Come with me, dear reader, on a quick tour and I'll show you what I mean (sorry about the quality of some of the photos):
We've just crossed Trinity Road, we're in Nantes Close. Where now?
Yes: we need to go left where those bollards are. No sign to give the game away though. If you don't know it's there you can quite easily cycle straight past the turn.
There's only one sign, saying (I think) "Battersea, The City, Greenwich". But it seems to be pointing back where we came from. Or is it left? It so happens we want to go right into Cabul Road. Aptly named - the infrastructure here is rather like you'd find in Afghanistan.
And another dead-end sign (above). But we'll persevere:
Then finally, we need to go left by Rollo Court, but again, no direction sign (below).
Now it could be I'm following the wrong route, but because the numbering is not consistent, it's impossible to tell. The blue cycle route signs just have a cycle on, and no number. There's no colour coding either - everything is blue. I got lost three or four times before I managed to figure the route out, and I've lived in southwest London most of my life. What chance does a newcomer to London have of following these signs? Part of the problem is the route itself. It's a mixture of quiet and busy roads, footways and paths. It's not been designed as a cycle route - it's just a mishmash of whatever happened to be there already. You never know what to expect, which is why you rely so heavily on signs, which - er - can't be relied on.