Bikes attached to railings near Rock St

Bikes loitering with intent

Bikes attached to railings near Rock St

Letter from Islington Council officer on railings at Finsbury Park

These bikes may look pretty harmless. But not to the keen eye of an Islington Council Quality Assurance officer. The notice says:

Dear owner you bike is illegally chained to council property, please remove it or we will be forced to removed your property and dispose of it.

This could be the first time that the council has objected to cyclists using the railings around the very many council properties in the borough.

We should expect to see similar signs on council owned sheffield stands any day. Not around this part of Finsbury Park [streetview] though. There aren’t any.

Thanks to Ian Shacklock for the photos.


Update 6-Sep-2012  The (housing section of the) council says:

Bike may be chained to railings all over the borough but this does not mean they should be.

An example of council signs can be seen on Colinsdale Estate , Colbrooke Row N1, where the council have erected signs asking owners of bikes not to chain them to the railings.

The reason for this is, A. the bikes damage the railings, scratching the paint off, and B. when someone comes along and wants to steal the cycle, they cut through our railings, causing damage, and costing the council for the repairs and replacement of vertical bars. C. bikes can also be chained to areas, obstructing access.

I have been in consultation with the TRA on Vaudeville Court, who the railings belong to, and who requested these signs. The TRA have already approached Highways regarding the erecting of the Sheffield stands, and were told that due to some major alterations happening to the pavement [Sustrans Connect2] in this area, it was not possible at the moment, but they would more than likely be incorporated in the alterations to the Finsbury Park Station area.

Due to the new build on Vaudeville Court, I cannot have any stands put up on the estate until the new build completion, due to the installations of services to the flats and not yet being able to look at any spaces left once the buildings have been erected. If and when it is possible I am more than willing to have stands installed here, once all works have been completed.

It would be so much more convenient for council officers if we just got rid of our pesky bikes. Does anyone else have to use railings outside (or inside) council properties because there is nowhere else to park?

Council officers in Highways are going to look for locations to mount cycle hoops.

  • Jon

    Totally illiterate sign, too.

    • kay

      Yes, makes you wonder how someone without a gcse level grasp of punctuation, spelling and grammar can become a quality assurance officer. Ridiculous sign on many levels.

  • houmous

    I have never understood the logic of wanting to remove bikes chained to railings. They dont put similar signs on cars parked next to railings do they?

  • http://twitter.com/Jono_Kenyon Jono Kenyon

    Dear Carol, of all the things to invest energy in. Ridiculous. Also a classic bit of victim blaming in there too. When you are a victim of crime, we don’t want to also be put out.
    Jono

  • Ian Shacklock

    I’ve been locking my bike to railings for as long as I can remember. It’s such a space efficient way of storing a bike, especially when half the width of the handlebars is out of the way of pedestrians. The council should be encouraging us to use these public railings in such a construcive way, instead of blaming cyclists for attracting thieves.

  • Guest

    … signed by the “Quality Assurance Officer”.

  • Dave Lukes

    This is bizarre:

    due to the installations of services to the flats and not yet being able to look at any spaces left once the buildings have been erected. If and when it is possible I am more than willing to have stands installed here, once all works have been completed ”

    So this implies that there are no plans/drawings/models so they can do nothing except sit on their hands until everything is completed, not even discuss any preliminary ideas ready for day zero.
    They also cannot ask for suggestions for placements from the other stakeholders.

    Does this sound reasonable?

    • John A

      Yes. I was surprised by this comment as well

  • christianwolmar

    I have always wondered about the legality of threats to remove bikes that are chained to railings – surely there is no right for landowners to prevent such parking?

    • John A

      That’s an interesting point which I’ll persue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.craig.75491 Andrew Craig

    And “we will be FORCED to remove”? No one’s forcing you; you’re choosing to.

  • http://twitter.com/zanf chriszanf

    In that photo, there is enough pavement space to put up hoops cemented into the ground for people to chain their bikes to.

    “Build it and they will come (or move from using the railings)”

  • robin

    “when someone comes along and wants to steal the cycle, they cut through
    our railings, causing damage, and costing the council for the repairs
    and replacement of vertical bars.”

    so that’s the cyclists fault somehow? give me a break.

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.foxsmith Greg Foxsmith

    wonder what lawful authority the Council has for A breaking locks (criminal damage) and B disposing of bikes (theft). I will be asking them and post any reply.In the meantime, if anyone loses a bike destroyed by the Council, I will be happy to provide pro-bono (free) legal advice for restitution.

    • John A

      Greg, that would be really helpful. Have asked officers the same question and haven’t heard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.foxsmith Greg Foxsmith

    I emailed the Quality Assurance Officer , and as I am sure most of you know by now the signs have been removed

    • John A

      Greg, that’s a great result. Many thanks for your intervention.

  • Chris Ashby

    Went past the site yesterday and some new council notices have been tied to the railings. If I had a camera I’d have posted an image here but essentially the new signs explain why bikes should not be locked to the railings and encourage cyclists to lock them elsewhere. There were still bikes locked there yesterday.

  • John A

    Islington Council is proposing 10 new cycle stands http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/21685275/945694826/name/Cycle%20Stands%20St%20Thomas%27s%20Rd%2Epdf to be installed in early November.

  • lolo

    I’m just appalled at the bad spelling/ grammar in that sign. There’s nothing ‘quality assurance’ about it.

  • http://twitter.com/harry_wood harry_wood

    The reasons for not liking bikes chained to railings are pretty slim. Scratched paint is hardly the end of the world, and the incidents of thieves cutting through railings must be very rare I would’ve thought. Balance that against the discouraging effect of not having anywhere to park your bike because somebody put up a snarky sign. What should the council do? They should chill out and stop putting up signs. It seems inefficient to spend money on sheffield stands in an area of street where cyclists could easily (in a more compact and tidy manner actually) us the railings. Sheffield stands are welcome of course, but why not spend the same money somewhere where there isn’t any perfectly good railings to use.

  • Gary Oliva

    There are now 10 new cycle stands at this location, can the cyclists who have still got there bikes chained to the local railings please remove them and use the facilities provided.