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Route Advice - Bromley to Trafalgar Square

GallywomackGallywomack Posts: 823
edited October 2018 in Commuting chat
Hello all,

Commuted for the first time in, oh, about six years this morning having been working outside London for a long time.

Just looking for a bit of advice on how best to get to Trafalgar Sq (office is on Duncannon St) from Bromley. This morning I went via Lewisham then Old Kent Road, Elephant, Westminster Bridge, then onto Horse Guards from Parliament Sq using the confusing bike lane and from there to the office through Admiralty Arch. It was OK but from Elephant onwards it was so busy and slow until I escaped onto Horse Guards. OKR was also just as censored as ever and I've never been that keen on it. Overall it seemed a lot harder work than my old route to the City via Bermondsey etc.

Anyone doing a similar journey and got any tips on a quicker and more enjoyable route?

Posts

  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    Well, if I was going to Trafalgar Square I certainly wouldn't start from Bromley... :lol:

    But if I had to, I would go via Penge, Crystal Place, Fountain Road/College Drive, Dullwich Village, Calton Ave, Green Dale, Champion Hill / Grove Hill Road, Camberwell Grove (still shut for cars?), Camberwell New Road, Oval, Vauxhall St, Black Prince Road, Lambeth High Street, Lambeth Palace Road, Westminster Bridge (get out of the cycle lane and turn right like a bus), Whitehall.

    Going home I would cross the river at Vauxhall Bridge instead of Westminster Bridge.
  • Cheers, will give that a try. This evening I went along CS3 to Tower Bridge then back home on my familiar route. Was pleasant enough and am planning to do that in reverse in the morning while I get back into it. Incidentally, I guess the new segregated CS3 has killed off all the SCR that used to happen on ‘the racetrack’?

    Too early to tell whether things have changed much in the last 6 years but initial impressions suggest that they haven’t really...
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    I rode to Bromley from the City by going over London Bridge, missing my turning, so heading straight on to whatever that roundabout is, heading left-ish/straight on towards New Cross along a pretty busy road, and turning right at or near New Cross station.

    Not a route I'd choose again, so inbike's seems better, but could be down to my lack of familiarity with the roads.

    If you come over London or Southwark Bridge, the reality is that the bike lane forces most people to cool their jets a bit, whichever direction you ride.

    Horseguards is a better bet for a cut through to Whitehall than Great Scotland Yard: the latter is a censored for delivery lorries and is a much narrower street.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Bit quicker this morning going via tower bridge and along the embankment. Not without its frustrations - endless shoaling at lights (nothing new there) which is somehow particularly annoying on the segregated lane, and of course people who take umbrage at being overtaken and speed up, thus engendering an SCR scenario where none need exist. Trying to be zen about it all as my feeling is that SCR is a riskier proposition these days - things just seem a lot busier, but it may just be that I'm a bit rusty.

    Certainly the segregated lane is no place for it, and I hereby vow that between Tower Bridge and Northumberland Avenue, I shall smile serenely at any of the abovementioned annoying behaviour and sit in behind any rider travelling at a reasonable pace, even if it is slower than my own cruising pace, and even if they have previously shoaled the bejesus out of me. This rule may be temporarily lifted in the Castle Baynard St tunnel as it seems an ideal spot for dropping the hammer, but when travelling East-to-West, I do so only on the understanding that anybody dropped in this manner will probably shoal again at the crossing lights at the other end.

    I also have to confess that I had my own chopper moment when I got distracted by my bar tape which had come loose, then got confused about the right turn from CS3 onto Northumberland Ave and half wobbled into the oncoming bike line, so apologies to the riders coming the other way who had a heart-in-mouth moment.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,349
    My regular route is Beckenham/Bromley borders to Great Portland Street, so with a little tweak or two to my route you could go:-
    Beckenham - Lower Sydenham - Forest Hill - Lordship Lane - Dog Kennel Hill - Grove Lane - Camberwell Green - Camberwell Rd - Walworth Rd - Elephant - London Rd - Waterloo - over Waterloo Bridge and turn left onto Strand.

    Works well for me that far - I carry on past The Opera House rather than hang a left onto the Strand.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • Stevo 666 wrote:
    My regular route is Beckenham/Bromley borders to Great Portland Street, so with a little tweak or two to my route you could go:-
    Beckenham - Lower Sydenham - Forest Hill - Lordship Lane - Dog Kennel Hill - Grove Lane - Camberwell Green - Camberwell Rd - Walworth Rd - Elephant - London Rd - Waterloo - over Waterloo Bridge and turn left onto Strand.

    Works well for me that far - I carry on past The Opera House rather than hang a left onto the Strand.

    I shall look out for you as your route mirrors mine bar the West Wickham start and turning right at the end of Waterloo Bridge.
    Condor Pista
    50x16
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,349
    condorman wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    My regular route is Beckenham/Bromley borders to Great Portland Street, so with a little tweak or two to my route you could go:-
    Beckenham - Lower Sydenham - Forest Hill - Lordship Lane - Dog Kennel Hill - Grove Lane - Camberwell Green - Camberwell Rd - Walworth Rd - Elephant - London Rd - Waterloo - over Waterloo Bridge and turn left onto Strand.

    Works well for me that far - I carry on past The Opera House rather than hang a left onto the Strand.

    I shall look out for you as your route mirrors mine bar the West Wickham start and turning right at the end of Waterloo Bridge.
    Likewise. Tis a good route - I guess you come up Wickham Road into Beckenham and pick up my route on Southend Road?

    Watch out for a white Boardman with mixed set of wheels :) Take you ride a Condor?
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • Stevo 666 wrote:
    condorman wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    My regular route is Beckenham/Bromley borders to Great Portland Street, so with a little tweak or two to my route you could go:-
    Beckenham - Lower Sydenham - Forest Hill - Lordship Lane - Dog Kennel Hill - Grove Lane - Camberwell Green - Camberwell Rd - Walworth Rd - Elephant - London Rd - Waterloo - over Waterloo Bridge and turn left onto Strand.

    Works well for me that far - I carry on past The Opera House rather than hang a left onto the Strand.

    I shall look out for you as your route mirrors mine bar the West Wickham start and turning right at the end of Waterloo Bridge.
    Likewise. Tis a good route - I guess you come up Wickham Road into Beckenham and pick up my route on Southend Road?

    Watch out for a white Boardman with mixed set of wheels :) Take you ride a Condor?

    No, I got fed up with the Chinese roundabout so go via Scotts Lane, Oakwood Avenue and then down Albemarle Road through Beckenham.

    How did you guess I ride a Condor ...? It's either a Condor Pista fixed wheel or a black/blue Giant Defy that I'm riding. I shall look our for a white Boardman.
    Condor Pista
    50x16
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    condorman wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    condorman wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    My regular route is Beckenham/Bromley borders to Great Portland Street, so with a little tweak or two to my route you could go:-
    Beckenham - Lower Sydenham - Forest Hill - Lordship Lane - Dog Kennel Hill - Grove Lane - Camberwell Green - Camberwell Rd - Walworth Rd - Elephant - London Rd - Waterloo - over Waterloo Bridge and turn left onto Strand.

    Works well for me that far - I carry on past The Opera House rather than hang a left onto the Strand.

    I shall look out for you as your route mirrors mine bar the West Wickham start and turning right at the end of Waterloo Bridge.
    Likewise. Tis a good route - I guess you come up Wickham Road into Beckenham and pick up my route on Southend Road?

    Watch out for a white Boardman with mixed set of wheels :) Take you ride a Condor?

    No, I got fed up with the Chinese roundabout so go via Scotts Lane, Oakwood Avenue and then down Albemarle Road through Beckenham.

    How did you guess I ride a Condor ...? It's either a Condor Pista fixed wheel or a black/blue Giant Defy that I'm riding. I shall look our for a white Boardman.

    Might give this route a try (starting from Albemarle Road). Being doing Penge - CP - Dulwich - Loughborough Jct - E&C and then either Southwark or London Bridge to the City since we moved out this way. Recently been having some aggro with a nutter in an Kia Sportage (RE64DHL) so looking for a new route.
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
  • I'll add my route from Beckenham which is :
    Penge - CP - Fountain Ave - straight through Dulwich and up Sunray Ave - Denmark Hill - Camberwell - Walworth Road - Elephant - Southwark bridge rd. - Southwark Bridge - Embankment

    Nice thing about this route is it's a straight run and pretty much all 20 mph from Denmark Hill down to Elephant, so it's easy to to keep up with the traffic. The bad thing is the ride home is one long grind all the way to CP if the wind is in your face like yesterday
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,349
    condorman wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    condorman wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    My regular route is Beckenham/Bromley borders to Great Portland Street, so with a little tweak or two to my route you could go:-
    Beckenham - Lower Sydenham - Forest Hill - Lordship Lane - Dog Kennel Hill - Grove Lane - Camberwell Green - Camberwell Rd - Walworth Rd - Elephant - London Rd - Waterloo - over Waterloo Bridge and turn left onto Strand.

    Works well for me that far - I carry on past The Opera House rather than hang a left onto the Strand.

    I shall look out for you as your route mirrors mine bar the West Wickham start and turning right at the end of Waterloo Bridge.
    Likewise. Tis a good route - I guess you come up Wickham Road into Beckenham and pick up my route on Southend Road?

    Watch out for a white Boardman with mixed set of wheels :) Take you ride a Condor?

    No, I got fed up with the Chinese roundabout so go via Scotts Lane, Oakwood Avenue and then down Albemarle Road through Beckenham.

    How did you guess I ride a Condor ...? It's either a Condor Pista fixed wheel or a black/blue Giant Defy that I'm riding. I shall look our for a white Boardman.
    Just a wild guess on the bike...

    BTW if you are heading up Southend Road out of Beckenham then instead of going along Albemarle, may be worth cutting up Westgate Rd onto Foxgrove Rd and turning right onto Southend from there - avoids the lights at Beckenham Junction and bit of traffic.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,349
    MrSweary wrote:
    condorman wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    condorman wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    My regular route is Beckenham/Bromley borders to Great Portland Street, so with a little tweak or two to my route you could go:-
    Beckenham - Lower Sydenham - Forest Hill - Lordship Lane - Dog Kennel Hill - Grove Lane - Camberwell Green - Camberwell Rd - Walworth Rd - Elephant - London Rd - Waterloo - over Waterloo Bridge and turn left onto Strand.

    Works well for me that far - I carry on past The Opera House rather than hang a left onto the Strand.

    I shall look out for you as your route mirrors mine bar the West Wickham start and turning right at the end of Waterloo Bridge.
    Likewise. Tis a good route - I guess you come up Wickham Road into Beckenham and pick up my route on Southend Road?

    Watch out for a white Boardman with mixed set of wheels :) Take you ride a Condor?

    No, I got fed up with the Chinese roundabout so go via Scotts Lane, Oakwood Avenue and then down Albemarle Road through Beckenham.

    How did you guess I ride a Condor ...? It's either a Condor Pista fixed wheel or a black/blue Giant Defy that I'm riding. I shall look our for a white Boardman.

    Might give this route a try (starting from Albemarle Road). Being doing Penge - CP - Dulwich - Loughborough Jct - E&C and then either Southwark or London Bridge to the City since we moved out this way. Recently been having some aggro with a nutter in an Kia Sportage (RE64DHL) so looking for a new route.
    Worth a try. If you are starting from Albemarle then you are pretty close to me.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • Thanks for the advice. Having asked for it, I've been sticking with what I know, heading up through Deptford, Rotherhithe and Bermondsey, using Tower Bridge in the morning and London Bridge in the evening, and finishing up along the segregated embankment section of CS3. It's not perfect but for the most part there are bus lanes and you can make decent progress.

    This morning, on a whim I followed a fastish guy on a red Btwin road bike when he darted left towards Deptford High St from Deptford Church St, figuring he was just avoiding the lights at the juntion with Evelyn St. Instead, he carried on left from the High St onto Quietway 1. I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with it. You can't exactly go flat out but you can make decent progress, and it'll drop you off at your choice of bridge. All well signposted with clear road markings. I took Blackfriars Bridge this morning joining CS6, but I'll use Waterloo Bridge instead tomorrow.

    Not sure it'll be one for dark winter mornings/evenings as it does wend its way through the housing estates and industrial wastelands of inner SE London, but while there's still a bit of daylight I think I've found my route for a bit. I'll take a view on the wisdom of using it in the dark when it comes to it.
  • Stevo 666 wrote:
    condorman wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    condorman wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    My regular route is Beckenham/Bromley borders to Great Portland Street, so with a little tweak or two to my route you could go:-
    Beckenham - Lower Sydenham - Forest Hill - Lordship Lane - Dog Kennel Hill - Grove Lane - Camberwell Green - Camberwell Rd - Walworth Rd - Elephant - London Rd - Waterloo - over Waterloo Bridge and turn left onto Strand.

    Works well for me that far - I carry on past The Opera House rather than hang a left onto the Strand.

    I shall look out for you as your route mirrors mine bar the West Wickham start and turning right at the end of Waterloo Bridge.
    Likewise. Tis a good route - I guess you come up Wickham Road into Beckenham and pick up my route on Southend Road?

    Watch out for a white Boardman with mixed set of wheels :) Take you ride a Condor?

    No, I got fed up with the Chinese roundabout so go via Scotts Lane, Oakwood Avenue and then down Albemarle Road through Beckenham.

    How did you guess I ride a Condor ...? It's either a Condor Pista fixed wheel or a black/blue Giant Defy that I'm riding. I shall look our for a white Boardman.
    Just a wild guess on the bike...

    BTW if you are heading up Southend Road out of Beckenham then instead of going along Albemarle, may be worth cutting up Westgate Rd onto Foxgrove Rd and turning right onto Southend from there - avoids the lights at Beckenham Junction and bit of traffic.

    I've thought about it but I'm a creature of habit (and Strava comparisons) having done the same route for 17 years! I've often watched the Mexican standoffs by the single lane bridge part of Westgate Road and thought better of it. I go straight over at the lights into Rectory Road, Blakeney Road, Lennard Road that way to Sydenham and Col de Sydenham Hill.
    Condor Pista
    50x16
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    Haven't heard of any problems on Q1 in the dark, but it's quite new so the bike muggers might not have adapted to it yet.

    I still think you are missing a trick by going East before swinging back to the West.

    By far the fastest roads to and from from Trafalgar Square are Whitehall, Abingdon St, Lambeth Bridge, Albert Embankment. Going onto the Strand or the EW cycle superhighway must cost you 5-10 minutes and puts you on worse roads.

    Although, if you are enjoying the quietway, picking up Q7 as far as Dulwich Village takes you in the right direction, unlike Q1!

    https://www.cyclescape.org/issues/2080- ... tal-palace
  • Aye, you're probably right. I live just inside the Bromley border off Bromley Hill (A21) and I grew up in Catford so I tend to think in terms of the A21 corridor rather than heading W/NW. Also, my previous commute was to the city, so it made more sense to go through Lewisham etc - and for now I've just been sticking to what I know. My current route, although not direct, does also have the benefit of being pretty much flat, which is certainly not the case going the more direct route.

    But yes, at some stage I'll take a more sensible route! Q7 could be good if it's as well thought-out as Q1.
  • OK I've mapped out a route going via the south circ, onto Lordship Lane, following a bit of Q7 as far as Denmark Hill then from there, the completely direct route via Oval, Lambeth Bridge etc. Yes it is (surprise surprise) significantly shorter. Will give it a go this evening. Is it worth using Camberwell Grove rather than straight onto Denmark Hill from the end of Green Dale?
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    Going north, yes, because it avoids an unsignalled right turn onto Denmark Hill which is 2 lanes each way at that point.

    Also the surface of the Denmark Hill bus lane past the hospital going north is unbelievably bad.

    Not sure about conditions going south - I go up Camberwell Grove on autopilot. Going south you could make an illegal (but safe) left turn onto Grove Lane for a slightly more direct option. But the SCR opportunities up Camberwell Grove are worth the tiny detour :lol:
  • Cheers, makes sense. Well, having done that route last night and this morning it is definitely quicker. Especially going home, funnily enough - this morning it was very slow between Camberwell Green and Vauxhall and in general I wasn't lucky with lights. I also had to get off and walk for a few minutes going up Kirkdale because the road was closed off for a really bad motorbike smash, looked like a right hook by a van, the bike was completely wrecked. Not a nice thing to see first thing, hope the rider is OK. Anyway, with those delays it wasn't that significantly quicker this morning, but I'll see how things go, with a bit of luck it should be at least 10mins quicker, as it was going home last night.

    Last night I went up Denmark Hill and left onto Blanchedowne, which leads straight into the Green Dale path. Was fine and as the gradient isn't that significant, I also secured a few scalps of riders who were probably a bit surprised that an 18st+ bloke dressed as a mountain biker could pedal uphill. Sydenham Hill was a different story though - an encouragement to lose weight if ever there was one...

    Out of interest, the route home was: Whitehall, P-Square, Abington St/Millbank, Vauxhall Bridge, Oval, Denmark Hill, Green Dale, Calton Ave, Court Lane, Lordship Lane, Sydenham Hill, Kirkdale, Sydenham Park (walking over railway bridge), Dacres Road, Queenswood Rd, Perry Rise, through the retail park and the little riverside park to Southend Lane, right onto Blacklands Rd, Brangbourne Rd, illegally right onto Old Bromley Rd, and up Coniston Rd to home. This morning I did the reverse but didn't bother with any side roads in the first bit, just main road through Sydenham and onto Kirkdale (I tend to prefer this to going through Forest Hill as there is no sodding about to cross the railway line), and of course did Camberwell Grove rather than Denmark Hill.

    I'll try a few variations, but if there's anything in that that jumps out as a glaringly poor option, do let me know! Ta.
  • inbikeinbike Posts: 264
    Pretty good options in the areas I know. As variations you can explore:

    Sunray ave (although i don't like it myself, it is quick).

    Benhill Road, Bethwin Rd, Kennington Park - more chilled out than Camberwell new road and relatively unaffected by heavy traffic.

    Benhill Road, Portland St, A302, Westminster Bridge - will be a good option after Lambeth North junction has been rebuilt later this year.
  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 49,349
    condorman wrote:
    Stevo 666 wrote:
    BTW if you are heading up Southend Road out of Beckenham then instead of going along Albemarle, may be worth cutting up Westgate Rd onto Foxgrove Rd and turning right onto Southend from there - avoids the lights at Beckenham Junction and bit of traffic.

    I've thought about it but I'm a creature of habit (and Strava comparisons) having done the same route for 17 years! I've often watched the Mexican standoffs by the single lane bridge part of Westgate Road and thought better of it. I go straight over at the lights into Rectory Road, Blakeney Road, Lennard Road that way to Sydenham and Col de Sydenham Hill.
    TBH it won't make too much difference and on a bike the Westgate single lane bridge standoff don't apply to bikes as you can get past a car going the other way. But yep, it has got a bit heated there before.

    My big climb is Mont London Road :)
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    Well, I tried the QW7 route on Friday from London Bridge home. Was quite nice for the first bit and a horrible fume filled shitshow from Lordship Lane onwards. Made me realise Penge aint that bad.

    Have decided to stick with the Penge, CP, Dulwich, Milkwood blah blah blah route. Took a detour through Crystal Palace Park this morning and it was glorious. This is my new route.

    I think my post accident exhausted parent flabby censored prefers one longer climb to lots of little ones!
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
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