The Greenway is a stretch of traffic free cycle track from Stratford to Beckton on top of Bezalgette’s sewer. TfL has recently spent £4.5m on “upgrading” the track and now calls it Quietway 22.
As so much cycle infrastructure in London, it is very poorly executed as no money has been spent on the difficult bits. Hackney Cyclist has written an excellent report last month. Here I just concentrate on the TOTAL lack of intervention wherever the Quietway meets motor traffic. In other words, Will Norman is perfectly happy to treat active travel as a second class form of travel.
The link with Victoria Park is the very unattractive and unfriendly Wick Lane, which has no safe cycling infrastructure. NO MONEY SPENT HERE
Stratford High Street
After five hundred metres the Greenway meets three obstacles: a railway, a river, and a main road; in spite of the £billions spent on the Olympic project, these obstacles have been deemed too formidable for the English urban planners. The Greenway just dies and resumes where it is easy. One can follow a lengthy link provided by Marshgate Lane and CS2, but crossing Stratford High Street has not been considered at this point and one has to improvise. No wonder that very few West Ham fans cycle to watch their team. NO MONEY SPENT HERE
English people are not happy if they don’t erect barriers
Along the 5km of the main stretch, the Greenway meets five roads. In all occasions there are formidable barriers which are difficult to navigate with a cargobike. Money has been thankfully spent on lighting along the way; which means that the route is no longer closed at dusk as Newham used to do. But why not replace those horrible barriers with simple pillars?
The Greenway is interrupted by the A117 at its intersection with the A13. This junction exemplifies the English lack of respect, let’s call it disdain and utter contempt for ordinary citizens who don’t drive. To rejoin the Greenway, one has to negotiate SIX TRAFFIC LIGHTS. Naturally, this being England, no thought has been directed to synchronising these lights for the benefit of people walking or cycling. On the contrary they seem to be programmed to maximise the waiting time. On two arms, the conflicting motor traffic is stationary at red, and yet the pedestrian lights are also fixed at red. This may be an error, but this being England, nobody complains or the complaints are ignored. We tested the total time required to cross this junction:
Wait at 1: 1 minute 35 seconds; cross to island 5 seconds
Wait at 2: 55 seconds; ride to 3: 15 seconds
Wait at 3 20 seconds; cross 3 & 4: 15 seconds
Wait at 5: 1 minute and 15 seconds; cross 5 seconds
Wait at 6: 1 minute and 35 seconds; cross 5 seconds.
Total SIX MINUTES AND TWENTY SECONDS
Wait at 6: 1 minute and 5 seconds; cross 5 seconds
Wait at 5: 30 seconds; cross to 4: 10 seconds
Wait at 4 1 minute and 25 seconds; cross: 10 seconds
Wait at 3: 40 seconds; ride to 2: 15 seconds
Wait at 2: 45 seconds; cross 5 seconds
Wait at 1: 1 minute and 45 seconds; cross 5 seconds.
Total: SEVEN MINUTES
How can anyone think that this is acceptable?