Silvertown Tunnel Ride - Sep 23rd

Boord St Bridge

It was a lovely sunny morning when four of us met at the Southwark Needle to do what had morphed into a Silvertown Tunnel Ride. Unfortunately one of our riders couldn't make it because of a domestic emergency. There were no Southwark Healthy Riders in sight, but this must have been because we had chosen a wrong Saturday. There was another group of four at the start point, but it wasn't clear what website they had used to arrange to meet up.

Once we had set off, we could see that works were still taking place to improve Cycleway 4. But they had don a good job because it now only takes about half an hour to reach Cutty Sark.

We then chose a route which took us through the heart of the construction works to build the Silvertown Tunnel. This, of course, is the bĂȘte noire of some cyclists, but is clearly needed to reduce congestion and pollution on the A102 Blackwall Tunnel Approach Road on the Greenwich Peninsula. The construction work is progressing well and it should be operational in about a year's time. This is a surprise considering how long it is taking to reinstate the traffic flow across the Hammersmith Bridge.

Just as we arrived, we saw a large section of the new Boorde Street walking and cycling bridge being hoisted into position. The bridge is very impressive, with very wide aisles and a gentle gradient:

Boorde St Bridge construction

We then stopped off to see the impressive Damian Hurst statue at the Cable Car Station.

The Thames Path has now been reinstated on the section just before the Woolwich Ferry. When we got to the Woolwich Ferry we came across a very large Let's Go Cycling group (which, despite doing rides that are very much like Southwark Healthy Rides, is rumoured to have broken away from the now-defunct LCC group Bexley Cycling because of a dispute about the wearing of cycle helmets!). This group had cycled from their meeting point in Danson Park. We joined in with them for a short distance to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel and nearly lost a couple of riders there to that group (this was not the first time that this had happened - a similar thing happened to a group of Southwark Healthy Riders on an earlier Royal Docks Ride, who bumped into the Let's Go Cycling group near The Crystal building!).

We had to use the Woolwich Foot Tunnel as the ferry no longer runs at the weekend. The north lift was out of action and were told it has been like this for a year or so - it has been difficult to find replacement parts for the lift.

After stopping off at the Well Bean Café, we returned past the northern Silvertown Tunnel works to Tower Bridge.