Follow by Email

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Cycling update

One of my correspondents stated recently that there is no provision for cyclists at the Olympic Games.

This is not true! Here is the real situaion!

Cycling Spaces:
There are enough spaces for 7,000 bicycles to be parked across three sites around the Olympic Park. This can be broken down to the following: 4,000 spaces at Victoria Park, 2,000 at the Northern Spectator Transport Mall and a further 1,000 at the Southern Spectator Transport Mall.

There are a number of routes leading to the Southern Spectator Transport Mall for those travelling from parts of Newham, although it is expected the vast majority of people will use the much larger parking facility at Victoria Park.

Cyclists will still be able to travel along the High Street section not included in the Cycle Super Highway 2 route, although the ODA has worked with TfL and Newham Council to create preferred routes which offer safe passage to the Southern Spectator Transport mall from the South (Bow area) and North (Stratford area). The preferred routes, include:


Heading north-east along Cycle Super Highway 2 and turning right at Tomlins Grove (just south of Bow Church DLR) and following the route crossing the A12 via an underpass, going past through 3 Mills and heading north under the Greenway onto Abbey Road, Rick Roberts Way and into the southern spectator transport mall.

Heading north-east along Cycle Super Highway 2 up to the Bow roundabout. Dismounting here and using the access ramp onto the floating towpath in the north-west corner of the roundabout heading back under the flyover/roundabout using the new floating towpath.  Heading south on the Lea Navigation towpath to the road bridge into Three Mills.  Following the same route as outlined above to reach the cycle parking on the southern spectator transport mall.


Head south on A11 through Stratford town centre gyratory, onto Stratford High Street, left onto Cam Road and onto Channelsea Path to Abbey Lane.  Onto Rick Roberts Way and into the southern spectator transport mall.


Greenway from Beckton direction towards the southern spectator transport mall.

Clearly cyclists can use other routes, these are just the designated ones created solely for the Games as part of the overall cycling strategy.



  1. Have you tried cycling and testing all of these routes with a large number of cyclists, including families with young children?

    I'm an experienced cyclists and will often find large gyratories a bit daunting, I wouldn't want to take some kids round one.

    The Greenway is a great idea, however there are barriers along the way such as this one which inhibit large numbers of cyclists to be able to use it. If you are taking kids you will often take an appropriate bike, such as a Christiana bike, or put the kids in a bike trailer on in a special seat on the back of the bike which will mean that you can't get past those barriers!

    Why should cyclists dismount to use a cycleway? If you really want to promote cycling you need to avoid dismounting as much as possible.

    Having been along the Lee Valley where the new floating platform is, it is a good step in the right direction however if it does become successful, or is meant to be an access route to the Olympics, it will fail due to being too popular, and there not being enough space to be able to cope with the demand.

    Will all of the above routes be signed?

    Will they be avoiding motor vehicles, but also be wide enough to be able to cope with demand. A lot of the off road Cycle Superhighways are only just wide enough to pass another cyclist in the other direction, however not wide enough to overtake, or be able to cycle two abreast and have another cyclist overtake.

  2. So when will work start on constructing these cycle routes?

    Less than a year to go in which to get these routes into a condition where they can actually be used for cycling. Cutting it a bit fine aren't you?


  3. If one takes the phrase "provision for cyclists" to mean three lane urban motorways then I guess that it could be said there is provision.

    I cycle the A11 and Stratford Gyratory regularly. It is possible to do so, of course. But it is highly unpleasant and, dare I venture to say, dangerous. I cycle this as a fairly experienced cyclist - I would NEVER (repeat NEVER) cycle this with my wife (who is not so experienced) or with my daughter on her child seat. The 30mph limits are an utter joke - speeding is endemic; enforcement non-existent.

    One of your preferred routes (south) involves negotiating the gyratory and crossing lanes of traffic on a four lane gyratory where it meets Romford road. I do this, and believe me when I say it isn't fun.

    During the Olympics, I would venture to say that provision will be worse than currently. At the moment one is afforded a little protection on the A11 into Stratford with some bus lanes. It would appear these will be open to all traffic as the outside lane of the road becomes a "games lane".

    In truth Stratford is enclosed on all sides by fast moving multi-lane roads which forms barriers to all but the most hardy of cyclists. If the speed limits were policed around these roads it might be a start.

    I think Tfl et al. need to ask themselves a question - would they cycle the "preferred" routes with their families? If not, I doubt anyone else will either.

  4. Mr Daniels - have you actually cycled these routes? Would you be happy for a young relative of yours to cycle these routes? How many deaths or injuries would it take before you decide its necessary to actually invest in some infrastructure designed for cyclists to cycle in safety?

  5. I'm sorry Mr Daniels, are you honestly saying Stratford Gyratory will be a designated cycle route? In it's current state, or are you installing dedicated cycling space?

    As a Leyton resident who has the misfortune to make the odd journey round the Gyratory by cycle, I'd like to confirm it's unpleasant at best and terrifying at worst. Motorised traffic makes no concession to cyclists and regularly speeds to try and beat the next set of lights, and current cycling provision is badly signed and too small.

    Or perhaps this is an attempt to prove there's no appetite for cycling in the city when the southern mall's spaces don't fill up?

  6. I used to have to traverse the Stratford gyratory deathtrap to get to my girlfriend's house - presumably TfL and the police don't dare to try to enforce the speed limits as they're afraid of confrontation? It's only a matter of time before Leon Daniels has blood on his hands if he's trying to peddle his suicidal routes on innocent children.

  7. Sorry to join the chorus, but there is a point to be made about cycling provision within London. I am a female cyclist and I find a large number of the roads with more than one lane the scariest heart-stopping experience trying to cross them while cycling with a number of motorised vehicles behind me overtaking me at speed. There is a real problem with cycling in London at the moment for anyone with less than a Tour de France bent, and I'd like to know what you are going to do to address this? How are our children and elderly mothers meant to cycle on the roads? Or are the roads just for those fit enough to ride at a speed?

  8. leon, thanks for your response.

    what is the intention behind these 'designated routes', exactly?

    looking at the map, the 'designated routes' are clearly not intended to be safe for cyclists. from the north, you want to send cyclists through the stratford gyratory, which, as other commenters have pointed out, is one of the most dangerous junctions for cycling in london. from the south, you want to send cyclists up 'superhighway' 2, which is mostly just blue paint on a very busy road with heavy bus and hgv traffic, and does virtually nothing to make cycling safer or easier (not even separate cycle lanes, most of the way. just blue paint. pointless, and expensive.)

    so what do the routes do? as far as i can tell, they send cyclists on a long and complicated detour from each end of stratford high street, to get to the southern spectator mall - which is in the middle of stratford high st. in each case, the 'designated cycle route' is about twice as far as the direct route. odd, because cyclists really hate long diversions.

    so, the designated routes - not safe, not fast, not direct. certainly not a family-friendly route to the olympics. so what's the point? the only justification for them that i can see is that stratford high street will have an olympic lane down the centre in both directions - so will be very congested. my sense is that these 'designated lanes' are in fact an attempt to move cycle traffic out of the way, to relieve congestion... is that the case?

    as for the parking. why is the majority of cycle parking half a mile's walk away from the olympic park? who could possibly have thought that that made sense? it removes a very significant advantage of cycling, which is that you can go door to door without changing modes.

    a sensible cycling policy for the olympics would have been to create safe, fast, direct family-friendly cycling routes to the olympic park from all directions (and in between venues, where possible). it would have been to create cycle parking at the venues themselves (or at least centrally in the olympic park). tfl and the oda have failed to do either of these things. there's no reason anyone would want to negotiate heavy traffic and then walk for ages to bring their family to the olympics by bike.

    incidentally, anyone who can recommend cycling round the stratford gyratory clearly doesn't have any clue about what's safe for cyclists. for the head of surface transport at tfl, one might think this kind of understanding would be mandatory for the job. perhaps it would be useful to cycle to work once a week, just to get a better understanding of what all the posters above are saying?

  9. this link may be of interest - lots of useful information on good design for cycle facilities...

  10. I'd like to offer yourself, other top officials in TfL and politicians a whole day tour of what it is like to cycle in London, and also to offer to take you abroad to Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria or other similar European country/city that has some very good cycling facilities to show the contrast of how nice it can be to get around compared to London.

  11. nobody on earth should ever try to attempt to ride through the Stratford gyratory. It's borderline dangerous to drive through let alone cycle.

  12. Stratford town centre gyratory? You're actually formally recommending that as a route for cycling?

  13. I am afraid that I wouldn't attempt cycling down the routes you have recommended with my family. The route is too busy and full of heavy traffic. Hardly a pleasant experience and far from being safe.
    It would seem that perhaps a good way of gauging the suitability of a route would be for you personally to cycle it with your family (make sure you include some children too, under 7s preferably). If you feel like repeating the trip any time then it's a good one. If you dread the very thought of attempting it again - it's quite bad.
    A way of doing it would be to cone off a lane just for cycles. Allocating room for sustainable, green and virtually free transport would be something good, wouldn't it?

  14. the bristol traffic project welcomes articles that are clearly spoof. Please get in touch so that we can republish it.

  15. more reactions (and further links) here:

    it's also worth noting that the problems these commenters have identified with the stratford gyratory are exactly the same problems cyclists are pointing out with the new design for blackfriars bridge. a combination of heavy traffic, narrow cycle lanes, and the need to filter across multiple lanes feels dangerous and intimidating to most cyclists - and ends up being an effective barrier to cycling...

  16. ^ Like.

    Blackfriars Bridge - and Victoria, Hyde Park Corner, Vauxhall, parliament square, elephant and castle...

  17. quality cycle provision can help reduce traffic congestion:

  18. this man is more eloquent on street design that works for everyone:

  19. understanding walking and cycling:

  20. Sorry Leon,

    Please stop patronising cyclists with this sort of ill thought commentry. My wife and I cycled to 2 seperate Olympic warm up events. The routes were unpleasant at best, and we are experienced. Neither of the events had any cycling parking at all. I know that for next year you have indicated a total of 3000 spaces at the park, (I am not including Victoria Park as it is so far from the site as to be not worthy of mention). But 3000 spaces is actually a remarkably low number for a site that big. Has Skyride not shown that when suitable facilities are provided, lots of families are actually quite keen? Why is TFL and the ODA showing so little ambition over getting people out of cars and on to bikes?

  21. good post here:

    a very fair assessment of cs2

  22. I'd recommend that you watch the following TEDx talk about making streets suitable for the 8 and 80 year old, thus making it a great environment for everyone:

  23. Cyclist killed on 'family route' to olympics:

  24. Dear Leon,

    Does your advised route to the olympics still recommend CS2 to Bow? If a 3rd or fourth cyclist was killed, would you re-think your blog post? How many more cyclists have to be killed or injured on routes that have been specifcally designed with them in mind?

    L look forward to the TFL account to the LA on Tuesday.

  25. The agenda for today's GLA Transport C'tee and the Agenda Pack includes the transcript of the session with Peter Hendy and Leon Daniels of TfL from the last meeting.

    Pages 34 and 35 (their numbering) reveal Leon saying

    .......if there are any cases where, as a result of the design of anything we do, but in particular cycle superhighways somehow some conflict has been introduced and there is danger or indeed worse than that injuries we will definitely go back and look at it because it is our intention always to deliver something that is safe. That is an overriding priorirty as far as we are concerned. ....... The overriding thing is safety........Safety is my top priority.........

    However, in connection with the Bow roundabout, there appear to be some deficiencies. Can I commend diamondgeezer's blog :

    and in particular the Mayor's response to John Biggs' question at the end ot the blog article.

    What are you going to do about it ?

    Safety is your top priority.