Thursday 20 August 2015

CS2U (Again!) - Will it be worth it?

The undulating surface of the CS2U cycle highway.
Want to cycle this? Maybe take some sea-sickness tablets first.
CS2U, the cycle superhighway that passes along Mile End Road and forms our southern border, is scheduled to impose a total of 58 weeks of disruption during its construction phase. When complete we will be left with other changes which will affect our neighbourhood permanently: newly banned turns making it difficult and time-consuming to carry out what were previously trivial journeys; and it seems increased traffic queuing is inevitable. But at least we can look forward to a first class cycle route that even the least confident of us will be able to use? Well I hate to say it, but disappointingly the route is turning out to be anything but first class.

The other day I had a cycle along the semi-completed part of CS2U between Mile End and Bow Road stations. The surface is really unpleasant to ride as it undulates every couple of feet (a result of it being laid in 2ft strips no doubt). It is like riding with oval-shaped wheels and you nod up and down. As a result it feels slow and I am sure a large number of commuters will opt to cycle on the road instead.

I am told the problem is that the path should be laid as machine rolled asphalt but hasn't been. Instead a chap with a hand roller goes to and fro as each section is dolloped down. What is particularly depressing is that similar defects in the surface condition of the section east of Bow roundabout had already been brought to TfL's attention on numerous occasions. As Phil Oakey once said: "experience is useless unless you can learn".

If a road surface was laid in the same way, car drivers would cause an uproar. I have emailed TfL about it, and encouraged the Tower Hamlets Wheelers and London Cycling Campaign to do likewise. 

You can see the waves clearly in the photo above. One cyclist has commented it looks like a badly rolled out carpet.

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