Greenwich Council looking to unnecessarily spend thousands on unneeded signage

Greenwich Council could be about to waste thousands of pounds on unneeded parking signs. Across all of London parking on pavements or areas off-road such as parks is illegal. A council only needs to install signs in areas where off-street parking is explicitly permitted such as on a narrow road with wide pavement.

Greenwich council appear to believe they have to put a sign up where pavement and off-road parking is not permitted and are planning to spend a large amount of money installing signs which is a completely unnecessary action.

The logical conclusion of this policy is that many streets across the borough would need signs installed at high cost, which the law doesn’t require, and with a consequent increase in street clutter and pavement obstacles.

So what excuse are they giving for looking to spend a large amount of money which isn’t needed? One reason is that some grassed areas by roads are classified by the council as ‘housing land’ and not ‘highways land’. This despite it fitting the legal category of highways land – which includes anything between private gardens on streets e.g. the road plus pavements and grassed areas beside roads.

A simple change of category would mean no signs being installed, no clutter and no money wasted. ‘Housing land’ normally refers to large expanses of greenery similar to parks in high density estates, which needs signs, and not things like this small strip of grass:

Greenwich want to spend £££ putting uneeded signs up every few metres at places like this
Greenwich want to spend £££ putting unneeded signs up every few metres at places like this

In most authorities everything between gardens here would come under highways land. Most councils know this, and also the wider rules on parking pavement in London and prominently place accurate information on their websites. Greenwich do not clearly state the law in contrast to many other authorities, and given this, I’m wondering if there are some staff that aren’t aware that London has a blanket ban compared to areas outside the capital, as well as categorising land incorrectly. The website for London councils clearly states the rules for London which can be seen here and what comprises highways land.

But it’s not just parking on greenery where they waste money on signage and street clutter. Greenwich recently spent tens of thousands of pounds extending parking zones. They spent money on installing additional new signs and placed new ones every five metres on pre-existing stretches, when they were every 10 metres before. They just slotted one in new one in between and kept the old.

It was unneeded, cost thousands and adds to visual mess on some street, andnot much use when some people just ignore them and they still do not enforce parking rules.

They’ve been informed numerous times about crap parking. It’s often the same cars in the same spots so master sleuthing skills aren’t exactly needed to stop it. But action is pretty much non-existent no matter where it happens. If you’re disabled or have young children and your path is blocked, sod off is there message.

BMW fence
BMW blocking entire path – seen a few days in Abbey Wood

To add insult to injury they are looking to waste this money (rather than enforcing existing rules in most areas and re-classifying some small bits of greenery) in areas such as Abbey Wood where the public realm is often terrible. Instead of spending money fixing the broken paving, fences, existing (and needed) signs, parks etc to create places that will induce walking and cycling, and people can take pride in, they blow it elsewhere.

On the face of it it’s quite trivial, but it’s symbolic – constant inaction causes problems to spread, which is also seen with a number of other issues. Then when something is decided it’s a poorly thought, expensive solution. Change the dated and incorrect classification of grass beside the road, then use existing laws. It’d be cheaper and more effective.

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

3 thoughts on “Greenwich Council looking to unnecessarily spend thousands on unneeded signage

  • Comon sence does not prevale.

  • Oh no way. There’s so much that needs investment in Abbeywood like parks, the raised beds which are full of weeds and lots more. To waste money on signs everywhere is madness. As you say, change the status of some greenery so signs aren’t put up all over if that’s whats needed. Loads of areas across the borough have grass areas that don’t have or need signs for rules to be enforced. Are they next or is their town correctly categorised? if so why is abbey wood different? Parking is terrible now here but act on that by standardising the status if that’s all it takes not bloody wasting money on signs!! I just despair at how they don’t do simple things but waste money whilst the area falls apart. You can bet they will put in cheap crap too as most ‘improvements’ Abbeywood has had for years didnt have much care put in.

  • Pingback: Greenwich town centre to see millions spent from 2016 | fromthemurkydepths

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