Thursday, 1 October 2015

A wasted underpass

The photo above is the Cycling Embassy of Great Britain's current Good Cycling Facility of the Week - an underpass in Zwolle. It reminded me of a recent trip I made to Redbridge in the north-east of London, so here's a quick post about a couple of their underpasses.

The underpass above is a far cry from a typical British underpass - this one in Redbridge, where the A12 and A406 North Circular connect, is quite a generous one by our standards.
As you'd expect, there are 'No Cycling' signs on the approaches from the other direction (and, as you'd also expect, an informal track defeats the metalwork).

That underpass is just off the bottom of this map and no roads cross the A406, which runs top to bottom  in this photo, until the A:406/A1400 intersection at the top of this photo.

There is however an underpass just above the red line I've drawn, with a pedestrian route connecting the community on the left of the A406, towards Snaresbrook railway station, and the community on the right, which includes the private Spire Roding Hospital and Tesco Woodford Green Superstore.

This is an underpass of Dutch proportions!

Wouldn't it be great to provide a verdant, attractive and truly functional walking and cycling route through this underpass to connect the two communities. This is how it looks now:

Heading east of the underpass, a failing path, unlit at night, to the first of two narrow bridges
and on to the second narrow bridge - mind the join:
The second narrow bridge
A tight turn
 to the ramp that takes you down towards the road
 The other side of the A406 has a path by a playing field, with the usual UK deterrents against use. It also has a typical variety of surfaces, generally poor
 Is it any wonder, given walking and cycling infrastructure like this between local communities, that people choose to drive the long way round to cover short distances? And isn't it tragic that the really expensive part - a quality underpass of a major road - exists.

I suppose we should be thankful that a road hasn't been run through here as I suspect such a large underpass was provided to allow for this.

If only funding was available for proper walking and cycling infrastructure in places like this. Kindly don't mention the Garden Bridge.