Stratford City Unveils London’s Newest Impassable Cycle Lane

We took our camera out to Stratford City on Saturday for a poke around (more on that later) but couldn’t wait to share this latest addition to the London cycle network with you.

Here on Montifichet Road, a new dual-carriageway swooshing along the south side of the Westfield Centre, the southern pavement has been designated as a separated cycle track; the sort of thing that lots of London cyclists are campaigning for these days, and the subject of the LCC’s Mayoral Campaign to ‘go Dutch’ and provide separate lanes on main roads.

Sadly jobsworths at Newham or Westfield (and we’re trying to find out who is to blame) have erected the sign you see above, and installed some sort of electricity service box, right in the middle of the virgin lane. We can’t see this detail on the pixelated planning permission documents we found on Newham’s website, which state that TfL and Newham Transport have been over the plans and have ‘no objections’.

Well, we do object. We’ve asked Newham’s Mayoral cycling advisor, Cllr Christie, to see what’s gone wrong. We’ll let you know…

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  • Dean Nicholas

    One to add to this fine Flickr group, the world’s worst cycle lanes:
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/1239331@N20/

  • Anonymous

    Ooh, I shall. Ta

  • http://twitter.com/iamnotacyclist iamnotacyclist

    Seriously? Can’t they make anything right?

  • Lauralaker

    Good spot, and what an awful bit of planning, though it’s LCC for London Cycling Campaign, not LLC.

  • Lauralaker

    Good spot, and what an awful bit of planning, though it’s LCC for London Cycling Campaign, not LLC.

  • Anonymous

    Ta!

  • http://twitter.com/sparticus Mark Walley

    I love it, even with a dedicated cycle pavement, a way is still found to ensure cars and driving get priority.

    • Beth Torr

      I suspect it’s more likely to be bad planning and thoughtlessness rather than a deliberate attempt to push cyclists down any priority list. Even from a driver’s point of view, signage is often badly-placed, obscured by foliage, misleading or simply not there.

      • http://twitter.com/iamnotacyclist iamnotacyclist

        But that stems from the fact that no one can be bothered when it comes to cyclists. I hate this trend of putting signposts in the pavement, barriers one foot away from the kerb. All it says to me is – we don’t really care about you. 

        • Beth Torr

          I’ve seen so many badly-laid-out roads/footpaths/cycle lanes/junctions/crossings that I often wonder if people in road planning departments are bothered about any road user at all. Realistically, I think in a lot of cases where cycle lanes are carved out of the road rather than an original part of it, they’re simply trying to make the best of a bad job and accommodate as many road users on a limited space as possible. Much as some cyclists might like to see motor vehicles banned in favour of bikes, it isn’t going to happen.

          • Anonymous

            To be clear, this road and lane are purpose built on an empty site, at the same time, by the same authority and probably the same contractors. There should be no possible excuse. 

            On the more general point, that’s what people said in Denmark and Holland in 1971 – change is possible. I rarely see ‘best of a bad job’ but regularly see ‘pissing our money away without a thought’.

          • Anonymous

            To be clear, this road and lane are purpose built on an empty site, at the same time, by the same authority and probably the same contractors. There should be no possible excuse. 

            On the more general point, that’s what people said in Denmark and Holland in 1971 – change is possible. I rarely see ‘best of a bad job’ but regularly see ‘pissing our money away without a thought’.

  • http://twitter.com/Gerhard_Weiss Gerhard Weiss

    Anybody noticed how walking is prohibited on that pavement? This cycle track will also spit you out just before a roundabout. Westfield was always going to be for driving and for driving only.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the pavement here isn’t reachable on foot – pedestrians have the other side (near the station) or use the bridge above (from where the photo was taken), but the overall feel is that of Birmingham inner ring road, rather than sustainable development of the future.

    The cycle tracks at other points share with pedstrians, and simply vanish at every crossing, they’ve also put tactile tree planting surface across half of those lanes…

  • http://www.almostwitty.com almostwitty

    There’s a similar problem with the bike lane by Westfield Shepherds Bush – http://www.flickr.com/photos/badlydubbedboy/3320805950/in/photostream

  • Bilboben

    Look guys I know it is not perfect but I have cycled to and around Stratford City a number of times during the last week. I live just a mile away. To be fair at the moment it is easy to move around the site and it is easy to find safe secure cycle parking and I have found the staff very helpful in finding both of the above. By all means let us campaign to improve things further but also acknowledge that the needs of cyclists have not been totally ignored. I enjoy cycling to Westfield and will continue to do so.

  • Anonymous

    In that instance, the needs of cyclists have been totally ignored.

  • Anonymous

    Nothing an angle grinder wont sort ;-P

  • Tomlynch100

    Cyclists need to know where to park, so a great spot for a sign would be in the middle of the carriageway, where it can be seen.
    So there we have it, a sign for motorists in the middle of the cycle lane, and a sign for cyclists in the middle of the road. Everybody happy. 

  • Alan Spaven

    There are more delights further down towards the car parks there, as they’ve put trees right in the middle of the cycle lane too.

  • James Bell

    I emailed Westfield, they replied with:We acknowledge
    that the Vehicle Message Sign (VMS) located on Montfitchet Road causes
    an obstruction to cyclist. We are currently undertaking a road safety
    audit following the launch of the centre. Unfortunately the VMS sign is
    not able to be removed because of the underground utilities. The
    cycleway line marking will be adjusted to allow single way working
    between the posts with the give way in the southbound direction.
     
    Thank you for your query and concern.

  • Arno

    Another annoying thing: I tried to enter the shopping centre from the north entrance (hackney marshes / A12). But was bounced by security… its only for cars :-(((((

  • Blonde_oo7

    I’m a cyclist but also have worked on projects where ive installed signs etc. Unfortunately there are a lot of things that govern where signs go and how they are put together. Certain distances from the road, specific spacings, visibility, position of below ground utilities, way leaves etc - doesn’t make it right but its more about protracted discussions from numerous parties than a a hate for cyclists – just saying

    • Anonymous

      One of the things that govern this should be ‘not in the middle of a cycle lane’

  • JayCee

    Was also stopped from cycling through Westfield Stratford (East entrance). In order to cover 10m by road was told to take detour of about 400m and up pedestrian walkway. Seems silly. Not allowed in North entrance (by Hackney marshes) as “it is a construction site and dangerous”. However cars are allowed. Ironic given the lovely view of the velodrome along this road…