Bike-tour ‘convoys’ saddled with new rules after complaints
02 August, 2019 — By Calum Fraser
BIKE-TOUR operators have had to “re-route” their customers after a council “cracked down” on them following reports of “cycle convoys” colliding with residents.
The City of London Corporation has brought in a new “code of conduct” for cyclists after residents accused groups of tourists of “flying” down streets in Farringdon and the City.
Cycle-tour firms have hit out at the City, saying they are unaware of any incidents that are alleged and a “little common courtesy” would have worked better than more rules.
Operators will now need to dismount any time City streets are “observed to be busy with pedestrians” as well as during weekdays from 12-2pm and 4-6.30pm.
Jack Harris, founder of tour group Tally Ho!, said: “We have been operating for nearly nine years and I have never had a single incident reported to me. I am slightly clueless where these issues are arising.
“It is unfortunate the City has taken this stance – it is a good little street (Carter Lane) and keeps our cyclists away from Ludgate Hill and the buses that travel down there.”
He added: “Part of the accusations people made was that people were flying along at speed, which is daft to be honest. We operate old British-made bikes that pootle up the street.”
It is understood that many of the complaints arose from workers and residents coming out at lunchtime in streets such as Carter Lane that cyclists had to negotiate around.
Chris Abbott, the owner of Breakaway Bike Tours, said: “They have asked us if we’re going to journey down there, then we should walk. We have chosen to re-route instead.”
Alastair Moss, chair of the City of London Corporation’s planning and transportation committee, said: “I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to work together with local tour companies to introduce a new cycle code of conduct. The Square Mile is a fantastic place for visitors, and becoming an even better place to cycle, but safety for pedestrians and cyclists is the top priority.”