diamond geezer

 Monday, December 21, 2015

Before the year ends, here's an update on what's been going on at my local bus stop at Bow church. And because this subject bores some of my readers to tears, I'll throw in some additional developments along Cycle Superhighway 2 between Bow and Stratford, in case they find these more interesting.

Only two things have happened at Bus Stop M in the last three weeks, neither of them particularly significant. A proper bus map turned up in the bus shelter, after a two month absence, so passengers can now tell where their buses are going. And some blue paint appeared in the bus stop bypass, but not a lot, indeed only the central section. The other 75% of the surface remains unpainted tarmac, and the bypass remains sealed off by plastic barriers. Five months after construction began, cyclists are still being forced out into a narrower stream of traffic, while litter accumulates in the unused channel behind. Presumably the contractors are waiting until the Cycle Superhighway either side of the bus stop is complete, for health and safety reasons, but opening up the bus stop bypass would be undoubtedly be safer than leaving passing cyclists unprotected.

Also not yet completed here:
a) Bus Stop E still appears on the TfL website, sort of, even though it's been erased in real life
b) Bus Stop G still appears on the TfL website, even though it's been erased in real life
c) Timetables displayed at Bus Stop M stop don't (quite) match times at new location [REPLACED - Over Christmas a whole set of seven new timetables has been posted up, dated 19.12.15. Some are correct, while others still show either an incorrect location or a non-existent 'Bow Flyover' stop]
d) The replacement lamppost isn't functional, so it's unexpectedly dark here in the evening
e) the new bus shelter isn't yet plugged into the electricity supply, so this provides no light either

Perhaps lessons have been learned at the three bus stops on the opposite side of Bow Church, where a bus stop bypass is currently being driven through. Contractors have managed to keep the bus stop open throughout the process, aided by having considerably more space in which to manoeuvre. The original bus stops J, K and L closed only when a temporary alighting point was available, and passengers were swiftly switched back to their new island perch. Rather than combining three stops in one, as proved messy heading east, westbound passengers will continue to enjoy three separate poles. That's J for buses imminently turning off Bow Road, K for buses heading straight on towards Mile End, and L for almost-terminating buses on Route 8.

General bus congestion has been slightly eased by the temporary closure of Bromley High Street, meaning the 108 has to omit its loop through Bow. The end of the road has been blocked for some time, neither aided nor abetted by a useless yellow sign which states This road will be closed on ?/?/2015 for ? weeks, with all the dates and times missing. But there's a lot going on here, including the introduction of a contraflow cycle lane I'll be amazed to see anyone use, and the realignment of the pedestrian crossing by the Gladstone statue. Previously this was staggered, but imminently it'll be realigned to straight across, depositing pedestrians on the opposite side of Bromley High Street to before.

Adjacent to the Bow Roundabout, new segregated cycle lanes have been completed on either side of the main A11, but both remain barriered off. On the westbound that's understandable as the lane feeds into the under-construction bus stop bypass with no means of escape. But on the eastbound it appears officialdom is again being wilfully risk-averse, holding off on opening until the entire section is complete, despite the fact that cycling down this segregated stretch would be hugely safer than remaining in the traffic. Meanwhile a special Idiots Prize goes to whoever positioned the westbound roadworks sign in the cycle lane, forcing cyclists to swerve onto the pavement - I've had a couple of near misses myself.

At the Bow Roundabout itself, something unbelievable has started to happen. Controlled pedestrian crossings are on their way, for the first time in 45 years, rather than we locals having to take our lives in our hands every time we cross. At present only a few preliminary works have taken place, barely perceptible to the casual user. But from Monday 4th January the main works programme will begin, involving occasional lane and road closures, and will continue for six whole months. What with all the roadworks that have taken place at the Bow Roundabout over the last few years for the Olympics, the advanced stop lights, the CS2 extension and the CS2 upgrade, it sometimes feels as if the contractors have never gone away. When this latest reworking of the junction is complete at the end of June, maybe they'll finally leave us alone for a bit.

Further up Stratford High Street, the new road junction at Sugarhouse Lane is almost complete. This dead end street is about to become the main point of access to a hugely significant housing development on former industrial land, and for this to succeed a better connection is required. But only in one direction. Traffic from the Bow Roundabout and Bow Flyover will shortly be able to filter off and turn right into Sugarhouse Lane, but traffic emerging from Sugarhouse Lane will still only be able to turn left, otherwise a new set of traffic lights would be required and things are slow enough along here as it is. It's been coned-off misery here for months, especially for cyclists who (in a familiar tale) have been booted out of their safe lane into the main traffic. But this weekend it looked like things were almost complete, with contractors busy re-laying blue tarmac and barriers primed to go, so hopefully this temporary blackspot will be re-opened soon.

And finally, has the Greenway been reopened as promised? Has it hell. The northward link has been blocked since the Olympics and remains so while Crossrail does its thing. Back in 2010 we were promised that their disruptive engineering would be complete by 'Spring 2015', indeed there's still a sign on Stratford High Street saying so, but no. The authorities have prepared for the eventual reopening by slapping a sign with a disclaimer on the barrier, which reads This path is not a public right of way, but people are normally allowed to use it by permission of the landowner, and at their own risk. This is increasingly the future, alas, as London's shared spaces become private worlds where the public are tolerated but never welcomed.

Meanwhile the Greenway to the south of Stratford High Street remains sealed off as it has been all year. Important works related to the Lea Tunnel are taking place on Abbey Creek, and these were originally scheduled to be completed in December. The other weekend they left the gates open, and the worksite unattended, so I assumed everything was complete and wandered in. I got a long way too, right up to the big holes above the pipes, but no further. Alas the unlocked gates were simply a careless error, and on my way back I spotted the additional Thames Water notice extending possession to 30th April. A lengthy diversion thus still awaits anyone attempting to get through to Manor Road, now extended to a whole year of misery for regular Greenway users.

Sometimes I think it'll be lovely round here on the Olympic fringe when everything's finished. But increasingly I suspect it never will be, as Bow and Stratford's perpetual rebuilding cycle continues.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream