Big route change for Olympics

It looks as if an Olympic legacy will be a better southern ending for the Lea Valley Walk. Indeed it will mean a return to the original climax to the route.

The Lea River Park, as the River Lea south of the Olympic Park is being called, appears to have escaped government cuts.

At present the official Lea Valley Walk route from Three Mills is down the Limehouse Cut to the Thames. At first it followed with much difficulty the river to East India Dock Basin which is much nearer the river’s confluence with the Thames than Limehouse Basin.

East India Dock also has a magnificent view of the Dome which is an Olympic venue. The plan is to complete a continuous path by the River Lea by Olympic Year 2012 and proposals for the £15m project have now been submitted to Newham and Tower Hamlets Councils.

A lift and steps are to be built on the Lea Valley Walk just south of Three Mills to allow walkers to access Twelve Trees Crescent Bridge.

The left bank has a wide path already and just round the bend beyond the Royal Mail centre it will be possible to cross back over the water on a new bridge.  Here on the right bank a new park is planned. Further on a pedestrian and cycle tunnel will all walkers to pass under the very busy East India Dock Road.

The climax of the 2 mile Fatwalk, as the new path is called by planners, will be East India Dock which has a DLR station nearby.

London Thames Gateway Development Corporation boss Peter Andrews says: “We plan to overcome the challenges and obstacles such as roads and railways which have been making some of the most picturesque parts of London as accessible as buried treasure.

“The Fatwalk and the Lea River Park project will open up East London’s riverside to Londoners, creating a truly special place, while unlocking the immense regeneration potential within.”

LDA deputy CEO Peter Bishop adds: “With planning permission, the work on the Fatwalk can now go ahead and we can see the planned Lea River Park start to take shape. The Lea River Park is part of plans to build a lasting Olympic legacy in east London before the 2012 games.”

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