There is in the City of London a strange dead-end – an elevated walkway that ends with you peering precariously over a steep drop. A pedway to nowhere.

The pedways were an idealistically flawed idea of the City to build elevated walkways above the roads so that pedestrians and motorists wouldn’t need to interact. However, no one told the pedestrians who stuck to the road level pavement and stubbornly refused to go upstairs and downstairs to use them. Plans to link up a number of built walkways into a city-wide network foundered.

A number of these marooned bits of unused walkway exist all over the city, so you might think this bit overlooking London Wall is a failed dead-end from the past.

In fact, it’s brand new — or at least the fact that it’s a dead-end is brand new, for this was once part of the pedway that actually worked, and ran above the noisy London Wall road towards Moorgate.

That was demolished recently though and the old 1970s offices replaced with modern new offices, and delightfully, a brand new and wonderful pedway built.

But the new pedway doesn’t link up with the old one, so here is a short spur of a dead end, where once a pedway existed. What makes it just a bit more fun is that while a new barrier was added to stop people walking off the edge, they’ve left the old direction signs in place.

This way for the Museum of London, but don’t go that way to get to Bank. Well, not over the edge at least.

It’s one of those odd little quirks of the city that’s worth seeking out just for the sheer folly of its existence.

Google Street View 2008

Google Street View 2019

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9 comments on “The pedway to nowhere
  1. Ronan says:

    The reason it’s a dead end is that a lovely new bit of replacement Pedway was build just meters to the north of this picture.

  2. Melvyn says:

    I’m on the Pedway to nowhere …..

    There are a number of places where buildings were built with an open level no doubt with future plans for more Pedways but development of adjacent sites did not take place and so these areas never got used . I’m thinking of a development further along London Wall near Liverpool Street Station which looks like it had provision for future Pedway but development didn’t occur at adjacent buildings?

    • Chris Rogers says:

      You probably mean Dashwood House, Old Broad St, which did indeed have a staircase from that road up to its pedway which was also complete with a dead end – a flying spur that literally ended in the wall of the building – but also continues round the building and goes over London Wall via the big concrete bridge you still see. Sadly the next bit, that took you THROUGH 99 Bishopsgate and out at the foot of Tower 42 was destroyed in the last couple of year. Feel free to contact me through my website for more.

  3. Sam Mac says:

    I’m guessing you wrote this article Ian (https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2018/04/02/londons-pedways-are-back-and-theyre-magnificent/). I just read it there for the first time and it’s incredibly poetic. You have a real flourish with writing that you should unleash more, although I imagine some of the topics you write out, whilst very interesting, don’t lend themselves too well to this level of detail.

  4. MilesT says:

    These do work in a number of midwestern US cities…mainly because “outside” is pleasant for 2 months, twice a year, before an extreme of temperature (+wind maybe) kicks in for a few months.

    The sort of place that has two seasons…snowploughing and roadworks.

  5. Pete Jenkins says:

    We’ve got one of those at East Croydon Station. New bridge built over platforms for two new entrances/exits a few years ago. One is fine – the other stops short by a few metres of what would be a good short cut. Developers holding out for more money no doubt.

  6. SteveP says:

    I used to work right there. Loved getting lost in the Barbican at lunch time 🙂

    What works is to sink the cars underground and leave the surface for peds and cyclists. A small grade to a car is nothing but certainly discourages pedestrians – plus they can’t interact with retail, etc.

    One does have to wonder about architects sometimes. I frequent an airport that has its car hire firms across the access road from the terminals. For pedestrian access, they sank a tunnel. Which means you have to hang on for dear like to the 50kg trolley down hill and then huff and puff the darn thing up the hill on the other end. Meanwhile, the cars get to cruise by on the level…

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