Cycling in Hackney

A good place to start is to examine to see how Merton can increase its cycling rate is to look at the London borough of Hackney. In this inner London borough, around 15.4% of all its journeys to work are done by bicycle, one of the highest rates in Britain.

This high cycling rate is the result of factors such as proxmity to central London, the moving in of young car-free professionals, and the lack of a tube station. It has also coincided with bicycles, especially the minimalist single speed bikes 'fixies', having become something of a style icon. We can all picture the 'Hackney hipster' on his/her fixed gear.

However, Hackney Council is also largely responible for nuturing this localised burgeoning cycle culture in East London. They have put in a raft of 'low glamour' measures:

  • Closed off rat runs through residential streets.
  • Contraflows are ubiquitous.
  • Whole streets have been closed off and transformed into cycle/foot ways
  • Cycle parking is everywhere

Hackney is by all means still not Holland in terms of its cycle friendly infrastructure, however you do feel that Hackney council is really trying to welcome and encourage cycling throughout the borough, and for that they are to be commended. However, while the residential streets are great for cycling in, the main roads are still congested and are very hostile to cycling. They do not have segregated cycle tracks. There is a lot more the Council can do to on the main roads.