Greenwich Council have announced a number of events to encourage people to get active and ditch the car.
Nothing wrong with that. A great idea which would hopefully cause a shift in behaviour and lessen pollution.
The only issue is that two of five planned locations are at Charlton retail parks which are pretty crap to navigate on foot – and where much money to improve the situation sit in council coffers unspent.
Bugsby’s Way runs through Charlton retail parks. Sainsbury’s opened recently and saw £512,000 in Section 106 income allocated to public realm improvements (click to enlarge)
Brocklebank Retail Park with Primark and Aldi opened last year. More money allocated. No apparent work done.
Death of town centres?
The rise in retail sheds and parks in Charlton and Greenwich is also to the detriment of long-established town centres such as Woolwich that are well served by public transport.
The roadshow site in Charlton is a stones throw from a new school opening in September where no new crossings are to be installed on adjacent dual carriageways.
Mobile stands encouraging people to walk can be created all year round if they like but if the reality is dangerous, ugly and hostile streets people are jumping back in their cars.
It’s no substitute for actual street improvements and modern design – and that is sorely lacking.
I wish it all the best, and hope it does change some attitudes rather than a tokenistic exercise at the expense of actual street improvements.
What is needed is a radical change in approach from the Council and Highways Department. And that also means a greater focus on using Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy income.
Oh, and I got this far without mentioning Silvertown Tunnel!