A photograph taken on my route to work: Savoy Circus on the A40 in London 28/03/2008
I only cycle this way on the way home from work. Cyclists and pedestrians share an undifferentiated path along the A40 which is something that makes me uncomfortable since there are a great number of footpaths and openings along the way as well as several bus stops and I dislike being the danger rather than being in danger. However, the Westway traffic is so heavy and, with a great number of the vehicles being vans and lorries, I stick to the path.
I always get Savoy Circus and Gypsy Corner mixed up in my head though I only cycle up to Gypsy Corner when I decide for whatever mad reason to cycle further along the A40. If you get your timing right you can scoot across this junction saving yourself that all important cyclist's wait – you know, the excuse that some cyclists use to explain why they go through red lights – it takes so much effort to get up to speed again – yadda yadda – in this case, it’s practically legitimate because you are really just pretending you are cycling on the road and going with the road traffic (except you were on the pavement before).
It is always extraordinarily busy at this junction as traffic heads out west along the Western Avenue. It is where Old Oak Common Lane, Old Oak Road, the Westway and the Western Avenue intersect and is one of only two sets of traffic lights on the Western Avenue (the other is at Gypsy Corner). According to Wikipedia, and on subjects like this I never doubt Wikipedia, Savoy Circus is named after the roundabout that was once at this junction. I’ve tried to find some old photographs but have failed. I am convinced that I have seen some but I fear they were in an actual book.
After this junction, it is uphill towards Perryn Road bridge which goes over the railway line that carries London Overground trains. Railway lines terribly constrict people’s ability to get around London (and presumably elsewhere where unfettered construction was allowed in the Victorian era) and this is the only point I am able to cross this railway except for the level crossing at Churchfield Road further south which is the way I take in the mornings. There is also a steeply stepped footbridge inbetween which is jolly hard work with a bike.