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Noel Park 140th anniversary festival

28 July 2023

We joined in the fun at Noel Park’s 140th anniversary festival and chatted to the community about how they can get around by bike in the borough.

On 16th July 2023, Haringey Cycling Campaign joined in the fun at Noel Park’s 140th anniversary festival in Russell Park. We set up our stall with the intention of chatting to people about how they currently, or might like to, get around by bicycle in the borough.

We also had some badges, stickers and healthy sweets for the kids! Some of the children we spoke to cycle around the Noel Park estate, which was great to hear, and one of them proudly boasted to his friend that he had once cycled in central London along the Thames!

Someone chatting to us about cycling in the borough
Someone chatting to us about their cycling route to and from their workplace

We spoke to a lot of people who currently cycle east to west across the borough for work and a few that need to head south into central London. Unfortunately, many of the people we spoke to lamented the fact that Haringey’s roads are often too dangerous for cycling, to the point that some of them flat-out refuse to get around by bike.

Early on in the day, we chatted to a bus driver who regularly drives down Green Lanes. He lamented the lack of space along Harringay’s stretch of Green Lanes for buses, cyclists and motorists to, in his view, safely coexist when the bus lane is routinely blocked with parked motor vehicles.

Gladstone Avenue many years ago
An old photograph of Gladstone Avenue. The abundance of trees and lack of parked cars makes for a beautiful sight!

When we came across people who don’t currently cycle but expressed a desire to do so, we happily directed them to the council’s free cycle training service that’s there to improve confidence, especially when on the roads. An unfortunate trend during the day was that many of the couples we spoke to would consist of a man who cycled but a woman who was too afraid to. As well as recommending cycle training, we also made a point of suggesting our regular family-friendly bike rides, as these offer an ideal environment for beginner cyclists to grow their confidence. Many of the families we chatted to sounded genuinely interested and excited about our regular rides, so we hope to see them on future ones!

For anyone looking for quieter and safer routes around Haringey, we were happy to point out any route-appropriate Low Traffic Neighbourhoods for them to use as safe passage. Another great resource is the Google Maps cycle routes filter, made by Dermot Hanney.

By the end of the day, we were left feeling very happy to have chatted to many fellow cyclists and some potential future ones! Our thanks go to Noel Park Big Local for having us and for putting on such a brilliant community-focused festival.