Lee Valley Regional Park

Park Development Framework

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Road Network

Where are we now?

Pedestrian and cycle

There is an excellent range of walking and cycling routes throughout the Park.

A number of strategic routes pass through, and link sites, within the Park - most notably the Lea Valley Walk, the London Loop and the Capital Ring. These offer opportunities for the long distance as well as the local or casual walker. In addition there are a variety of other named routes within the Park each offering a range of walking experiences. Notably these include the Lee Valley Pathway (an alternative north / south route to the Lee Valley Walk), and others promoted across the ‘Get Active in the Lee Valley Regional Park - 40 routes to explore and discover’ campaign.

Cyclists are also well catered for. The River Lee Country Park, in particular, is a key ‘hot spot’ for cycling, with 6 routes of varying length, while cycle hire facilities are available in the Park at Old Mill and Meadows (Broxbourne), and at Stonebridge Lock (Tottenham Marshes).


There is a small provision of bridle routes within the Park. These are limited to Walthamstow Marshes (in the vicinity of Lee Valley Riding Centre) and along the boundary of Gunpowder Park. While there has been work on developing comprehensive routes into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with the ODA, further initiatives are required to design and develop additional bridleways.


The access potential of the waterways within the Park is considerable. The River Lee Navigation links the River Stort Navigation in the north of the Park, with the Regents’ and Grand Union Canals in the south via the Hertford Union Canal and the Limehouse Cut finally arriving at the River Thames. The Lee Navigation provides a recreational and potential commercial water route throughout the length of the Park. The recently completed navigation enhancement work at Three Mills Lock and the Bow Back Rivers will add to the quality and multifunctionality of the current provision.

The Authority operates two marina sites, one at Springfield on the lower reaches of the River Lee (200 Berths) and the other at Stanstead Abbotts (200 berths) in the north that is situated within a mile of the confluence of the Lee and Stort.

The Lee Valley Boat centre at Broxbourne offers boats for hire and passenger boats for pleasure trips. These provide a means of accessing different riverside areas of the Park.

British Waterways (BW) is currently identifying sites in the lower Lee Valley for the development of a water bus service. This is planned to be operational in 2011, in order to provide transport to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. BW anticipates that sufficient demand and consumer interest will have been generated by this proposal, in order to ensure its success.


Vehicle access into the Park relies on the busy ‘A’ roads that cross the Park, as well as on local roads that track the Park boundary (and which, in a few cases, cross from east to west). For example, Sewardstone Road and the Crooked Mile follow the eastern edge of the Park south and north of the M25 respectively. These ‘edge roads’ provide vehicle access into the Park at key points serving existing facilities e.g. the River Lee Country Park and Lee Valley Park Farms off the Crooked Mile, and Gunpowder Park off Sewardstone Road.

In the north there are a number of local roads that cross the Park (including one toll road operated by Thames Water), and which enhance vehicle access. However most of these edge and crossing roads also function as local distributor roads and carry heavy commercial and industrial traffic.

Further south, a concentrated road network provides routes in to the Park. However all these are heavily trafficked. Recent work for the Lea Bridge Road Planning Framework identified a series of measures to alter perceptions of the road; from its current restricted north south access, to its development as a ‘Park Road’.

What do we want to achieve?

To build on the existing network of paths, cycle ways, bridleways, and waterways to develop a route network that provides full coverage of the Park.

To provide a network that will link Park entrances with key visitor facilities and features, and provide a range of recreational experiences for Park visitors, as well as offroad routes for day-to-day community use.

We believe there are three key elements to this future network:

1. Primary pedestrian and cycle route network

  • We want to develop a primary pedestrian and cycle route which will provide a core network of high quality, all weather, shared use routes linking Park entrances, key visitor facilities and sites of interest.
  • This will include routes through the Park that will encourage recreational use and provide an off-road alternative for more functional day-to-day uses (e.g. commuting, school routes, shopping etc).
  • The primary route network will also integrate existing strategic and other routes from beyond the Park boundary (including existing ‘named’ routes), to create a range of ‘circular’ routes through the Park.

2. Pedestrian and cycle secondary route network

  • We want to develop a secondary route network that will provide a more diverse range of routes. This will offer a range of surface types, gradients, and experiences in keeping with the specific local character of the area.
  • The secondary route network will be fully integrated and accessible from the primary network.

3. Specific use route networks

  • We want to develop a range of routes that meet the needs of specific users. Many of these routes can be shared and will form part of the primary and secondary route network. These specific use routes include:
  • Mountain bike trails – to be located in appropriate areas of the Park. These will be designed to protect biodiversity values and avoid conflict with other recreational users.
  • Bridleway network – to provide routes through the Park that link with the established bridleway network outside the Park boundary.
  • Water – we want to facilitate and support use of the navigation as a recreational, leisure and commercial transport network.
  • Vehicle routes – we want to ensure vehicle routes (non highway) within the Park provide appropriate levels of vehicle access to features and facilities that they serve. Wherever possible, these routes will function as shared surface routes forming part of the primary pedestrian/ cycle network.
  • Rail – we will try to ensure accessibility issues presented by the rail network are minimised wherever possible.

How will we deliver?

For the Whole Park

We will

  • Continue to develop further sections of the Lea Valley Pathway, and work towards a continuous walking and cycling route on the eastern side of the Park.

On our estate

We will

  • Undertake a comprehensive route network audit and prepare a design framework that will provide:
    • An assessment of the current route network provision and standards.
    • Proposals for achieving the primary and secondary route network, to link all appropriate modes of transport with Park entrances, key visitor facilities and features.
    • A prioritised project action plan directing future investment.

Working with others

We will

  • Explore opportunities for overcoming existing barriers to access and delivering a comprehensive primary route network throughout Park.
  • Continue to work with key partners such as the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation (LTGDC) on the delivery of the Fatwalk to provide improved walking and cycling access through to Three Mills and East India Dock Basin in the south of the Park.
  • Work with the Olympic Park Legacy Company and the proposed Mayoral Development Corporation in the delivery of routes which connect the Regional Park with the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
  • Continue to work with British Waterways and other partners to improve access and recreational use of the canals and towpaths and their potential for water based passenger transport.


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