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Saturday, 27 July 2013
Avenue Verte preview

I have written previously about Avenue Verte, the London-Paris cycle route that keeps getting you lost.

In preparation for my imminent cycle ride to Paris, I decided to explore parts of the England route with which I am not yet familiar. At the same time, to get there, I also cycled some familiar parts of the route.  In the process I discovered why so many cyclists are using the internet to look for, and share, alternative routes from London to New Haven.  These two videos are not even the worst sections of the route, in my opinion.

From what I can tell/remember, the signposting has recently improved, although it is still patchy and inconsistent in places.  However I think I can see the basic problem: all the authorities have done is put some new signs and markers on infrastructure that is more than 20 years old, and which has not been properly maintained during that time. It seems rather depressing and short-sighted. This is the infrastructure that is supposed to boost local tourism and bring millions of visitors a year.  But it needs some investment. As the BBC reported in 2010, the local authorities in England

have been told there is no external funding, and they still have to agree on the precise route. Asked whether the Avenue Verte will be signposted by 2012, a Transport for London spokesperson said: “You can draw your own conclusions.”

In France, by contrast, officials are already discussing the brochure that will tempt cyclists to savour the culinary delights of the terroirs they pass through, to stay at hotels and B&Bs and visit local attractions. They are making an investment, and they want the returns.

They are also thinking strategically about the future. “Of course, before long, we will have to cater for electric bicycles too,” says Jean-Pierre Lucas.

At this very moment, the recharging points are probably being carefully designed and plotted on a map titled Avenue Verte 2030.

A classic British opportunity cost if ever there was one.

Posted by bigblue on 27/07/2013 at 07:00 AM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

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