|Coppermill Lane used to be a muddy track, full of pot holes. It was just like a country lane, for one very good reason. It used to be a country lane until the city reached it. The first thing the improvers did was tarmac it, then when the cars went too fast they introduced traffic calming! They could have saved a lot of time, trouble and effort by leaving the pot holes and the muddy track. One reason for the tarmac might be the need to get large traffic to the railway, except by definition any vehicle working on the railway has to be capable of travelling on a rough terrain.
Another possible excuse is the desire of people who live in boats on the Lea to drive their cars to the marina. But many people who live in the marina use bikes and there is probably a majority who would like to see less traffic on Coppermill Lane!
The real reason is that tarmac looks tidy. It looks as if the area has been tamed and made a secure part of the regional park authority. The bureaucratic need to make nature bend to its will has been satisfied.
The cost of all this is a huge capital programme plus annual maintenance. The job may look cheap but it actually costs a small fortune. As a result savings have to be made elsewhere, access rights have to be compromised.(19/Dec/2009)
See also bikes in Coppermill Lane.