Last week we highlighted some favourite cut-throughs in East London. This was somewhat hard to compile as I use a lot of cut-throughs in my regular route construction so picking 3 in any one area was not easy, but it makes you think about how well they really work for expedience.
Now it is the turn of central London and it is just as hard, if not harder. Many little cut-throughs I have used in the past are really part of a longer route along a cycle lane and so don’t really have an inclusive, fanning out appeal as a really useful cut-though should. The ones below are little pieces of infrastructure that can play into many routes and often avoid very busy roads or junctions.
So, without further ado, here are my favourite cut-throughs in central London, in no particular order.
Gray’s Inn Road/Ampton Street
This cut through is a cycle lane going East West across Gray’s Inn Road. It is particularly useful as it connects a lot of cut throughs and cycle specific ‘quiet ways’ (not to be confused with official Quiet Ways) from Islington through into Bloomsbury and beyond.
The Islington side of this cut-though, along Ampton Street has a cycle lane (also a cut-through, does that make one like a meta-cut-through?) between some houses which allows you to get to Kings Cross road and head South from there, or continue North East up and through to Angel and Essex Road where there are some more lovely cut-throughs.
Euston Road/Cartright Gardens
I used to use this incredibly convenient cut-through every day going from Archway to Covent Garden, although it works for anywhere North of Kings Cross or Euston through to just about anywhere within the congestion charge zone when combined with other cut-throughs.
Euston road is generally fairly horrible and I try to void actually cycling on it as much as possible. The road that feeds down onto the cycle lane across the central reservation, Ossulston heads directly into Camden Town so many routes can get you there. The cut-though is a Southbound convenience as it is not possible to turn right at the end of Ossulston Street, and Cartwright Gardens is one way the other way. Therefore, this cut-though turns what would be a Northbound only route into a two way one for bikes.
This cut through is at the end of Hatton garden, heading south. The road itself is one way for cars but two way for bikes and makes a handy cut through for routes in from the North and East. From here it is easy to get to the Inns of Court, Temple, Blackfriars or Smithfield. It can also be used to get to the city, should you wish.
The infrastructure itself is understated and this is really its only downside – it is not a highly painted bike lane and so it will have pedestrians in it more often than not, therefore you need to use some caution and a low speed. However, the junction at Holborn viaduct that you end up in is not very nice and there is a specific little bike lane to get you into a West bound lane should that be your goal.
There are a lot more great cut-throughs in central London of course. There are loads in Bloomsbury that I find particularly helpful and a few just South of the river near Borough that are also great.
What are your favourites?
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.