diamond geezer

 Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Now that Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is properly open, how properly open is it?

The legacy corporation may have promised to "knit the park into the community", but some threads are clearly better sewn than others. I've been round the edge to see precisely which pedestrian links have been made, and which haven't quite bedded in yet. That's in an anti-clockwise direction, starting from Westfield.



1) Across the bridge from Westfield: Of course this is open, it's the main way in. The mall's developers wanted you to walk past two dozen restaurants and lots of shops before you got to the Park (and, more importantly, again on your way back). For an alternative entrance, and to visit the east bank of the Waterworks River, descend via steps from outside the Aquatics Centre (although the main staircase is mysteriously fenced off at present)
2) From Carpenters Road: There are lots of ways in here, both at river level and up to the overbridge. The best QEOP map I've yet seen has been posted on a board at the foot of the slope on the western side (none of this namby-pamby simplified visitor-friendly stuff).
3) From Waterden Road: There are also lots of ways in here, because this is the main way into the North Park. Watch out for the narrow steps on either side of the pedestrian crossing - these take you straight down to river level.
4) From Waterden Road: There appears to be a footpath down from the road bridge to the eastern bank of the river, but it's not accessible from the road, and it's barriered off inside the park. That's a shame, because there's one of those half-a-phonebox sculptures we loved during the Games at the bottom of the slope.
5) From the East Village: This is new, and rather lovely. The wetlands in the corner of the North Park have opened up as the Waterglades, a larger area than was open during the Games, now with bubbling pools and additional pond-side access. It's a shame the developers' maps displayed round the edge focus on the housing estate rather than the rest of the Park. But don't let the residents of the Athletes Village have this lush jogging space all to themselves.
6) Round the back of the Timber Lodge: There's no longer any need to traipse the long way from Westfield to get to the cafe and playground in the North Park, you can enter round (but not yet through) the East Village.
7) Beside the Velodrome: If you like walking round the back of a building site, you can enter this way.

8) From Temple Mills Lane: This feels most odd. A fresh footpath leads into the park from below the elevated A12, rising across a volcanic-looking landscape of man-made mounds. The lumps and bumps are part of the Lee Valley Velopark mountain bike circuit, which may one day be green and verdant but currently feels bleak and almost lunar. I found it hard to tell whether the handful of cyclists juddering by had paid up or were merely chancers enjoying the unsupervised track.
9) From Temple Mills Lane: The underpass below the arterial road has been decorated with striking orange and red swirls in an artwork called Underwhirl - worth a look.
10) Via the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre: Sorry mate, not open until June. But pedestrians can slip in via Temple Mills Lane (9) to view the empty outdoor courts, a couple of vibrant hockey pitches, Eton Manor's relocated war memorials and a very empty car park. Alas, as yet there's no access to the remainder of the park.
11) From Ruckholt Road: I don't get why this isn't open yet, but the path from the A106 and the footbridge from Hackney Marshes remain barriered off. [we think this is now open]
12) From the Eastway: There is, at present, zero access to QEOP from the northern edge of the park.

13) From Waterden Road: There's easy pedestrian access to the North Park from here, and has been for months. But I'm disappointed to see metal railings being erected along the perimeter, with gaps only in certain select locations. Presumably this is to keep the plebs out if festivals are held here in the summer.
14) Across Wallis Bridge: One of the true legacy connections, linking Hackney Wick directly to the park past the Copper Box. There's even a lift for added accessibility.
15) From White Post Lane: This has been open for months too, but now forks two ways and has its own bus service thanks to a diversion of the 339.
16) Across Monier Bridge: There may be a bridge here across the Lea from Fish Island, but as yet it doesn't lead anywhere.
17) From the Lea towpath: A whole new waterside greenspace is being created called the Canal Park. I'm sure it'll be very pretty, but it's not scheduled for completion until this time next year and at present resembles a building site. A connecting path awaits around the back of the Big Breakfast cottage, but for the time being there's no access from the Lea to the Great British Garden.
18) From the Greenway: In the summer of 2012 this was the Victoria Gate, which almost nobody used to enter the Olympic Park. The path's still there, and seemingly ready to open, but as yet nobody's tugged the barriers aside to allow pedestrians through. It might be a year before they do (or it might be imminent).
19) From the View Tube: After years of the Greenway being the closest the public could get to the Olympic Stadium, now suddenly there's a long ramp down from the Greenway into the park proper. It's the quickest way in from Pudding Mill Lane DLR (but not quick).

20) From Stratford High Street via Marshgate Lane: One day you'll be able to drive in, and walk in, under the railway. The path is ready, but not yet accessible, and the road is used only by construction traffic.
21) From Stratford High Street via the Greenway: Again, a path is ready, but Crossrail have a heck of a lot of work to do buiding new railway tracks for at least the next twelve months, so (alas) there's not getting in this way anytime soon.
22) From Stratford High Street via Blaker Road: Still no sign of them opening up the gloomy tunnel beneath the Greenway, alas, but I think it'll come eventually.
23) From Stratford High Street via the Waterworks River: Nope, nor this one yet either. But there is a signpost pointing down it, and there are barriers across the path, so I live in hope.
24) From the Loop Road: Yes, you can enter the south of the park (very easily) from the Loop Road. It's just not especially easy, or convenient, getting onto the Loop Road in the first place.
25) From the Warton Road roundabout: If you're the planner who designed this roundabout, well before the Games, I'd like to give you a good shake. In reconfiguring the roadway under the railway line you shrank one of the pavements to below minimum acceptable width. Then some health and safety bod came along and fenced off that footpath because it was "too narrow", forcing everyone to cross to the opposite side. This brings pedestrians round the wrong side of the roundabout for the park, requiring another crossing of a road often choked with Westfield traffic. And then the corner of the park is several feet above the level of the road, with an earthy slope inbetween and no attempt whatsoever at steps. There were people attempting to leave the park on Saturday staring at this layout going "surely nobody could be quite so stupid/paranoid as to have built this?" But they were, and they did, and it's rubbish.
26) From Stratford High Street via Carpenters Road: Very blocked off, very dark, very unimproved-since-2007. Buses are due to start running this way next month, but it's not looking hopeful. We'll see.
27) Across the Aquatics Centre bridge: That's the bridge to the south of the swimming pool, a wide pedestrian span that'll one day carry traffic to a housing estate. If you can get here, it's a jolly good way in, but not yet quite well connected enough to make that straightforward.

(Or at least that's how things looked on Saturday. If they've changed since, do let me know)


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
life viewed from london e3

email    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
853
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
scaryduck
blue witch
the great wen
onionbagblog
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
tired of london
in the aquarium
round the island
christopher fowler
thamesfacingeast
one bus at a time
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
uk general election 2015

read the archive
Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

diamond geezer 2013 index
diamond geezer 2012 index
diamond geezer 2011 index
diamond geezer 2010 index
diamond geezer 2009 index
diamond geezer 2008 index
diamond geezer 2007 index
diamond geezer 2006 index
diamond geezer 2005 index
diamond geezer 2004 index
diamond geezer 2003 index
diamond geezer 2002 index

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
cube routes
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
penelope
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv