From C 2 Shining C


To Essex yesterday on the enigmatically named ‘C2C’ service to Purfleet. They do things differently out in the country (does Purfleet count? The Rainham Marsh nature reserve certainly seemed remote enough) we discovered. In London, while cycle lanes are often bafflingly short, dangerous, narrow or occasionally just plain bonkers, it is usually possible for a determined or foolhardy cyclist to actually cycle along them. Not so in Essex. For here, despite a sign designating this path as a cycle route – something which you might expect to denote some sort of official sanction of cycling – a gate has been put in which it is not only impossible to cycle through, but looks as though it might be tricky even to wheel a bike through. Perhaps that’s why it’s numbered 13?

No matter for us – we were on foot, and managed to miss our train by dint of assuming (silly us) that the gate to the station from the car park might not be locked and padlocked on a Saturday, and by failing to see that the only route into the station was by practically limbo-ing under the level crossing barrier and approaching the platform from the road.

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4 responses to “From C 2 Shining C

  1. We cycled from Edinburgh to Glasgow along the canal towpath which has a National Cycle Route number and signage. However, the British Waterways signage and gates leave you with the feeling that perhaps they don’t actually want cyclists on it.
    (and there were some scary people setting fire to the canal bank as we entered Glasgow…)

  2. Hmm. So much for all the propaganda saying how much more civilised Glasgow has got these days…

  3. those thigns are actually to prevent mopeds and motorbikes from using cycle lanes and you should be able to squeeze through.
    We’ve encountered these before in Gloucestershire and with bikes fully panniered up, they were impossible to get through, so we had to keep unloading the bikes.

    The worst though was a designated cycle lane that had a bridge on it with steps and everything. We had to unload our luggage and carry the bikes and panniers up the steps, over the bridge and down the steps again. How hard can it be to keep a cycling route suitable for cycling? You don’t get these ‘features’ in road building for cars, do you.

  4. We didn’t have our bikes with us so we couldn’t try but you’d need pretty good balance and steering to get through that gap. It’s hardly encouraging more cycling …

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