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.