ROUTE SAFTEY UPDATE: Unfortunately there has been a rise in crime on the section of the route between Paarden Eiland and the city. The Pedal Power Association has issued a warning that the Paarden Eiland cycle lane is best to be avoided until the security issue has been addressed. We suggest that if you still plan to cycle this route that you do so in large groups, but be aware that the incidence of crime and muggings is increasing.
Commuting from the Northern Suburbs to the Cape Town CBD is made easy by the flat, traffic-free cycleway that runs down the West Coast and into the city! The route is incredibly scenic, with sweeping views of Table Mountain and the city. As it runs parallel to the MyCiti bus network, you can easily hop on the bus if you don’t want to cycle home, or if the wind starts blowing.
The route starts in Bloubergstrand and follows the cycleway that runs alongside the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route on the West Coast Road (R27). The cycleway is completely separate from the roadway, enabling you to cycle comfortably and not worry about vehicles or traffic jams! There are also security guards at all bus stations, CCTV cameras and lighting along the route.
For local commuters this route enables them to skip the R27 grid-lock and cycle easily into town. During peak hours, the journey to town by bike is much quicker than by car, often reducing commute time by 15-20mins! For tourists and locals the route provides traffic-free access to Milnerton Beach, Tableview beachfront and the scenic Table Bay Nature Reserve.
As the route passes through the Northern Suburbs, it is joined by feeder routes through from Big Bay, Parklands, Bloubergstrand, Tableview, Milnerton and Century City, Bothasig, Milnerton and Montague Gardens, Woodbridge Island, Lagoon Beach and others. Use our map above to see how to connect to the feeder route to and from your suburb.
If you are cycling into the CBD, continue to follow the route along the R27. Just opposite the Milnerton Market, turn left into Milner Street. You will cross over the R27 at the pedestrian /bicycle crossing and get onto a paved cycleway that follows the BRT route through Paarden Island. (Currently the Paarden Eiland cycle lane is a no go area because of an increase in crime)
This section of the BRT route (from Paarden Island to central Cape Town) is used exclusively for the MyCiti buses, pedestrians and bicycles – no cars are allowed! The cycle lanes continues to run alongside the bus lanes as the route weaves through the backyards of warehouses, factories and container yards.
At the Lower Church Street Bridge, we suggest getting off the BRT route. Although the cycle lane does continue, car-free along Old Marine Drive, this section of the BRT (from the Lower Church St. bridge to the Civic Centre) is unfortunately a high crime area – it is very isolated and there have been frequent muggings. If you are cycling alone, or at night it is much safer to cycle on the other route. Leave the cycleway by heading up the ramp and onto the Lower Church Street bridge. Turn Left and cycle down to the intersection with Albert Road.
If you are cycling into the city centre, turn left onto the green Albert Road Cycle lane which runs all the way to intersection of Station Road (the Woodstock Exchange building). When using the lane, always be alert for cars parking or stopping in the cycle lanes (this is illegal and you can report the offenders to the City of Cape Town). Follow our safe cycling tips and keep at least a meter from parked cars to avoid getting doored.
Once on Albert Road, you have two options when entering the city:
The busier, but more direct route…
Continue along Albert Road/ New Market Street and into Strand Street. The traffic can be especially heavy in Strand Street. At the Cape Town Railway Station turn left onto the cycle lane that runs up Adderley Street. Be aware that this cycle lane is often blocked with parked cars or traders. If that is the case, rather take the lane and cycle with the traffic.
The quieter route ….
This is our prefered route and it can be used to access both the CBD, Fringe and Zonnebloem and Gardens areas. Continue along Albert Road until you reach Russell Street. Turn left into Russell St. and cycle under the overpass, heading right into Chapel Street. From here the route weaves through the quiet streets of District Six and Zonnebloem taking some savvy short cuts to bring you to the CBD.
For your return journey there is always the options of traveling home by bus. Bikes are allowed on the MyCiTi buses throughout the day (although this can be a bit tricky during peak hours when they are packed with commuters) and are carried free of charge! You need a Myconnect card to use the MyCiTi service. Find out more about taking you bike on board.
West Coast Route photograph credit Jonathan Cherry @camissabicycles