Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Middleton Road/Mitcham Common

Middleton Road in Mitcham/Carshalton has pretensions to be a cycle route, but it doesn't quite hit the spot.

Here's the view from Budge Lane looking west up the hill:

As you can see there is an advisory cycle lane on both sides of the road. It's completely useless on this side because cars are allowed to park on the pavement. If you cycle in the cycle lane, you're at serious risk of getting 'doored'. If the pavement is wide enough to allow car parking, it's wide enough for a segregated cycle lane. Cars belong on the road, not the pavement, stupid. The cheapest solution would be to have a segregated cycle lane or shared path and allow parking on one side of the road, and remove the cycle lane from the opposite side. But why do that when you can put pedestrians at risk from cars on the pavement, and endanger cyclists at the same time? You'd have to be seriously twisted to come up with this scheme, but that seems to be a prerequisite for anyone involved in designing UK transport infrastructure.
Going west, the cars-on-the-pavement theme continues.

Things get worse as you continue east, however. The cycle route sort of peters out. The Wandle Trail continues south from about this point, but it takes you past a boarded-up housing estate. I would have got a photo but I didn't fancy getting stabbed.

Middleton Road continues east and becomes Goat Road. At this point it is quite busy, narrow and there is no clue that it's a cycle route. Goat Road then joins Carshalton Road at a T-junction. Carshalton Road is busy, quite narrow, and not safe to cycle on. The other side of Carshalton Road is Mitcham Common, and you might expect cycle access to the Common at this point. No such luck.

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