City cycling clinic

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  • The right way is the wrong way

    Kensington & Chelsea Borough Council has just introduced a measure to allow cyclists to travel the wrong way down selected residential streets in the borough. Given that the Department for Transport made provision for boroughs to do this, subject to its approval of each case, back in 1995, it’s surprising that it’s not better used throughout London where so many cycle-friendly directives fall into the all-mouth-no-trousers category.

    I rarely go to K&C: geographically and demographically it’s several removes from Hackney, but I’ve taken it upon myself to adopt the practice in the areas I do travel through – regardless of whether it’s been legalised or not. This works particularly well on my way home to Clapton. Heading down towards Chatsworth Road from Lower Clapton Road, the tangle of leafy streets has been subjected to the most ham-fisted traffic direction with one-way designations handed out seemingly at random. Turning down Blurton Road allows me to take the path of least resistance to the bottom of  the hill.

    The approaching cars are slowed by speed bumps and have ample time to see me; the road is wide enough to accommodate us all and I get down the hill quick sticks. It might not be entirely legal, but it’s a harmless perk of being
    a cyclist. Fiona McAuslan

    Route rating

    Miles 5.9 (Tottenham Court Rd to Chatsworth Rd)Average cycle time 45 minsCalories burned 446 (most of a cheese-and-ham sandwich)Wrong ways taken 1

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