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Cycle routes into the Olympic Park are a “world class embarrassment” say campaigners

As the Olympic Park nears its official opening to the public in April, the London Cycle Campaign (LCC) has criticised in the strongest terms its poor cycling access.

Calling it a "world class embarrassment", Tom Bogdanowicz pointed out to the BBC that cyclists were expected to haul their bikes up three flights of stairs to get near the velodrome.

He said it was “utter stupidity” to put cobbles on a bike path, and called one of the junctions “thoughtless design”.

He added that some of the cycle paths were below the recommended width. To watch the BBC film, click here.

The mayor's cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan said he was looking at ways to adapt the plans to make the park as cycling friendly as possible, adding that the paths were not yet completely finished.

The Hackney Cyclist blog highlighted some initial problems with the cycling facilities when the northern part of the park opened to the public last year, calling it “an opportunity missed”.

LCC had to become involved in the Olympic cycle facilities previously, when in 2013 there were plans to close key Olympic Park bike routes at night.

The proposed evening closure would have banned cycling after 7pm along two flagship cycleways linking Leyton with Hackney and Tower Hamlets, anticipated to be popular with visitors to the circuit as well as commuters. Campaigning by the LCC ensured the paths remained open at all times.

To find out more about the LCC and its proposals for the Olympic Park, click here.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

11 comments

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userfriendly [616 posts] 3 years ago
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Oh, come on now! Those wee little stairs? Are you serious? You're going to a bleeding velodrome, don't tell me it's that much of an effort to quickly grab your bike and hop up those half dozen steps on yer feet! You athlete, you. I heave my bike up more and steeper stairs to get out of and back into my flat every day.

And even with the tiny batches of cobbles in them (and flat ones, by the looks of it), those cycle paths are still in a heck of a lot better shape than anything labelled "cycle path" around here. Potholes that never get fixed, glass shards from bottles thrown out of cars and debris that never get removed (I always feel I'm the only one actually stopping and cleaning other people's mess up, the councils certainly aren't giving a f**k).

World class embarrassment? World class embarrassment is what I would call the state of Britain's roads in general, the utter ignorance of drivers who will yell at you to get off the road because "you don't belong on the road", and plenty of other things endangering thousands of your everyday cyclists' safety - all things that money like that should be thrown at first.

Please LCC ... give me a break.

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MikeOnABike [105 posts] 3 years ago
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What you have to realize is that the people have made their money / gotten kinghthoods now, so they don't give a toss. It's all about finishing it as cheap and as quickly as possible so that they can move onto the next thing that will screw over joe public.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 3 years ago
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Whilst things aren't perfect, did anyone notice the bike ramps built into the sides of the stairs?

A really useful feature, and something we should all be pushing to have incorporated into any new project. If your local planners have omitted this useful feature, remind them before the design is approved.

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georgee [180 posts] 3 years ago
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They should be open to criticism, yes there are world leading facilities but what little hope is there for anywhere else if the powers that be even fcuking the leading schemes up.

Sadly there are few to shoulder the blame with the ODA now scattering into the wind. Best we can do is a whinge to Newham and mayors office.

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northstar [1107 posts] 3 years ago
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Quote:

Please LCC ... give me a break.Please LCC ... give me a break.

If you look at the blog link and the other (forget what it was) then you will see the new public highways are a homage to the motor vehicle with the same rubbish after thought / token cycling rubbish.

It happened on their watch anyway.

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jova54 [676 posts] 3 years ago
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Neil753 wrote:

Whilst things aren't perfect, did anyone notice the bike ramps built into the sides of the stairs?

Crap design yet again. Ramp on one side of steps only. So only one bike at a time up or down.

Quote:

A really useful feature, and something we should all be pushing to have incorporated into any new project. If your local planners have omitted this useful feature, remind them before the design is approved.

Yes they are, but always an after thought. If you have existing non-convertible infrastructure they are a relatively cheap and simple solution provided they are on both sides of the steps. But this shows a total lack of joined up design and implimentation. In a new project if you can put in steps you can put in ramps.

And, if it's this bad for cyclists, what about wheelchair users?

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leqin [207 posts] 3 years ago
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I have to contend with far worse than this on my 7 days per week commute. Either you people are not bicycle riders or your a bunch of moaning wimps - man up.

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VeloPeo [353 posts] 3 years ago
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leqin wrote:

I have to contend with far worse than this on my 7 days per week commute. Either you people are not bicycle riders or your a bunch of moaning wimps - man up.

Spectacular point miss there

It's new build - a blank canvas to put some decent cycling infrastructure in. If we can't get it right on new builds we've got no hope for the rest of it.

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congokid [321 posts] 3 years ago
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userfriendly wrote:

don't tell me it's that much of an effort to quickly grab your bike and hop up those half dozen steps on yer feet! You athlete, you. I heave my bike up more and steeper stairs to get out of and back into my flat every day.

Well, bully for you, but not everyone who'd like to visit the park or ride their bikes there is an 'athlete' like you. Think of others rather than yourself for a change.

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fluffy_mike [103 posts] 3 years ago
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congokid wrote:
userfriendly wrote:

don't tell me it's that much of an effort to quickly grab your bike and hop up those half dozen steps on yer feet! You athlete, you. I heave my bike up more and steeper stairs to get out of and back into my flat every day.

Well, bully for you, but not everyone who'd like to visit the park or ride their bikes there is an 'athlete' like you. Think of others rather than yourself for a change.

Why would you be an 'athlete' if you're going to a park? This is supposed to be suitable for children, the elderly, everyone...

This was a blank canvas project with an unlimited budget and it's shit.

That's what you get from London street designers - they're clueless and don't give a monkeys about cycling

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userfriendly [616 posts] 3 years ago
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congokid wrote:
userfriendly wrote:

don't tell me it's that much of an effort to quickly grab your bike and hop up those half dozen steps on yer feet! You athlete, you. I heave my bike up more and steeper stairs to get out of and back into my flat every day.

Well, bully for you, but not everyone who'd like to visit the park or ride their bikes there is an 'athlete' like you. Think of others rather than yourself for a change.

I'm not an athlete. I'm a commuter. I was referring to people who take their bike to a velodrome, supposedly athletes, and then moan about a rather short and shallow flight of stairs.

fluffy_mike wrote:

Why would you be an 'athlete' if you're going to a park? This is supposed to be suitable for children, the elderly, everyone...

Sorry, quite apparently I misunderstood the video - I was under the impression that those stairs lead to the entrance of a velodrome.

fluffy_mike wrote:

This was a blank canvas project with an unlimited budget and it's shit.

Complete agreement on that.