Loampit Vale - Lewisham Cyclists photo
Closed: Contractors blocked this busy cycle route in Lewisham (Photo: twitter.com/lewicyclists)

Updated story: Transport for London says a vital cycle route in Lewisham town centre is open again after contractors blocked the only safe way for riders to cross the busy A20.

Workers installing a heat and power network for the 35-storey Lewisham Exchange student housing development on Loampit Vale blocked off a crossing which forms part of the area’s only north-south cycle route, known as the Waterlink Way.

The crossing, at the junction with Thurston Road, is the only way to get across the busy A20 for cyclists and is heavily used by both commuters and leisure riders. Local campaign group Lewisham Cyclists vented its frustration at the closure on social media, saying to both TfL and Lewisham Council: “[You] could have informed the local cycling group maybe. We’d like to be helpful but you make it very hard sometimes.”

It forms part of the National Cycle Network as well as the Waterlink Way, a popular route which follows the Ravensbourne and Pool rivers from Greenwich and Deptford to Lower Sydenham and South Norwood Country Park.

TfL, which controls the A20, had told 853 last night that it was taking the issue up as “a matter of urgency” as contractors had originally agreed to install a pedestrian and cycle crossing at the site. This morning, TfL said a new crossing was in place.

Eight years ago a 41-year-old man, Paul Hutcheson, died in a hit-and-run incident at Loampit Vale.

A spokesperson told 853 today: “The installation of the alternative crossing was halted due to safety concerns around issues with visibility for drivers at the lights near where the alternative was planned. The crossing has now been installed at a safe location.”

Story updated at 11.20am.

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