Friday 30 September 2011

Westfield Cycle Shenanigans

Several people have commented on my Westfield article. Primarily about the accessibility, or otherwise, of the centre to anyone not in a car, but on a cycle.

I decided to try for myself, and the results are below in a little annotated video

One has to remember that the road above is simply an access road to the centre, and is brand new. The facilities aren't dictated by existing road structures, or drains, or through traffic. The cycle facilities here are as they were designed. Which is slightly worrying; one might assume it is all done for a bet.

As a pedestrian things aren't exactly rosy either. This pavement is hardly generous for walkers, and, further round, the gyratory pedestrian crossing doesn't seem to have been upgraded at all. People waiting to cross are being pushed into the road by the sheer weight of the crowds, into a multi-lane road where car speeds are way in excess of the 30mph limit.

The powers that be are seemingly intent on re-creating the 1980's Birmingham Bull Ring in East London. Except with somewhat less charm. And congratulations to them - I really think they are succeeding.


  1. That is truly dire for a new road. Whoever designed that didn't expect people to walk or cycle there, and clearly resented being told to put in some nominal features.

    Whoever stuck the road signs in and those concrete blocks -that look permanent- has made it worse.

  2. I has some feedback from Westfield if anyone is interested......

    Dear Stuart,

    Thank you for your email regarding cycling and cycle facilities at Westfield Stratford City. The access road from the A12 is managed by LOCOG as it passes directly through the Athletes Village. Due to the proximity to the Athletes Village access for pedestrians and cyclists has been restricted to ensure the security of the Athletes village. After the London Olympics in September 2012 there will be an alternative access to Westfield Stratford City from the north via Waterden Road. This new access will facilitate pedestrians and cyclists.

    There are a number of cycle parking facilities located within the site including near the Northern Ticket Hall on Montfitchet Road, along Westfield Ave and secure covered parking within Car Park A. Dedicated cycle paths have been provided both along Westfield Ave and Montfitchet Road. We do acknowledge that more can be done to promote cycling and we welcome the issues you have raised. We are currently investigating the possibility to install more cycle parking under the Town Centre Link bridge steps and to potentially have a cycle retailer located within this space.

    We appreciate your feedback and thank you for taking the time to get in touch with us. And we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

    Amy Lodge


    Westfield Shoppingtowns Ltd | Westfield Stratford City

    Centre Management Suite | 2 Stratford Place | Stratford | London United Kingdom | E20 1EJ

    DD +44(0) 208 221 7300
    E W

    P Before printing, think about the environment

  3. I would like to meet the person who drew the plans for this and the people including councillors who looked at them and said "Yep, that's fine for an Olympic developement".

  4. Anonymous,

    That is interesting, not least because it would appear LOCOG believe people in cars are less of a security risk than pedestrians or cyclists?

    The problem is that there is so little information available on where to park a cycle that I was completely stumped as to where these parking places may be to start with. Even now, how does one access Car Park A? Clearly not the same way that cars access it from the North. Maybe it is a Cycling version of Narnia accessed through the back of a wardrobe?

  5. Gerhard,

    I think they may have been the same people who thought "A11 Bow flyover to Stratford - no need to do anything for cycling there, let's put in a mystical back street route to get them away from the important people".

    Even if the cycle path wasn't blocked with concrete, the actual route itself is flawed. No-one wants to cycle down the same service roads that lead to the car parks. I want to lock up my cycle close to the shops having travelled in a fairly direct way to them. Hence the railings outside the bus station next to the gyratory are packed with cycles, whilst the cycle racks I saw had a couple of lonely bikes.

    It is cycle provision tokenism and I would expect nothing less from Tfl or Newham council.

  6. According to the map I picked up, Car Park A is accessed from Westfield Avenue which is the access road for the A12 apparently. It would have been a road on the left the way you were travelling.

    I've only cycled down there once so far, on the first day, and they waved me though the entrance off Leyton Road but the sign does say no pedestrian or cycle access. If they don't allow me access, I shall either have to go all the way round to Warton Road, which is other side to me, or just park around Stratford Centre and walk across bridge.

    Next time I shall look for the fabled stands in Car Park A (as told by concierge) and "onsite repair service"