By Alex Ballinger published
While councils across the country have been taking welcome steps to make the roads safer for walkers and cyclists, some drivers are refusing to follow the rules.
A video has emerged showing a number of motorists mounting a pavement to drive around a road closure blockade, put in place to give priority to cyclists and walkers.
The footage was taken on Upwood Road in Lewisham, South East London, just one location where the local council have installed temporary measures during the coronavirus crisis.
Lewisham Council said the modal filter system has been put in place on the road to reduced motor vehicle traffic so pedestrians can step into the road to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
The filter is also intended to create a safer walking and cycling space for local trips to school, work, the shops and for leisure.
But a number of drivers chose to ignore the blockade, mounting the curb and driving around to continue on their way.
After the video was shared on Twitter by the London Evening Standard’s transport correspondent Tom Edwards, police have since got involved and the council has installed further safety measures.
Detective Superintendent Andy Cox, who leads the Metropolitan Police’s Vision Zero road safety campaign, said: “Very grateful to local roads policing officers who deployed this morning to this location and enforced offences for driving on the footpath."
The Met’s cycle safety team said: “PC Darren and PC Grant are currently in Upwood Road due to issues raised. Hopefully this will stop now.
“They are still in the area checking out further roads and talking to residents”
The council has since installed bollards on the pavement to prevent drivers skirting the road closure.
With workers urged to avoid public transport during the coronavirus crisis and fears that more people could be jumping in cars for their commutes, authorities across the country have been working fast to make the roads safer for cyclists.
To get more people on bikes, the government has announced a £2 billion investment in cycling and walking, councils have been given new powers to stop drivers parking in cycle lanes, and pop-up cycle lanes have been put in place.
Last month, a council near Manchester pulled down a temporary cycle path just 48 hours after it was installed because drivers complained.
The temporary lane in Sale, just outside Manchester, was put in place last weekend but was taken down shortly after because motorists complained about the traffic.
Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.
Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.
Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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