Greenwich Park opens up again with a slow cycle fantasy

Good to see much of the east side of Greenwich Park open up again ahead of schedule following the equestrian test events. This weekend sees the pentathlon World Cup Final, which you can apparently watch via Saturday’s men’s event kicks off at Crystal Palace at 9am, moving to Greenwich Park for 2.55pm, with the women’s event starting an just over an hour earlier at both venues on Sunday.

In the meantime, with the foot of the park still disrupted, who at Royal Parks thought sticking some pointless signs for “cyclist’s” on the hill down through the park was a good idea? Yes, stick to a cycle lane which doesn’t exist – and go at no more than five miles per hour down a steep hill? (Even a slowcoach like me will generally notch up 20mph down there.) Whoever put these in place is living in a fantasy land.

Considering these weird signs, and the lack of information about Olympic closures at the park entrances local residents use (as opposed to sticking them up wherever tourists go), I can’t help thinking that Royal Parks is the weak link in Greenwich’s Olympic chain. Only a year left to fix it…


  1. That’s got to be a contender for the Warrington Cycling Campaign’s ”facility of the month.” Ludicrous.

  2. “Caution – wet floor” in front of the showers in the changing rooms of Ladywell Pool is another good one.

  3. Darryl, are there any details on how many people actually attended the equestrian/pentathlon events? Like many others, I suspect, I applied for tickets from Greenwich Council, but never heard anything. None of the many photos I’ve seen online of the events, which did look impressive, I hate to admit – had any kind of crowd in them at all. The only person I know who went got tickets through a sponsor. So who was there?

  4. Hello Izzyrocks –

    I attended the pentathlon at the weekend (press tickets) and the stand was largely full, and there certainly were loads of people who’d got tickets via the council. LOCOG are saying the crowd yesterday was “over 1,000”.

    I wasn’t at the equestrian events so can’t comment about those. I’m told the rest of the tickets for last week went to the “equestrian community” – who clearly didn’t use a large number of their tickets.

    Greenwich Council said 1,000 tickets were on offer to residents, and Chris Roberts said it received 12,000 applications “before we stopped counting”. Quite simply, it looks like the council should have been given more tickets, and the horsey set fewer…

    Haven’t got round to doing anything on the pentathlon for here, but the tickets/ lessons learned from the weekend is something I’d like to explore further, so any further thoughts would be appreciated.

  5. After initially not having been allocated tickets in the Greenwich Council “ballot”, I was rung up on Thursday by the Council and asked if I’d like to go as they had more tickets. So, I went yesterday with my 3 year-old son. Very enjoyable. I agree – the stands were pretty much full.

    I was, however, disappointed that there were no bike racks (had to chain mine to railings – which is always dodgy) and no mention of getting there by bike on any of the publicity (either on the London Prepares website, or Greenwich Council). I did bump into an old school pal of mine who works for LOCOG and made these comments to him. Knowing him, I expect things will be better at the next Test Events and for the games proper.

  6. My girlfriend was allocated tickets but was told she had to pick them up from Woolwich in the middle of a weekday. She works in Bloomsbury. She called them and asked if I could pick them up instead and they said she had to pick them up in person. So unfortunately we simply couldn’t attend. We’d have gladly paid the postage but that wasn’t an option either. Got the impression the council had done the absolute minimum they had to in order to tick the box marked “community participation”.

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