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Olympic traffic hell

July 25, 2012

OK, it’s not that bad yet. And I mostly commute by bike from Marylebone Station to the City, so I’m not trying to drive around London.

But two issues really concern me:

More danger

First, the only dedicated bike route from the West End to get to Marylebone Station has been closed – just to save a few seconds at the lights on Marylebone Road. Now, in order to legally cycle to Marylebone Station I have to turn right onto Gloucester Place – the main northbound route in that part of London – and do battle with dozens of buses, lorries and motorists – and the bus lane has been painted out so no protection there. At least I can cross Marylebone Road easily because left turns have been banned, and then I have to turn left into Dorset Square.

It’s possible, but it’s MUCH more dangerous than the normal route along Paddington St, Upper Montague Street, York Street and Enford Street. Not only is Enford Street blocked, but the lights have been changed so there’s no phase to go north – a phase which usually lasts only five or six seconds in about a 3-minute total sequence.

Madness.

Inconsiderate road works

I understood that all roadworks had been suspended in London during the Olympics, but Islington doesn’t appear to know that. There are road works on both east and west sides of Finsbury Square, in particular the eastern end of Chiswell Street is completely closed to all traffic. I couldn’t find anything about this closure in the consents on Islington’s website, so I emailed and asked how long these works would be continuing. The reply was, “the road closure is on a rolling programme of works that are due to finish on 12th September 2012” so we’ll have road works in Islington right through the Olympics and Paralympics then.

Really helpful.

I’m sure I don’t have as severe disruption as others, but what I do encounter seems to indicate a lack of thought for the consequences, particularly for cyclists.

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