Inadequate Consultation Over Ealing's Sky Ride

Local concerns expressed over planned cycle event

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Hundreds of residents will be expected to find alternative parking when at least 45 local roads are cleared of cars to facilitate Ealing's Sky Ride on 18th July.

The news has caused local resident and Vice Chair of West Ealing Neighbours, Eric Leach to write to the London Mayor and Ealing Council outlining his concerns.

We reprint the letter below:

Dear Mayor Johnson and Ealing Councillor Mahfouz,

Thank you for your undated, ‘Ealing Sky Ride’ letter which arrived at my house on 1 July 2010. This letter contained the first information I’d received about this event on 18 July 2010 which closes the road I live in to motorised traffic for seven and a half hours. 18 days notice for such a loss of service seems like a very short period of notification. Also I don’t recall any public consultation about this event; the route to be taken; or the event’s raison d’etre.

Bike riding is a good idea in principle. Riding a bike uses human renewable energy as opposed to coal/oil based non-renewable energy. However cycling in busy built-up urban areas can be dangerous. An organised bike ride through streets completely cleared of cars gives would-be ‘new’ and/or young urban cyclists completely the wrong idea about the hazards of cycling through Ealing or indeed cycling through any built-up, busy urban environment. So, I’m unconvinced about the usefulness of the ‘Ealing Sky Ride’.

Your letter tells me that no cars can be parked in any of the 45 roads identified. One of the roads is the road I live in. Fortunately I and many others in my road have off street parking on our properties. However some of the other roads don’t have this luxury. Take Cowper, Coldershaw, Grosvenor and Midhurst for example. Not only do many of the houses have no off street parking the roads in their immediate vicinity are often full of parked cars at the weekend. Where are these people going to relocate their cars for seven and a half hours? The Council needs to provide some free car parking space for these people. Why not open up Dickens Yard and Perceval House car parks for free parking 7:00am to 7:00pm with shuttle bus services to ferry residents/drivers around?

Also why does this seven mile bike ride have to take seven and a half hours? An average bike rider will manage 15 miles per hour. So pretty much everyone (adults and children) could do the Ealing Sky Ride in an hour. So four hours would give the participants adequate time to get round as well as offering some flexibility re their starting times.

Finally this event is a great publicity initiative for the Sky company. They already have their name /logo appearing 14 times on the letter that has been mailed to 1,000s of Ealing households. I’d like to know just how much money Sky is paying Ealing Council for this promotional ‘gift’. I’d also like to know just how much this event is costing Ealing ratepayers.

Yours sincerely,

Eric Leach


The Council has sent a response to the letter - read it here

2 July 2010

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