Cycling to/from Stratford during the Olympics

Hi Guys, I live in Dalston and I’m not a seasoned cyclist, but I’ll be volunteering for the Olympics this summer. Some of my shifts during the Olympics don’t end until 1:30am after the trains stop running and it’ll be much easier for me to cycle to/from Stratford than to get 3 night buses on those nights! Does anyone have some experience cycling to Stratford? Any routes you’d recommend that are the safest/quitest/fastest? Any advice on cycling late at night on these routes? Also, I haven’t visited Stratford for a while, but I understand they’ve built a lot of new bike stands around Stratford for the Olympics. Any seasoned cyclists have good suggestions on where to lock a bike up that’s as close as possible to the Olympic Park entrance? Any advice or info is greatly appreciated! Cheers!Rebecca


  1. Whereabouts in Stratford do you need to get to? I think the entrance to the Olympic site is at Pudding Mill Lane (but I could be wrong). If you can get to the River Lea (either via Regents Canal / Hertford Union Canal towpath or join it further north) you can cycle along the towpath, past the stadium and come out on the High Street, then you can just walk along the pavement (or cycle as it’s a very wide pavement) and go up Marshgate Lane to the Pudding Mill Lane entrance. If you need to get to Stratford itself, then once you get to the High Street you can cycle along there. It’s not a particularly pleasant ride (3 lanes of fast moving traffic) but as long as you remain highly visible you should be OK. I’ve done it a couple of times before. Alternatively you may be able go via the Eastway to Temple Mills Lane, but I’ve never been over that way on a bike and I know the road layout has changed recently, so it might not be suitable for bikes. Might be worth doing a reconnaissance run during the day.

  2. Hi Rebecca I’d check with the people you are volunteering for which entrance you’ll need to get to.  I’d also be a bit cautious about cycling the towpath at 1:30am… The organisers have published this map (a bit confusing as north is where you expect west to be!) which shows the locations of the main cycle parks However as a volunteer you may have access to other cycle storage so it’s worth asking. Once you know exactly where you are going consider using a cycle journey planner such as this one to find you a quiet (or quick!) route. Good luck! Fran”

  3. Yes i agree. Roads toward stratford are all generally busy and the canal is a much safer and more enjoyable option. From Dalston the quickest way is to head south and pick up the Regents Canal in Haggerston, take the Hertford Union at the intersection by Victoria Park and then the Lea down toward Stratford, coming off at Hackney Wick.

  4. Sorry I’ve got nothing helpful to add, but…am I the only one surprised that they’re not providing free night-time shuttle buses for volunteers!?

  5. Hi Rebecca,I am letting a room to a volunteer and she too has been given  the same shift times as yourself.  I was going to lend her a bike but was unsure about her cycling back to Upper Clapton on her own this late along the .  It would be great if you two could link up and cycle back part of the way together.Let me know if you are interested and I will put you in touch.Jacqueline

  6. Benjamin, I am keeping my fingers crossed that they are going to provide some form of transport for all these volunteers especially the lone females travelling home after finishing a 13 hour shift. The young girl staying with me is from Germany so she is hardly going to be \London Street Savvy”.Jacqueline”

  7. I have cycled in London for over 10 years, and I can say I would feel safer cycling on a main road (with lights, high viz strip etc) than along the canal at night. It’s just too isolated, even for 2, in my opinion. I tend to think that goes for men too, but that’s just me being my cautious self.Can’t Olympic volunteers get together and share a minicab if the organisers aren’t providing transport (shame on them)? I know it’s annoying and potentially expensive over the whole event, but worth it for safety’s sake!

  8. it sort of goes without saying that the canal is the best bet at rush hour, but roads are clearly safer late at night. Here’s a cycle journey planner on the TFL site that should be useful, it even allows you to choose the speed/difficulty you wan to go at.

  9. I believe the canal/towpath alongside the stadium will be closed from June until September (possibly all the way from Lea Bridge Road).I found this site which might also give you other info:article

  10. kali is right, the towpath will be closed in case terrorists use it to do some terrorism, much to the anger of locals.

  11. Hi there. I’m a member of a group protesting the closure of the towpath which will be from early July to sometime in Sep. We’ve had protests the last few Sundays (noon where the Eastway meets the canal) and Sunday-gone we had a flashride along the diversion – to show how cycle unfriendly it is. Please feel free to join us and/or lend your voice, everyone is lovely and very friendly and we sometimes have a BBQ etc. @OpenOurTowpath

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