This is a route I have used from time to time but I have habitually used the A127 route when heading north. There is some benefit in this route – it is on road but it is quiet and links up with the Town Ring Road. It is obviously a route the council want cyclists to take since some junctions have cycle lanes marked out.
Starting at the top of Avenue Road you can cross London Road via a Toucan crossing and head north on Brigthen Road via a contraflow cycle lane.
This then joins North Road. At the junction with Tudor Road, you follow cycle lanes that take you into a contraflow up Tudor Road to West Street.
Ideally, you would simply cross West Street and go into Shakespeare Drive but the flow of traffic there is against you and there is no contraflow, so you have to turn left on to West Street briefly to turn right into Gainsborough Drive which you can follow all the way to Prittlewell Chase. Here you can join the route for the A127 I outline here.
Once at Prittlewell Chase I tried to reverse the route. Due to the Chase being dual carriageway you can’t just turn back to Gainsborough Drive. So I used Cleveland Drive to head south, using Shakespeare Avenue to get back to Gainsborough. At Fairfax Drive, Gainsborough becomes one-way and so to continue heading south you make a dog leg to the left down Shakespeare Drive, and then simply reverse the route.
When I did this, I briefly headed north on Shakespeare Drive to see if it connected with the Prittlewell Path, my thinking is that you can get on the path from Gainsborough and so cut out the bit on Fairfax Drive. Alas, it doesn’t: the Prittlewell Brook and a fence gets in the way… Perhaps this could be opened up with a bridge to the path…?
All in all though, it’s not a bad little route. I will have to try and remember to use it a bit more. Perhaps it is a route the council could look to develop.