Early in January, I noticed that Ruckholt Road / Alexandra Road were getting a makeover.
A "Streetscape improvement scheme (Phase 1)" no less. Sounds exciting.
For the uninitiated, Alexandra Road and Ruckholt road form a small one-way gyratory which links Leyton High Road to Eastway and the top end of the Olympic Park. Both roads are not great for cycling. Ruckholt road is normally congested and has parking both sides, Alexandra road layout encourages close passing and the cycle lane is too narrow and right next to parked cars.
Freewheeler commented at the time that the improvements probably involved more parking bays on a widened footway. Such cynicism. But then, Waltham Forest has form (as they used to say in The Bill).
Sure enough, whilst cycling back through Leyton the other day, I saw the nearly completed works and it seems to consist of a series of pavement parking bays, and the implementation of a new set of street lights so that the pesky lampposts won't get in the way of the pavement car parking.
This is just too depressing. Waltham Forest's only contribution to "improving a streetscape" is to put in fancy pavement and allow people to park their cars on it. The road itself seems to have remained the same - so will still have speeding motorists on it. The cycle lane - such as it was - appears to have not changed - in fact under the bollards, I swear it might actually be even narrower.
I sometimes wonder if Waltham Forest are doing all of this for some kind of bet. Or if the highways department is run by Adam Rayner and James Martin.
Waltham Forest - a council that sets low expectations and then consistently fails to meet them.