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Bike tour-guides in the City of London feel the heat

Residents say they’re fed up with groups riding in ‘narrow’ streets

21 June, 2019 — By Calum Fraser

PRESSURE is being put on tour-guide operators after residents were enraged by groups of cycling tourists.

City of London Corporation has pledged to work “urgently” with police and tour operators to ensure they are meeting their legal requirements.

Residents who are fed up with groups of tourists travelling around “narrow” streets on bikes had called for an urgent review of operators’ licences.

A resolution from Farringdon Within ward, heard at a planning and transportation committee on Tuesday, said: “Cycle convoys are seen to travel at speed through narrow cobbled lanes and have been crossing busy roads at unsafe points, with participants, including children, not wearing any safety protection.”

It added: “There are reports of cyclists colliding with residents, but such collisions have not been recorded.”

Chris Abbott, owner of Breakaway Bike Tours, who was at Tuesday’s meeting, said: “At certain times of the day, when a lot of people come out of the office, like on a sunny lunchtime, there will be extra people on the road and inevitably there will be conflict.

“I thought overall the meeting was quite positive. It is in our interest to engage the public. We do not want to cause more altercations with the public.”

A City of London spokeswoman said: “We are aware of complaints regarding the impact of cycling tour groups in some narrow, semi-pedestrianised areas of the Square Mile.

“City Corporation officers have attended the affected areas. We will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with City of London Police, who lead on enforcement.”

Two new bike-hire schemes have been rolled out in Islington this year, with ride-sharing giant Uber launching red Jump bikes while Lime electric bikes appeared in March.


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