The Landscape Guide

Thames Path Cycle Route

See index page for Chelsea to Tower Thames Landscape Strategy

The Thames Path crosses London and is a designated National Trail. There is a legal right to cycle on some sections (eg if they are bridleways or if they are designated cycle routes). Many other sections are not cycle routes but are extensively used by cyclists. Local councils consider cycle bans from time to time but their use by cyclists increases from year to year. This arouses strong feelings among the pro-cycling and anti-cycling communities. Possible compromises are (1) to designate the Thames Path as a pedestrian priority cycle route (2) to set a speed limit for cyclists (3) to set times when busy sections of the Thames Path can and can't be used by cyclists (4) to establish a code of considerate cycling behaviour (5) to plan and signpost cycling bypass routes for use at busy periods.

The South Bank east of Westminster Bridge is a case in point (1) it is relatively wide and well-suited to shared pedestrian-cyclist traffic during quiet and moderately busy periods (2) during busy periods cyclist-use is almost impossible (3) there is a permanent ban on cycling north of County Hall (4) there is a quiet cycle bypass south of County Hall (Belvedere Road) though it is not signposted as such (5) generally, the South Bank from Westminster Bridge to Hungerford Bridge is a model for shared pedestrian-cyclist use of the Thames Path (and for other London green routes).