Friday, 5 June 2009

Greenway to paradise (2)

At the end of Lower Hall Lane E4 a number of route possibilities open up. These include following the National Cycle Network north, past the incinerator, along Lee Park Way. Alternatively you can stay this side of the River Lee and follow the towpath north, towards Pickett's Lock. Or you can head south, along a cycle lane by the river that goes underneath the North Circular Road. The Ballardian in me was drawn towards a subterranean landscape of desolation and darkness.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe, says the dying replicant at the end of Blade Runner. And any cyclist who uses the routes marked out in Transport for London's Local Cycling Guides could say much the same thing to anyone who only ever travels by car. How many Londoners have explored the cool dark lonely caverns beneath the North Circular?

(Below) Even on the hottest day of the year, the cycle lane offers refreshing pools of water for anyone needing to cool off.

(Below) The next two photographs show the high quality link to the towpath from the shared use cycle lane/footpath beyond the underpass. When it comes to walking and cycling no expense is spared. Luckily the strange solidified custard-yellow lava flow provides a sort of ad hoc dropped kerb.

(Below) This beautifully maintained barrier on the towpath is designed to prevent access for motorcyclists while allowing it for cyclists. Don't forget to bring your machete if cycling in this direction.

Heading south, the towpath is separated from the imaginatively-named Towpath Road by a metal crash barrier, which runs for several hundred metres.

(Below) At the end of the crash barrier, cyclists and pedestrians using the towpath encounter this sensitively-placed sign, shown here from both sides.

The Lower Hall Lane route involves brief excursions into the boroughs of Enfield and Haringey.

(Below) And now back to the familiar world of the London Borough of Waltham Forest! Although in this case the body failing to empty its litter bins (this one is by Chalk Bridge) is British Waterways London, which seems to have little interest in cyclists or pedestrians. But then cycling and walking aren't activities which in themselves generate any income, so obviously it's not worth wasting money on them.