Users' Group Committee have got what they requested - a bodge that has actually damaged the path.

In March, Hackney's Traffic Management Team (which has been clear it was working on instruction from MUG and Hackney Parks Dept) wrote to the Committee: stating "Just to reiterate, line mark removal is messy and very rarely will markings be fully removed. Some trace of a divisionary line will remain, as will the cycle symbols to be removed, and of course the green surface treatment will still be in place along the entire length".

The MUG Committee responded: "Yes, as you say, it's a bodge..... but we've been asking for this since 2008/9 so we're settling for what we can get."

Hackney insisted it couldn't afford to resurface the path to remove all of the markings. It does however  have funding for new wooden bollards on north Millfields that are not needed and which park users were not consulted on.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Dear blogger

    The removal of the markings on the black path was something that users voted on and the vast majority wanted the markings removed. This was a reflection of the evidence that while the markings were in place some cyclists used the path as a road and were cycling at excessive and dangerous speeds (a dog sustained a broken leg as a result of a speeding cyclist). The committee sought opinion from the members and consulted The London Cycling Network and the feeling was that where shared use is evident and there are no markings both pedestrians and cyclists tend to watch out for one another. We were sad that there wasn't enough money to re-surface at this time but a) it remains on the list of things we would like and b) it will wear down to something a bit less ugly soon. I hope this explanation helps people to understand the removal of the markings. Emma Jack (mug chair)

  3. Dear blogger,

    The wooden bollards are part of Hackney Parks Dept commitment to securing parks against vehicles. There was no need to consult users since it wasn't optional. We asked for the bollards to be of the least ugly kind and therefore the wooden ones. You seem to think that the park is owned by the user group - it isn't and some things just have to happen - as a user group we can express our opinion and try and influence decisions but at the end of the day we are just the 'voice' of the users. As a committee we seek at every chance to find out what users want and to try to get the council (who do own the park) to listen to users views.

    Emma Jack ( mug chair)

  4. MUG has 300+ members.

    Can you point us to the evidence that the vast majority of these members voted for this bodge scheme?

  5. There were several general meetings in which this was discussed and a vote was taken. We don't vote online I'm afraid so if you want to make your opinion known you have to come to the meetings.

    1. Where are these meetings? As a resident I certainly haven't seen anything advertised or indeed put through my door. A vote of 9 certainly doesn't speak for the locals, in fact after two years this is the first time I've heard of you.

  6. You stated, and the Committee repeatedly told Hackney Council, that the "vast majority" of its members voted to support this bodge scheme. That "vast majority" now seems to be shrinking fast.

    It is also not true that this scheme was discussed at several general meetings. It was discussed once in September last year at a general meeting attended by Cllr Oguzkanli and a council transport officer. All of the clear flaws in the scheme were raised by park users at that meeting.

    The vote on whether to proceed was 9 people in favour and 8 people against. So the Committee is just not being truthful when it says the "vast" majority of members voted for it.

    In an interesting take on localism, Hackney council have treated MUG as the client for this scheme and has been clear to ensure it has an audit trail that shows this. God forbid that there are any further accidents on the path - but if there are the Council will be pointing people in the Committee's direction. Localism doesn't just give powers to local groups - it gives responsibilities and accountability.

    And by the way, we now discovered Hackney did have enough money to resurface the path but opted not to - happy to send you this information if helpful.

  7. I'd like to add that as a commuter who lives in Ellington House and who cycles to work everyday via Millfields park to avoid the busy Leabridge road and roundabout the removal of the cycle path has made both my journey on a bike and those walking a total headache.

    Before there was a clear path for each user to use, to use the excuse of 'people cycle to fast so it was removed' just doesn't cut it. A handful of people will cycle fast with or without a path marked - removing the path has just created confusion. Especially as you can still see the markings and the path is still green.

    Why change something that worked perfectly for everyone?

    With the arrival of more new builds and more young commuters using bikes you are going against the so-called 'cycle friendly city'.

    MUG certainly fits the bill.


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