Cycling South Around Central London (13th April 2013)
For the next 3 months I’ll be working South of the River Thames. At 9-10am I experience total gridlock trying to get down Woburn Place. The 5 lanes of unmarked traffic around the crescent-shaped bit of Aldwych was OK thanks to changing lanes before entering it.
But the South edge of it, heading Westbound, is total chaos with unmanaged weaving into Strand (A4). Terrible road surface on Strand, too.
So this route is extremely slow and cyclist unfriendly. What are the alternatives?
First choice I’ll try is Gray’s Inn Road.
Why Not Farringdon Road?
For the past month or so, the South half of that Farringdon Road contra-flow has been closed. There’s a diversion through side streets:
- Change down to a low gear. You’ll need it for the next bit!
- Turn right into St Cross Street. (Wait for a gap in the traffic caused by a pedestrian crossing further South.)
- Haul up this road and wait for a diversion sign on the right. It points left, taking you down Hatton Gardens.
- Arrive at the Prince Albert Equestrian Monument, which forms a roundabout.
- The traffic light is very, very, very slow here. Admire the monument while you wait. Admire it some more…and repeat…
- Turn sharp left, slightly more than 90° onto Charterhouse Street. Don’t be fooled into taking the more visible 2nd turn - that’s the A40!
- Green cycle route down the left edge is quite nice.
- At the junction, you’ll need to turn right. It has green block for cyclists at the front. If you’re nervous, you can wait for traffic to stop and use that to get into the right-hand lane.
- Wait for the lights to green again and make your right turn once it is safe to do so. Technically it’s a box junction but expect some beeps from behind if you don’t edge forward into it!
This is OK for running errands but I won’t be commuting that way! Way too slow now.
I guess Crossrail needs those extra 2.5 metres along its construction site. It sometimes turned into a pond anway, where the drains were blocked by access ramps.
5.5 Miles: Holloway Road–???–Blackfriars Bridge
A very familiar road running parallel to the East of my normal route.
It’s straight on at every junction to the very end and I used to go left here in Winter 2011 to my place of work. Now I’ll loop around Charterhouse Square and rejoin Farringdon Road via a bit of wriggling.
The rest of the route is business as usual and therefore very familiar! Streetview can teach me the new bit of wriggling.
Route Confirmed! (22nd June 2013)
I did the