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Go by bike during the Games, but not to the Games

As Transport Minister Norman Baker calls for more Londoners to walk and cycle to work during next year’s Olympics, cycling groups have highlighted the paucity of provision for riders wishing to get to the Games site itself by bike.

Modelling by Games organisers predicts that during the event, on August 3, 2012 there will be an extra three million trips on top of the 12 million trips on public transport which take place during an average London workday.

Norman Baker said: “It’s time to oil the creaking bike, dig out the walking boots, work out how to use the video conferencing equipment, and fire up the laptop gathering dust at the back of the cupboard.

“And of course Government has to play its part – at DfT we’ll be cutting our travel footprint by half during the Games, with similar initiatives across Whitehall. But all businesses need to play their part too – there’s plenty of help and advice out there so no excuse why we can’t reduce the amount we travel during the 17 days of the Games.”

But a BBC report highlights the difficulties facing anyone who wishes to travel to the Games themselves by bike. Cycling groups are critical of a Barclays Cycle Superhighway which terminates on what is described as a dangerous roundabout in Bow, some distance short of the Games site.

Transport for London have effectively said that their plans for the Superhighway have been held up by Newham Council.

"Our original proposal was for Route 2 to run all the way from Aldgate to Ilford,” a TfL spokesman said.

“However, the London Borough of Newham requested that we defer the section east of Bow Roundabout until after 2012 due to a number of projects planned in the Stratford area this year, including significant urban realm improvements as part of the Stratford High Street 2012 project. We hope to be able to resume construction of the remainder of the route after that time.''

Road.cc spoke to Newham Council which defended its decision not to extend the Cycle Superhighway at this time on the grounds of safety.

A Newham Council spokesman told us: "Cyclists’ safety is our number one priority - it's important that any solution has this at its heart. We are continuing discussions with TfL regarding the cycle superhighway and look forward to welcoming Kulveer Ranger, who has responsibility for cycling at the Greater London Authority, to Newham in the coming months to discuss the route in greater detail.

“We are keen to increase cycling across the borough and we hope to participate in the cycle hire scheme. Any future plans will be in line with Newham's existing highways design guidance and subject to future consultation with our residents."

So notwithstanding the borough's keeness to increase cycling in future, it appears that at present, cyclists' safety is a priority which Newham Council feels should be addressed by making its roads less attactive to cyclists in the hope that they will stay away until after the Games.
 

8 comments

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cornelim [34 posts] 5 years ago
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Haha, love the very last paragraph  10

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bikeandy61 [538 posts] 5 years ago
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And why does the Transport minister want "us" (not me, I live in Stoke) to cut travel during the games? 1. So you don't get in the way of the foreign dignitries/VIPs/travellers from around the world coming to the games, 2. Cos the Government (and this goes for the current and previous) won't reach the atmospheric standards set out for the Olympics. I wonder when the encouragement to shut your works down "just during teh Games you understand. It'll let you staff watch them on TV, feel proud etc".

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 5 years ago
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Isn't there supposed to be a new cycle route to the site which runs along the top of a big sewer pipe?

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Coleman [335 posts] 5 years ago
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cat1commuter wrote:

Isn't there supposed to be a new cycle route to the site which runs along the top of a big sewer pipe?

Yes, the Greenway. Still closed/ diverted. It used to be a fantastic route through east London. Much of it sits on top of a huge pipe leading to Beckton sewage works (the largest of its kind in Europe). I know my sh1t.

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Coleman [335 posts] 5 years ago
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I should add - the mixture of surfaces (some quite bad), abrupt stops at roads and police signs warning of muggers pushing people off the bikes might deter people from using the Greenway. Newham's attitude to cyclists is very bad. Their failure to cooperate on the CS route is ridiculous. No, it's worse than that - it's ricockulous.

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Giant Rob [59 posts] 5 years ago
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All that everyone wants is good publicity. Please don't hit them with facts, it hurts. Lets face it we are encouraged to to cut down on cars/emissions/etc on a good day. Otherwise we are a pain.

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alotronic [487 posts] 5 years ago
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Greenway was open a couple of months ago - great riding around that part of london with family on canal paths, lots of goos cafes now etc, wouldn't bother with the road. I used to commute the length of it and just called it The Brownway.

Newham Major has history of hating bikes, this is no great surprise. What is a surprise is that TfL and OlyCommittee haven't pulled them into line - how hard would it be to put something in for the Olympics by, say, closing a lane or two on existing roads? Not very. How likely is that to happen? Not very. London is not exactly a shining example of progressive councils and TfL make Clarkson look soft on cyclists (viz a viz Blackfriars).

Don't hold your breath. Except at key spots on the Greenway  1

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utility_cyclist [16 posts] 5 years ago
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"Cyclists’ safety is our number one priority". Hah! Which is presumably why they have taken out a stretch of cycle lane on the Stratford Gyratory by creating a pavement build out. Now, assuming you know enough to take the lane coming up to a set of traffic lights on the inside lane of three (helpfully marked as left turn only) to avoid getting carved up by overtaking cars, you can start off with a little bit of elbow room in a cycle lane, only to have it disappear as the pavement flares out, so that you have to check back and move out into traffic which has had a chance to accelerate after dropping the hammer at the lights. Or you could take the shared use cycle lane on the new stretch of pavement. It's virtually invisible unless you know it is there, has no drop kerb to enter it, runs straight through a bus stop, and finishes in a dead end a few yards further on at a side road. As a professional cycle instructor, I have seen some crap cycle infrastructure in my time, but this takes the biscuit. I can accept them being anti-cycling, that's just ignorance. What sticks in my craw is the hypocrisy.