Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snow joke: suppressing cycling in Waltham Forest

(Above) The dedicated off-road cycle lane between First Avenue E17 and Hoe Street. The Council has no contingency plans to clear off-road cycle lanes of snow and ice. Infrastructure for cyclists is not gritted or cleared of hazardous ice and snow. This is another reason why cycling will never significantly develop in an Outer London suburb like Waltham Forest. Cycling is not taken seriously as a means of personal transport - in sharp contrast to the Netherlands. All photos taken this morning.

(Below) Hoe Street, with the cycle lane full of ice and slush. Clearing cycle lanes is not Council policy.

(Below) Cyclists have to make a sharp turn here on Hoe Street if they want to follow the recommended cycle route to Leytonstone. Note in the bottom left hand corner a section of a London Borough of Waltham Forest JOB WELL DONE! self-congratulatory poster.

(Below) There's a cycle lane hidden here, and this is where it meets a road (First Avenue E17). There's also a kerb hidden under the snow, big enough to bring you off your bike.

(Below) Cyclists take a sharp left turn here before the plastic bollard, to pass directly left along a lane that goes through the road closure at the junction of Hoe Street and Cairo Road E17. But judging by the prints at most only two cyclists have passed by here today. (The other prints are pram or buggy tyre tracks, following the pavement.) And the cycle lane on the other side didn't contain a single bike tyre track. Conditions like this deter people from cycling.

(Below) Turn right here for the recommended cycle route to Hackney. And test your skills on ice. Stainforth Road E17.

Conditions for pedestrians are no better than they are for cyclists. (Below) The main route to the bus station, outside Walthamstow Central station.

(Below) The main route from Walthamstow bus station to the shopping centre. Not gritted.

(Below) The Town Square. Not gritted.

(Below) Grit spills from a box labelled SALT on Church Hill. When it snows the Council never bothers sending out workers with shovels to make use of the grit. So what's the point of these boxes?

(Below) And just round the corner from the box of grit is this: an ungritted pavement on Stainforth Road.

(Below) No surprise, then, that residents end up having to walk down tyre tracks in the road.