Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Vanished markings, broken glass, overgrown vegetation - it must be the London Cycle Network!

Forest Road (A503) approaching the lights at the junction with Woodford New Road (A104).

What is wrong with the picture below? I'll tell you. Beyond the third kerbstone is a dropped kerb which marks the beginning of an off-road shared use cycle lane. But when contractors resurfaced the footway they didn't bother to reinstate the markings. And obviously no one from the London Borough of Waltham Forest bothered to check that the job hadn't been done properly.

Further on, beyond the cattle gate, it gets worse - much worse. By the way, all these photographs were taken today.

Beyond the gate there's an older section of the shared use cycleway. Here the markings have almost completely vanished and vegetation obliterates the section for pedestrians and stretches into the part reserved for cyclists. (Below) And there's worse to come:

Cyclists coming along Woodford New Road, approaching Waterworks Corner, can join the shared use facility here (below). The faded cycle route marking is just visible. On the far left you can just see a part of the wooden fence which marks the full width of this fabulous shared use walking and cycling route. And there's more...

The photograph below was taken looking back down Woodford New Road in the direction of the junction with Forest Road. It is, of course, a scandal and a disgrace that any part of the London Cycle Network is ever allowed to get into this state. The landowner guilty of not cutting back the vegetation is the Corporation of London. The London Borough of Waltham Forest has the legal power to make the Corporation take action but shows no willingness to do so.

Continue - and it gets worse still...

Going down the cycle lane which descends into the subway system I was surprised to see that a vehicle going round the roundabout had recently careered off and crashed through the railings, on to the off-road cycle lane. The photograph below shows where the vehicle left the road. Apparently a Ford Fiesta and a Renault Clio collided at the roundabout just after 6 p.m. on Sunday 9 September. One of the vehicles overturned (perhaps the one that crashed on to the cycle lane).

The wreckage of the vehicle had been removed - most of it. It evidently came to a halt by this lamp post, which it flattened. I don't suppose the London Borough of Waltham Forest will be in any hurry to replace it - after all, at night this is simply a dark, lonely spot. And now we get to the bit that really annoys me...

All the vehicle wreckage had been removed - except for some miscellaneous rubbish strewn across the cycle track (below). It included what seem to be the remains of a shattered windscreen. That's right - broken glass, lots of it, completely covering the full width of a route used by cyclists and pedestrians. No one from the Council has been along to clean it up. But then it doesn't really look as if anyone from the Council has been near this cycle route for donkeys years.

And finally, having negotiated all the obstacles, cyclists are free to enter the filthy, graffitti-spattered, rat-inhabited underpass system (below). But take care - be careful you don't get those wheels tangled in the blue and white litter left behind by the Metropolitan Police.

By the way, the person who is accountable for this state of affairs is the cabinet portfolio holder for the environment, Councillor Bob Belam. If any of the photographs on this blog engage your interest, why not get in touch with him? Please be polite.


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