Anyone use the Eastway, Hackney?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by spindrift, 25 Apr 2008.

  1. spindrift

    spindrift New Member

    From Hackney cycling groups:

    I went up to Eastway yesterday afternoon with Jonathan Tan of Hackney
    Streetscene to have a look.

    The Olympics Delivery Authority has demolished the old business centre
    on the south side, and is in the process of setting that area up as the
    main entry and exit point for construction and delivery vehicles, which
    will come straight off the A12 (AKA the M11 Link Road) and onto the
    site. There will be about 1500 such vehicle movements here per day.

    Those who are familiar with Eastway will know that it is effectively
    one-way westbound for motors between the Lee interchange and Lee
    Conservancy Road, though in fact it is fully two-way up until about half
    way along, in order to permit egress east from the old business centre.

    A few years after the opening of the abominable M11 Link Road, we
    achieved a small consolation in the form of a contra-flow for cycle
    traffic eastbound on the one-way section of Eastway.

    It's not a
    beautiful ride along there to Leyton via the Lee interchange and
    Ruckholt Road, but at least it's direct.

    It has since been designated as
    a link of the London Cycle Network 'Plus', and is quite well used.
    The current problem is that a few days ago the ODA's contractors,
    wishing to give themselves access to make alterations to the southern
    kerbline of Eastway and the perimeter of the land, narrowed the
    carriageway on the two-way section, making it one-way only, apparently
    oblivious to the fact that cycle traffic has been entitled to use
    Eastway eastbound for a decade or more. The presence of blue cycle signs
    on the lampposts in the easterly direction seems not to have provided
    the necessary clue.

    At first no warning of the suspension of two-way working was given to
    eastbound cyclists, who proceeded out of the contraflow lane to find
    motors coming at them head-on on the wrong side of the road, as Philip

    Following a couple of near misses and urgent complaints, the
    contractors have put up signs indicating the suspension of the
    "cycleway" (even though it's actually fully two-way from that point) and
    instructing cyclists to dismount. Cyclists and pedestrians are then
    expected to cross the road at that point, where a portion of the
    carriageway has been somewhat economically coned off to permit onward
    travel to the interchange.

    It should be noted that Eastway is a Hackney borough road, so the ODA
    has acted outside its powers and indeed unlawfully here. To suspend
    two-way working, a traffic order would have to be made by the highway
    authority, with the statutorily required public notice period. LB
    Hackney, as the highway authority, would be within its rights to
    prosecute. As things stand, it has protested in strong terms to the ODA,
    but seems minded to allow the temporary arrangements to continue subject
    to improvements.

    Jonathan and I noted a number of signing and layout changes that should
    be made urgently to the temporary arrangements, which as I mentioned in
    my previous message on this subject are only due to stay in place until
    6th May.
    We also looked at and discussed the layout which is planned to be in
    place after that date. The footway cycle tracks around the west side of
    the Lee Interchange are to be suspended for the duration of the Olympics
    construction, and those who like to use that kind of facility will be
    directed via tracks on the east side of the interchange instead.

    main crunch points will of course be the crossovers of the southern
    footway of Eastway where all these trucks will enter and exit the site.
    The designers have done their best to direct peds and cyclists across
    the shortest part of these crossovers, but it is still not pretty, and a
    banksman permanently in position at each crossover might not be a bad
    idea, given the huge number of movements -- one every 30 seconds during
    the working day -- and the aim of zero Olympics construction
    traffic-related casualties.
    The only suggestions I had to add to the post-6th May plans related to
    signage, together with some carriageway markings on certain lanes of the
    Lee interchange to make it clear where on-carriageway cycle traffic
    generally needs to go. There's not much scope for material changes to
    the plan otherwise unfortunately.

    However I did point out to Jonathan the long-neglected deficiencies of
    the existing contra-flow facility, again mainly relating to signing and
    carriageway markings.

    We have previously ensured that all of these have
    been noted in the CRISP report for LCN+ Link 250, so theoretically they
    should be in line for rectification in due course before the LCN+
    theoretical completion date of 2010, but I suggested to Jonathan that
    the current fiasco would seem to provide a good opportunity to get the
    whole lot fixed at once, with the ODA paying for it by way of penance.
    So go on Hackney, if you can do it to Nike, you can do it to the ODA.
    Make them pay up!

    The road's here:
  2. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    good work fella, that all sounds frightful and very disappointing

    nothing must stand in the way of the Olympics!
  3. OP

    spindrift New Member

    My email to hackney council and the evening Standard:

    Dear Sir
    Please see the below for your information.

    "There will be about 1500 such vehicle movements here per day."
    That is extremely worrying.
    I ride on the South side of eastway here:
    Where the Streetmap says "Eastway Business Centre" is the problem , I was going to take a photo, eastbound cyclists are forced to cross the road and are then led down a narrow path screened by huge concrete bollards and shared with pedestrians. At the end of the path is....nothing, cyclists are left to dive across two lanes of traffic to get to the traffic lights. The new road layout forces cyclists into danger. This could be an insurance issue for Hackney Council.

    Not good at all, but there is no other route! The alternative for those riding east would be to continue up the canal to the Lee Bridge Road, a two mile detour. There is no choice.
    I thought the entire point of limited ingress to the park was to minimise disruption and danger to other people, i don't recall any of the plans mentioning carving up cycle routes to improve access to the site.

    I would appreciate Hackney Council's response, there must be a way to make this road safer.
    Best regards
  4. MERV

    MERV New Member

    The Mile End Road
    Haven't been there for years.
  5. domtyler

    domtyler Über Member

    Same as Merv, I used to use this route to work, go off through Victoria park etc. but once the Olympic work started it has become far too frightening with that number of heavy vehicles thundering along. I have used the A11 exclusively since then.

    I did go that way with my wife, an inexperienced cyclist the other day and, while edging around the Lee interchange took a while, at lease we felt safe. Turning off onto Temple Mills Lane was a nightmare, as was the whole journey along it with lorries screaming by every few seconds. I think it was fair to say that the missus fair shat herself!

    That will be the last time I/we go anywhere near that area on two wheels for the foreseeable future.
  6. OP

    spindrift New Member

    Hackney Council have been informed, people are making a fuss about this.
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