13 April 2010

Bike-part streets 4 of 10: Cable Street

Where is it?
In East London, running east-west a mile or so from Tower Bridge to Limehouse Basin. If you believe Google Maps, it's called 'Candle St' in the middle.

What’s it like?
Well, it's the East End, so it's not much like Mayfair. Cable St is home of one of London's showcase separated cycle lanes: yes, I'm afraid this is about as good as it ever gets in the capital. The street is famous for its role in the anti-fascist demonstrations of the 1930s, commemorated by a striking mural (right).

Why bike there?
Wilton's Music Hall, the last surviving grand old-style music hall, is just off here. Whitechapel Road, with its flashy art galleries, is also just north.

Is it a good place to adjust your cables?
Yes. There are quite a few green spaces, and plenty of passing cyclists to cadge tools off.


  1. So the "showcase separated cycle lane" expects cyclists travelling towards the camera to ride on the right hand side of the road?

    The only time I rode along there I was hooted at by a motorist for riding in the traditional position on the left.

  2. I can thoroughly recommend Wilton's Music Hall, just off Cable Street, they put on some excellent events and their bar is a joy in the summer months.

    And hey, the cycle path (soon to be a Boris Cycle Superhighway no less!) is better than nothing, right? Nigel, I don't understand why, even though it is of course your right, you'd want to cycle in the traditional position on the left along here, the cycle path is segregated, away from dooring risk, has it's own traffic lights etc...

  3. Mark - as I mentioned, that was my first and only journey by bike along Cable Street.

    When one encounters a cycle facility for the first time it's not always easy to judge whether it's any good or whether you'll find it goes the wrong way, ends after a few hundred yards, is not integrated properly with the junctions, etc. More than likely it won't be any good.

    So when I spotted that facility I saw it was on the wrong side of the road and so disregarded it.

    No doubt if I used Cable Street regularly I would give the cycle facilitiy a try. But if when riding on unfamiliar roads I tried out every bit of red tarmac I encountered I would make slow progress.

  4. It's ok to cycle cable street, convenient path to get to tower gateway too. but on the other side (the way to canary wharf) certainly needs some work (pedestrian being cycling path, then it suddenly stops).

    I went to try Cycle Superhightway yesterday, and there is not much done so far! I am looking forward to cycle those ways, but worry that it won't open this summer.