Thursday 28 July 2011

A year to go

Festivities and congratulations have surrounded the year marker to the Olympics. Boris thinks that we could hold a snap Olympics now.

There is some disquiet in the ranks though. Sir Robin Wales - Mayor of Newham - is particularly concerned by disruption on the roads with the Olympic Road Network. Clearly this is a concern in Newham, where Robin Wales has played no small part in trying to strangle cycling as a mode of transport by blocking initiatives such as Cycle Superhighways in his borough. So, in an utterly car-sick borough, the thought of disrupting the normal traffic congestion is akin to an addict being put through "cold-turkey".

Unless one will be able to cycle through the Olympic park to Stratford, the only way I can see to access Stratford Centre and Westfield from the Greenway side will be on the A11. Which, as I have blogged many times, is hardly cycling friendly. In fact, I was amazed to see a reasonable number of cyclists on the A11 the other day, a testament to our bloody mindedness in the face of local government hostility, if nothing else. However as a reminder, here is yet another video of the conditions on this road.

Note the driver of Golf is speeding and sets off the 30mph sign (which is so overworked it should seek union representation). Note also that the Golf driver barely steers around me at speed, even though the outside lane is free. This might be because he was concentrating on chatting on his mobile at the time.

This type of behaviour is routine on this stretch of road which is deeply unpleasant to walk down, and downright dangerous to cycle along. Robin Wales and his cabal of colleagues have managed to block anything that would make this area of Newham a more pleasant environment, in order that private motorists can speed their way through Stratford, presumably on their way out of the borough. This is the Olympic transport legacy for cycling. A sham of hyperbole PR and utter inaction on the ground. It could have been so different.


  1. On these kinds of road, I am shameless and feel totally justified, for my own safety, to get on the sidewalk.
    Total shame.

  2. It'll get a whole lot worse through there when one lane is dedicated to Olympic traffic. I cycle over the Bow flyover twice a day every day, would love to see a 20 limit and some average speed cameras on it.

    I've just about given up hope on our photo-opportunist mayor getting anything done for cyclists - the superhighway, although flawed, is notable for stopping where Newham begins.

  3. A Stratford resident - I have mentioned the same thing on Leon Daniels Blog ( It looks like the outside lane on the A11 will be a "games lane" and the bus lanes suspended. I am hoping that the traffic is so stuffed that we will simply be able to filter through it.

    I see cars drive down the A11 at what must be nearly twice the 30mph limit. And the majority are above 30mph. Average speed cams would certainly help, and no reason not to lower to 20mph at least during the games when there are likely to be considerable numbers of pedestrians in the vicinity.

    Montrealize - many cyclists do use the wide pavement. The video itself shows a cyclist going in the opposite direction on the pavement, presumably because it is impossible to access the north bound greenway from Stratford any other way.