River Lea towpath closed: local residents protest at lack of walking and cycling facilities at Olympic Park
- By London Cycling Campaign on at 2:19pm 2 July 2012
- Posted in: News and blogs, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest
- Tagged with: legacy, british waterways, river lee, bow, games, towpath, olympics
- Boroughs: Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest
Local residents have organised a protest against the closure of the River Lea towpath near the Olympic Park, which is now out of bounds for security reasons until the end of the Paralympics on 10 September 2012.
Walkers and cyclists plan to meet under the Eastway bridge (see map on right) at midday on Sunday 8 July, calling for the Olympic organisers to keep the towpath open and make significant improvements to the cycling facilities in the area.
LCC's Gerhard Weiss said, "We've protested over this closure numerous times to Transport for London over the last 12 months, as well as spending hundreds of hours telling the Olympic authorities how the Games and its legacy programme can be improved for cycling and walking.
"While we accept this towpath closure is now inevitable, we encourage people to join the protest because we're dismayed at the quality of the cycling provision to and around the Olympics, and for the post-Games Olympic Park."
"All in all, it has been handled very badly. A large number of our supporters are not cyclists but local residents or walkers, who've been kept very badly informed."
Details of the towpath closure
The closure will be in operation between the A11 (Stratford High St) and the A12 (Eastway). It will apply to everyone, pedestrians, cyclists and canal boats. You can find details here
According to information from Walk London, at Eastway it will be possible to access and leave the towpath to travel north and at Stratford High Street it will be possible to use the new suspended towpath underneath the High Street.
The Greenway through the Olympic Park, which closed earlier in the year, will reopen in December 2012 (although the diversion at Marshgate, to the east of the Olympic Park, linked to Crossrail construction, will be in place until 2014).
Information about all changes to travel during the Olympics should be available at the official 'Get Ahead of the Games website. However news about this and perhaps other off-road closures are not obviously available there. You may find out more using the Waterscape stoppages page for information about tow paths.
View Olympic walking & cycling route closures in a larger map