Key NE London cycling bridge opens but where are the direction signs?



A vital safe cycle route in north-east London is now open but cyclists in Waltham Forest, Newham and Redbridge may never find it because it is entirely unmarked. 

The new cycling and walking bridge into the Olympic Park potentially takes cyclists off Ruckholt Road in Waltham Forest and avoids the hazardous A12/Lea Interchange where a cyclist died during the Olympics in 2012. 

While the new bridge and its approach are wide and comfortable, you can see from the photo below that the cyclists in the picture rode straight past it even though they were heading for the Olympic Park.  The old route they were following takes them across several very busy roads and can, heading north, take more than five minutes to cross using the shared pedestrian and cycle crossings. 

If you use the bridge instead you avoid the road hazards and gain access to key cycle routes. You pass the Velodrome and an immediate right turn on the shared use path takes you to the Waterden Road cycle track and thereafter on a car free route to Hackney, via Victoria Park, or to Tower Hamlets. 

The absence of signage is inexplicable. There are ample lampposts and bollards to which signs could be attached at minimal cost (see photo below - the shared use sign is an old one relating to the pavement and not a direction sign).  The bridge was to be part of the Olympic legacy so why have local authorities ( Waltham Forest, Hackney, Newham)  or the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) or the Lea Valley Park Regional Authority (both responsible for parts of the Park)   not publicised the new access point. Every cyclist journey that can avoid the Lea Interchange means a reduction in road danger to that person. 

 This isn’t the first time authorities in the Olympic Park zone have created new routes and not told anyone. LCC reported on the, more circuitous, route by the River Lea which also opened with no clear signage. 

If you live in the area you may wish to tell others about the bridge being open and you may also wish to write to your local authority , and the LLDC, asking them to provide clear signage on new Park routes.