Is the A23 the most poorly surfaced road in London.....

wilistew
wilistew Posts: 55
edited February 2009 in Commuting chat
......, particularly the stretch between Oval and Streatham Hill? It's ridiculous. Massive holes everywhere, grates sticking up 3 inches out of the road, patches of loose gravel and tarmac, huge cambers where the buses have squished the surface up against the pavement, a million different types of overbanding giving different levels of grip.

I've recently moved to Streatham and it's ruining my commuting pleasure. Think i'll have to buy a mountain bike with at least 10 inches of travel to get through there.

Does anyone know an alternative route from Streatham Hill into Aldwych? I use the A23, Kennington Road, Baylis Road, Waterloo Bridge but there must be a nicer way (Kennington road at least, after the recent resurfacing, is brilliant).

Rant over.

Comments

  • ride_whenever
    ride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    10 inches of travel will really slow you down, what you want is a lightwieght enduro machine, look at the scott spark :wink:

    Light, fast and plenty of travel for your commute
  • Bassjunkieuk
    Bassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    Quite possibly yes! Having ridden that route regularly I can concur it is rather poor.

    As for an alternative the only one I can recommend it heading towards Camberwell, possibly via Coldharbour Lane? Camberwell Road isn't bad and Walworth Road has been re-surfaced so it's a joy to ride on (even on my 25c racer!) Brings you out by Elephant and Castle then just head up the bus lane on the second one to pickup Waterloo Bridge Road :-)
    Who's the daddy?
    Twitter, Videos & Blog
    Player of THE GAME
    Giant SCR 3.0 - FCN 5
  • Greg T
    Greg T Posts: 3,266
    Lower Thames St Impact Area - between the bottom of Tower Hill and the junction at the VW garage.

    God awful.
    Fixed gear for wet weather / hairy roadie for posing in the sun.

    What would Thora Hurd do?
  • DonDaddyD
    DonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    Quite possibly yes! Having ridden that route regularly I can concur it is rather poor.

    As for an alternative the only one I can recommend it heading towards Camberwell, possibly via Coldharbour Lane? Camberwell Road isn't bad and Walworth Road has been re-surfaced so it's a joy to ride on (even on my 25c racer!) Brings you out by Elephant and Castle then just head up the bus lane on the second one to pickup Waterloo Bridge Road :-)

    The A23 from Croydon to wherever is the worst road ever, its the road where I picked up the majority of my 5 punctures in 3 weeks (new bike, new tyres). I avoid the road like the plague.

    Simply don't ride along Brixton Hill, your bike won't like you anymore

    The above route is arguably the best that I can think of, unless you want to go the other way via Clapham... (Wandsworth road I think) though it would add miles to your journey.
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • Clever Pun
    Clever Pun Posts: 6,778
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    Quite possibly yes! Having ridden that route regularly I can concur it is rather poor.

    As for an alternative the only one I can recommend it heading towards Camberwell, possibly via Coldharbour Lane? Camberwell Road isn't bad and Walworth Road has been re-surfaced so it's a joy to ride on (even on my 25c racer!) Brings you out by Elephant and Castle then just head up the bus lane on the second one to pickup Waterloo Bridge Road :-)

    The A23 from Croydon to wherever is the worst road ever, its the road where I picked up the majority of my 5 punctures in 3 weeks (new bike, new tyres). I avoid the road like the plague.

    Simply don't ride along Brixton Hill, your bike won't like you anymore

    The above route is arguably the best that I can think of, unless you want to go the other way via Clapham... (Wandsworth road I think) though it would add miles to your journey.

    I come in from croydon as well and having done that route a few times, it's shite... I take the longer and yet still quicker A21 greenwich tunnel then A13... faster & nicer even if you have to get off the bike
    Purveyor of sonic doom

    Very Hairy Roadie - FCN 4
    Fixed Pista- FCN 5
    Beared Bromptonite - FCN 14
  • squired
    squired Posts: 1,153
    From what I've seen, the general standard of roads in and around Streatham (Lambeth council?) is terrible. I used to ride the route you describe until I changed jobs. Now I turn left at Streatham and head down past Tooting Common on my way to Knightsbridge. The road there (Garrards Rd) is awful for cyclists and among the worst I've ever used.

    To me it is clear that the local council is not looking after any roads in the area. One only has to look at some of the holes at the big junction on Streatham High Road, just where you drop downhill to the train station and streatham common. They have been half filled in on a couple of occasions, but never properly.
  • el_presidente
    el_presidente Posts: 1,963
    I don't know what we pay our Road Tax for....
    <a>road</a>
  • I'm another Lambeth resident (Dulwich - the western side so close to Tulse Hill/West Norwood) and I agree that the state of the roads is terrible. Makes me wonder where my comically high council tax goes.

    I'm more of a back roads guy on my commute up to London Bridge as I don't like the amount of traffic on the bigger roads such as the Walworth road. I used to work near Blackfriars and took pretty much the same route until the last mile or so. Might be a little too far east for you but:
    - through Dulwich village
    - past JAGS/Alleyns on the cycle path up to the top of Dog Kennel Hill
    - down Camberwell Grove
    - run parallel to Camberwell Road on Benhill Road
    - then through Burgess Park
    - up Portland Street
    - left onto New Kent Road for a little bit but turn off before Nelly Castle
    - then zig-zag through to come out on the south side of Blackfriars Bridge

    I suspect it's a little slower than keeping on the main roads but (I think) more pleasant as you're not fighting for your life with Mr Livingstone's bendy buses and a thousand psychotic white van drivers.
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • The revenge of the A23. I knew it would come back to get me after highlighting its inadequacies on this posting last summer. Well, i now have a crumpled, bent and broken, lovely light XERO front wheel. Pot hole did for it on top of Brixton Hill. One you'd need a rope to get out of.

    On a more serious note, that hole is very dangerous and could have caused me some serious injury. Plus I have a ruined wheel. Do I have any comeback? I have looked on the Lambeth website and they seem to suggest that Red Routes (i.e. the A23) are TFL's responsibility. Should I approach them with my grievance? I took photos. Can I expect recompense? Probably not.

    Thanks

    Wil
  • iain_j
    iain_j Posts: 1,941
    I've heard of car owners suing the council for damages potholes have caused to their cars, so i don't see why not for bikes. CTC have a campaign to get potholes filled in, so their website might have some advice.
  • amircp
    amircp Posts: 132
    I don't know why the councils aren't audited on this. councils are checked on litter at least in Scotland (through Keep Scotland Beautiful). There seems to be no incentive for the councils to do a decent job apart from being sued.
  • prj45
    prj45 Posts: 2,208
    wilistew wrote:
    Do I have any comeback? I have looked on the Lambeth website and they seem to suggest that Red Routes (i.e. the A23) are TFL's responsibility. Should I approach them with my grievance? I took photos. Can I expect recompense? Probably not.

    Thanks

    Wil

    http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/e ... case-13839
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,062
    Greg T wrote:
    Lower Thames St Impact Area - between the bottom of Tower Hill and the junction at the VW garage.

    God awful.

    holy crap I thought you woz dead
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • Clever Pun
    Clever Pun Posts: 6,778
    itboffin wrote:
    Greg T wrote:
    Lower Thames St Impact Area - between the bottom of Tower Hill and the junction at the VW garage.

    God awful.

    holy crap I thought you woz dead

    he posted that in August you numpty...


    your brain is mush
    Purveyor of sonic doom

    Very Hairy Roadie - FCN 4
    Fixed Pista- FCN 5
    Beared Bromptonite - FCN 14
  • I'm sure it's not as bad as some surfaces but the part of the New King's Road where it is narrow and there are shops on both sides (just before it widens out and there is grass on your left inward bound) is really cut up. Due to concentrating on traffic in the rain I've tonked the same ridged lump twice in two days, yesterday knocking my back wheel out of true and today pinch-flatting my front :cry::cry:
  • cjcp
    cjcp Posts: 13,345
    Petro - yep, an awful bit of road. Looks similar to the road below. :? My water bottle jumped out of its rack after I was forced into a hole/crater in the road just before the ped crossing.

    _39762289_kobe_earthquake_238.jpg
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • :lol::lol::lol:

    I'm all good when I have 20 m of clear road ahead of me, can pick the best line and unweight the bike over them, but in traffic other things take priority over the road surface.

    Sooo frustrated with the KR/NKR outward bound commute at the mo. So many potential scalps, I reckon I can give most people a run for their money but the traffic is super heavy and I don't have the balls to power-filter like some. Keep having dreams where there are no cars, no peds, no lights and a load of roadies for me to shred :oops: :oops: :oops:
  • Whenever the road is dug up by a utility (gas, telecom etc), who is responsible for re-surfacing? I think it should be done by the Local Authority or TFI who should then charge the utility company. The quality of work might improve this way.
  • cjcp
    cjcp Posts: 13,345
    Petromyzon wrote:
    and I don't have the balls to power-filter like some.

    Let them power-filter. Let them have their own little moment of glory.

    And then roast them like a Thanksgiving turkey when the road is clear. :twisted:
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Bassjunkieuk
    Bassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    I've actually switched from the A23 to the A24 now - I'm in the fortunate position in that getting from where I live and where I work it's only adds about 1/2-3/4 mile to my journey to take the detour. I still have to use a small stretch of the A23 in Streatham but that is from just before the common, near Norbury train station, upto the turn off for Tooting.

    I used to use the A23 from Efra Hill in Brixton on the inward bound journey and all the way from Brixton on the way home. Whilst the road surface isn't perfect on the 24 it does seem to be better then the 23 and there are more scalps to be had :-D
    Who's the daddy?
    Twitter, Videos & Blog
    Player of THE GAME
    Giant SCR 3.0 - FCN 5
  • Sewinman
    Sewinman Posts: 2,131
    Has anyone tried Thornton Avenue by Streaham Hill, then Kings Ave, Bedford Road emerging by Clapham North?

    I F'ing hate the A23, particularly Brixton..but i hate Brixton anyway.
  • Bassjunkieuk
    Bassjunkieuk Posts: 4,232
    Sewinman wrote:
    Has anyone tried Thornton Avenue by Streaham Hill, then Kings Ave, Bedford Road emerging by Clapham North?

    I F'ing hate the A23, particularly Brixton..but i hate Brixton anyway.

    I was looking at that the other night actually :-) Might give it a go during the lighter months. I've been using Bedford Hill to get down to the A24 last few times, and extending the route home by turning down by Tooting Bec choob station.

    If I did that suggested route I could also punish myself further and head straight over into Leigham Court Road (nice hill!), right onto Crown Lane and then up Beulah Hill!
    Who's the daddy?
    Twitter, Videos & Blog
    Player of THE GAME
    Giant SCR 3.0 - FCN 5
  • Sewinman
    Sewinman Posts: 2,131
    Sewinman wrote:
    Has anyone tried Thornton Avenue by Streaham Hill, then Kings Ave, Bedford Road emerging by Clapham North?

    I F'ing hate the A23, particularly Brixton..but i hate Brixton anyway.

    I was looking at that the other night actually :-) Might give it a go during the lighter months. I've been using Bedford Hill to get down to the A24 last few times, and extending the route home by turning down by Tooting Bec choob station.

    If I did that suggested route I could also punish myself further and head straight over into Leigham Court Road (nice hill!), right onto Crown Lane and then up Beulah Hill!

    I tried the turn at Clapham North and then Thornton Ave etc. last night. Surface is much better than A23 but its a narrow road with a lot of parked cars, so a lot of pinch points and arse clenching moments as you swing out to go around a parked car.

    The A24 has a hell of a lot of cyclists!

    Pot holes are breeding like rats in Lambeth - you are never more than a metre away from one!
  • Hey Jax
    Hey Jax Posts: 107
    up North... I think the worst road i commute on has to be Oxford Rd in Manchester central.
    many pot holes, poor road surfaces, and something i havent seen on any other roads- where the surface has "rucked up" like material, causing channels and humps along the surface!... and of course the many sets of road works. I too have lost my water bottle along this road!
  • Sewinman wrote:

    The A24 has a hell of a lot of SCALPS!

    Corrected that one for you..........it's certainly a lot more fun going that way!
    Who's the daddy?
    Twitter, Videos & Blog
    Player of THE GAME
    Giant SCR 3.0 - FCN 5