CS3 route through park at corner of Butcher Row-Limehouse link

  • By Daggers on at 7:49pm 7 January 2013
  • Posted in: General
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Grateful for clarification from more experienced cyclists as I've only been cycling for six months from Dagenham to London Bridge but seem to cause irritation to cyclists in the above area.  The rest of my journey is fine but I am clearly upsetting some cyclists and would obviously like to stop doing so.

As you cut through the park there are two lanes - one lane for cyclists going both ways who share a lane as per the CS3 symbols that indicate this, and there is one lane for pedestrians. Tonight I was shouted out and told to get in the other lane (the pedestrian lane) though this is not my understanding of how the lanes work at this point.  Can anyone clarify as I'm a bit fed up of getting shouted at.  I think it is highly dangerous at this time of year when the mornings/evenings are dark to cycle in the pedestrian lane and I have seen a few close misses in the last couple of months to confirm this.  However, I appreciate that one fairly narrow lane for bikes going in opposite directionss is also dangerous.

On a more positive note, I want to say to the cyclists on the stretch from from Dagenham to Canning Town, that I am amazed at how many folk say good morning or nod their heads in acknowlegement. Since the Olympics, which inspired me to get on my bike after a lapse of many years,  my journey to work has changed completely and I'm now only the tube one day a week.

Thanks, Daggers.


As a general rule don't cycle in the pedestrian lane. However do try and give adequate space to oncoming cyclists whom you should pass on the left. You'll find that the lane isn't really wide enough in which case, with appropriate caution, I would pass temporarily into the pedestrian lane (yielding, of course, to pedestrians). Obviously if there are any pedestrians around don't enter their lane, just reduce speed so you can safely pass the oncoming cyclist/pedestrians (who should do the same and should not expect you to pass into the pedestrian lane if there are pedestrians around).

It's perhaps slightly hypocritical of me to say this but this is probably one of those places where, at least in some conditions, it would be wise to moderate one's speed.

As you are aware be extra careful for pedestrians in the dark/dusk as they won't have lights or high-vis. Also be aware of the increased risk of ice on the cycle path if the temperature drops (it is, I assume, unsalted).

That's an awful section of cycle track in general (which is a shame as a few minor modifications would make it really rather good - especially as it's actually properly off road, not just segregated) - at some point (going over the bridge, iirc), although it's never actually marked as such on the track, it switches from cycle on the left to cycle on the right in (flawed) preparation for the contraflow lane on the one way street.

I am afraid that that short stretch of path/cycleway is fundmentally flawed as it is not wide enough for 4 lanes of traffic, 2 pedestrians and 2 cyclists going in opposite directions. Its not worth widening the path as the bridge itself is too narrow.

The right answer would be to widen the bridge and the path/cycleway.

As this is unlikely to happen the only answer is to be considerate, slow down and give way where necessary

p.s. add your comments about it to this map:


I have no idea whether that map campaign is still active but, if not, I think it should be reactivated (and developed) as a place for people to informally post and discuss ideas, comments and suggestions relating to specific bits of road/ TfL should have something similar imho.

  • By Daggers at 9:05pm 7 January 2013


Thanks for the above, N1 Cyclist.   I appreciate the advice as I have been getting increasingly nervous about cycling on this section.   A couple of times I've thought about just wheeling my bike through this section or finding an alternative route round as my confidence has taken a bit of dip.  I agree about that bridge section as that is confusing.

I see there is another thread noting the poor surface just after this section as you head towards West Ferry and I'm just wondering if LCC could also review this section of CS3 with the local council.

I reiterate again that the helpfulness and friendliness from other cyclists has been great. 

You can continue along Narrow Street to the Highway and cross the Highway at the traffic lights at the entrance to the Limehouse Link. You may have quite a wait at the lights but I find this preferable to the footbridge especially in the winter when the steep hill is likely to be icy.

  • By MartinB at 2:58pm 19 April 2013

I'm glad you mention this, I thought I was the only one that found this section of CS3 unclear!

  • By Hassan at 4:19pm 19 April 2013

As you go in to St James Gardens at Butcher Row, everything seems normal. But on Horseferry Road, the cycle lanes have switched and we have gone all continental:


I didn't notice the crossover, passing other cyclists on the right is counter-intuitive it really needs re-thinking. Setting up a superhighway like that is such an odd thing to do.

Or maybe someone who passes there more regularly could pay attention to whether there are signs to change lane? If not, that could be the problem

This section of CS3 has been considered in the current TfL junction review process, now 'Better Junctions'.  The recommendation of Tower Hamlets Wheelers is that the cycle track is re-routed to avoid St James Park and the too narrow bridge better left for pedestrians, (and that Horseferry be made 2-way).

There is also a contra-flow cycle track westwards in Horseferry Rd, i.e., turn R at the bottom of the slippery slope, the entrance to which has been obliterated by the build-out of the pavement during construction of CS3.  (Really blue paint on an existing error - we were very surprised to see that the 'wrong side' contraflow continued existence as CS3.  The politics of the right to garage a car on the street an issue here).

The maintenance of the blue paint has been raised with the council, who have a ring-fenced pot from TfL to deal with it.  The last time we did so they pleaded that they were waiting the outcome of the junction review in case this section rebuilt (Ashraf Ali LBTH Transport & Highways).  LBTH doesn't score highly in proactive traffic engineering prioritising vulnerable road users but is first-class at buck passing.  We will raise the matter again (and, again, the illegal DIY 'give-way' markings at CS3/junction Watney St).

We are having a workshop anniversary party today (Sat).  Drop in


Please cycle with consideration in our borough and give way to pedestrians.  Thanks for doing so Daggers and ignore those who use CS3 as a race-track.  They cause us grief.

We'll see you CS3 Horseferry Rd users when we pitch our stall for Bike Breakfast in June.

Gerry for THW


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