Cyclists’ concern over Hackney hit-and-run incidents

Cyclists near the A12 and Ruckholt Road

Cyclists near the A12 and Ruckholt Road. Photograph: Hackney Citizen

Hackney cycling groups have spoken out after new figures from the Metropolitan Police show that 119 cyclists were victims of hit-and-run incidents in the borough of Hackney last year.

Hackney has the highest percentage of people cycling to work in London (6.83%), and the borough has also seen the UK’s largest increase in cycling from 1991-2001, based on comparison census data for this period.

Hackney Cycling Club member Tony Mehegan believes cyclists and other road users can play a part in tackling the problem. “People should be encouraged to report hit and runs so that authorities are more aware of where the problem areas are,” he said.

Reducing the number of accidents depends on drivers as well, Mehegan added. “There is also the issue of drivers being aware that cyclists have a right to be on the road,” he said, “and there is a concern about society’s lack of acceptance that the roads are a two-way street for both drivers and cyclists.”

Trevor Parsons, co-ordinator of the Hackney branch of the London Cycling Campaign, said the authorities need to crack down. “Direct work needs to be done by the police, but since budgets have been cut they are pretty limited,” he said.

Experts think the number of illegal drivers in the capital has contributed to the high number of hit-and-run incidents.

Jenny Jones, London Assembly Green Party member, said: “The Met has made a lot of progress in tackling the problem of hit-and-run drivers in recent years by removing thousands of uninsured and unlicensed drivers from our streets.

“But the number of hit-and-runs in London remains at a high level which is incredibly concerning.”