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The road is long... - John C. Kirk

May. 27th, 2009

04:50 pm - The road is long...

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As I've mentioned before, I have a Brompton folding bike, which I use in my daily commute: I carry it on the train with me, then cycle between the relevant station and home/work. Today I had a somewhat longer route than usual; apparently there's a tree on the track in the Brondesbury area, so there are no trains between Willesden Junction and Kensington Olympia. I've often cycled from work to Kensington Olympia in the evening (meeting the train half-way), but I rarely do it the other way around. That's partly because there's a hill in the middle, so I'd rather go down than up. Also, I can't simply reverse the route, due to one-way systems. It turns out that the TfL JourneyPlanner is a bit like the average SatNav: fairly accurate in general, but every so often it will try to kill you ("turn right off the edge of the cliff"). So, here's a copy of the message I just sent to TfL via their website.

Today I cycled from Kensington Olympia station to NW10 7EW, following the route from the JourneyPlanner website. Unfortunately, there is a problem with that route near the end.

If you generate the pdf, step 14 says "Turn right into cycle path". (This is when I am cycling along Western Avenue, just passing Allen Way on my left.) However, there is a grass verge with a metal fence that runs down the middle of Western Avenue, so I can't actually get to the cycle path without climbing over that, which would be dangerous and probably illegal. You can see the problem via Google Maps:

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&q=NW10+7EW&ie=UTF8&ll=51.523432,-0.265926&spn=0.000197,0.000429&t=h&z=21&layer=c&cbll=51.523418,-0.265993&panoid=1tH1DBFKyqUieKcUT_8clg&cbp=12,59.31,,1,5.05

That's the view if you're standing at the end of Allen Way, looking across Western Avenue towards the cycle path. In other words, I think you can only get onto that cycle path if you're travelling South/East rather than North/West along Western Avenue.

Because of that, I was stuck on the A40 for quite a long time, and I went past Hanger Lane tube station before I found a place to turn around (using the subway).

I'm not sure what the best correction is here; for now, I'll probably dismount at Gypsy Corner and use the pedestrian crossing to get onto Park Royal Road. Anyway, please could you update your instructions.


Ah well, on the plus side it's a bit of extra exercise, so burning off a few extra calories should do me good.

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