Councillor Mark Ingall, leader of Harlow Council welcomed the announcement yesterday by Essex County Council of a “Cycle Path Revolution” in Harlow.
Councillor Ingall said “The government have given Essex the money, now Essex needs to give Harlow its share and that needs to be spent repairing our cycle tracks which have suffered from too many years of poor maintenance.”
Councillor Ingall toured a small part of the cycle tracks yesterday evening with Essex County Councillor Mike Hardware and cyclists from Hub n Spoke and the Harlow Cycling page to look at some of the worst areas.
Craig Messenger, a keen cyclist, told the councillors of a nasty accident he had sustained thanks to the poor surface of one of the cycle tracks.
Craig said, “Whilst out on a cycle ride coming back through Harlow along Netteswell Road cycleway, rear of Bromley Close, my bike caught a rut in the badly maintained surface causing me to lose control on my road bike.
“I crashed to the floor hitting my head which luckily for me I had a cycle helmet on. I received grazes to my lower leg, bruising and a graze to my hip and shoulder and cuts to my fingers and arm.
“I also believe I have fractured my ribs due to the pain I have been in since the accident 10 days ago. I am a recently diagnosed Type 2 diabetic and the cycling is to help me keep fit and healthy. So far I have not been able to cycle since due to the injuries.”
Councillor Ingall said, “Maintenance of our cycle tracks is long overdue and Craig’s story shows how dangerous many of them have become. I welcome the government providing money to Essex County Council to promote safer cycling through providing additional temporary cycling space.
“But here in Harlow we are already have a great existing network, they’re just in a state of disrepair.
“I have contacted Kevin Bentley, the Essex County Councillor responsible for highways and cycle tracks to tell him that the plans announced by Essex to cordon off roads with bollards to create temporary additional cycling space and other measures may work well in other towns, but what’s really needed in Harlow is for our share of the money to be spent on making the cycle tracks we’ve already got safe to use.”