Monday, 18 August 2008

Signs of indifference

I thought I'd go for a bike ride and explore Tottenham Marshes, where I'd never been before. I was keen to take a look at Sandpiper Bridge, which I read was due to open in March 2008. So, equipped with my Transport for London 'Cycle Guide' map (Area 5), I pedalled along Blackhorse Road E17 in search of the lovely green line ride ('route signed for cyclists'), grid reference Zb 25. If you look at this map you'll see that the route just stops dead. No pathway is marked linking up with Billet Road. I decided that there must be one, so I went exploring. Firstly I went down Lee Close, but this just turned out to be an industrial estate. So I continued along Billet Road. When I reached the bend in the road I realised I must have gone too far, so I went back. And finally I located the cycle path.

The photo above shows the entrance. There's a direction sign but it's completely obscured by vegetation, so it's hardly surprising I missed it. (What looks like a white sign on a pole isn't a direction sign but a commercial notice on the fence.) It is situated at the top of this twirly green post (below). It is not located on the grass verge at the roadside, where passing cyclists would spot it, but well back from the road. Naturally no sign for motorists would ever be located like this or allowed to become totally obscured, but where cyclists are concerned, any crap will do.

The entrance to the path is to the right of this off-putting gate which bears a sign reading NO UNAUTHORISED PERSONS, next to a cycling logo. Both defaced. Not very welcoming.

Not that matters are any better at the other end of this section of cycle path. At the Travers Close end (below) there is nothing to indicate that this is a cycling route, or where it goes. It looks like the entrance to allotments.

It’s not clear to me who is responsible for this state of affairs, The crap LVRPA? The British Waterways Board? The Council? Quite possibly a combination of all three.

And the crap signing was just the start of my difficulties. More tomorrow.