Lea Valley Towpath closure - Flashride on Sunday

This Sunday hundreds of cyclists and pedestrians are expected to take part in a flashride designed to highlight the closure of vital walking and cycling routes in the vicinity of the Olympic park.

The heavily-used Lea Valley Towpath has been closed since July 3rd on the grounds of 'Olympic security'. A diversion has been put in place, but is significantly longer and involves cycling on (and walking across) some very busy roads, including the A11. The protestors argue that while the towpath runs along the perimeter of the Olympic park, the perimeter is accessible elsewhere, and that the size of the fence, and the amount of security and CCTV, should be enough to secure the perimeter without closing the towpath. 

From Friday another vital off-road path will be closed - the Greenway east of Stratford. Neither of these closures has been mentioned on the Get Ahead of the Games website, nor on Transport for London's journey planner. 

Sunday's flashride will follow the route of the suggested diversion, and aims to highlight how unsuitable it is as an alternative. The ride will be slow and safe, so nervous cyclists - and walkers - are especially welcome. If you want to take part, meet at the start of the closure, the Eastway Bridge in Hackney Wick, from 12pm for lunch (bring food and drink to share). The ride will start at 1:30pm.

Co-organiser Ruth-Anna Macqueen, a junior doctor, says: “Like many people I commute using the towpath and I was shocked to find out that it had been closed twenty-three days before the opening ceremony.

"The route that we will be taking on Sunday is a part of my regular commute and includes the notorious Bow Roundabout where two cyclists were killed at the end of 2011, as well as the much-criticised Cycle Superhighway on the A11. It would be much more pleasant for us all, not to mention safer, and quicker, to take the off-road route. However, we have been forced onto the roads.

"The Get Ahead of the Games website still doesn't mention the towpath or additional Greenway closure east of Stratford, and the TfL cycle planner directs you to use the closed part of the towpath. All in all, it has been handled very badly. A large number of our supporters are not cyclists but local residents or walkers, who've been kept very badly informed."

For more information, contact Ruth-Anna Macqueen or Steve Wakeford - 

Email: openourtowpath@gmail.com

Web: http://openourtowpath.wordpress.com/