The Ranty Highwayman)
SUNDAY, 10 JULY 2016
The Good, The Bad & The Bollardy: London’s Quietway 1
LAST SATURDAY, A SMALL GROUP OF US RODE QUIETWAY 1 FROM WATERLOO TO GREENWICH. I THINK IT’S FAIR TO SAY THAT THE CYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE WAS VARIABLE, BUT OVERALL IT IS A POTENTIALLY USEFUL ROUTE WHICH HAS SOME UNFINISHED BUSINESS. A SPECIAL THANKS TO LEWISHAM CYCLISTS FOR JOINING US AND GIVING SOME USEFUL LOCAL INSIGHT.
So, Quietway 1 is headlined as a route between Waterloo Station and Greenwich town centre. I must admit I knew some of the route as I had cycled a section between Borough and Bermondsey a few years ago with Sustrans London and more recently with them a few months before Q1 was opened. I was therefore intersted to see how it had all turned out.
The route spans four boroughs; Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich and I’ll say it now; this is the reason the route is variable, together with the route trying to avoid main roads.
Sustrans is involved as Transport for London’s delivery agent for the Quietways programme and in some cases is helping with design work; and in others making sure they are delivered in accordance with what TfL expects to see; but do not be under any illusion, the decisions lie with the boroughs and it seems the four have made slightly different decisions with Greenwhich deciding to do pretty much nothing. TfL is involved in some places where its roads are crossed and they deal with traffic signals across London. I did feel cheated in places as the route obliterates some perfectly good old London Cycle Network routes and I feel that Q1 should have been in addition to them.
At the end of the wonderfully filtered estate, we reached a bridge over the Rotherhythe New Road. Until recently, this was a bridge to nowhere; it got you to South Bermondsey Station, but that was it. Now, a new greenway link has been threaded through the web of railway lines in the area with views of the The Den (Millwall Football Club).
The link runs through Network Rail land and to be able to deal with that organisation takes a special kind of determination!
One issue with the link is that it gets shut when Millwall plays at home (management of the crowds) and the diversion wasn’t clear. But, this link has unlocked a huge area for access by foot and cycle.