TfL have revealed plans to install 350 extra cycle parking places at North Greenwich station by the end of the year. According to TfL, “the two new hubs will be able to cater for all types of bikes, including handcycles and cargo bikes, and will have bike maintenance tools as well as lighting and CCTV.”
Clearly this is welcome as thousands of homes are now under construction in the near vicinity. With buses already packed and cuts to TfL’s operating budget imminent, dissuading people from short hop bus use is a must.
Along those same lines, Greenwich council were recently consulting on a quietway from East Greenwich to the Peninsula:
I’m not sure it’ll achieve a great deal. Like many quietways, it’s mostly a few signs stuck up in backstreets and a bike marking painted on the road. This won’t solve the problem of far too many currently people put off cycling. Highly visible, safe, segregated lanes on direct routes do far more to change behaviour.
The cycleway encourages people to use the bridge over the Blackwall tunnel approach road. Here’s the approach to it from the south:
Not the most appealing. It’s far from enticing or welcoming, leading to a secluded area hidden from view.
North of the bridge and decent links to the river exist. The bridge entrance is far more open and visible.
What needs improving here is a direct and clearly marked cycle crossing from the bridge to the lane on the right, which begins outside Pizza Hut and runs along Commercial Way and Southern Way.
Meanwhile the main roads and routes under the Blackwall approach road are still clusterfucks of design as I’ve banged on about for years. Sort that out and a sea change in cyclist numbers should occur.
Some major problems are the huge roundabouts more suited to rural A roads than a rapidly urbanising area. Newham and other groups are showing the way just over the Thames at the Royal Docks. Over the next two years large roundabouts will become junctions, with other public realm and cycling improvements planned as development completes at Royal Wharf and Silvertown Quays gets underway, to name but two large schemes.
Turning roundabouts in Greenwich into junctions would greatly help pedestrian and cycling links. There is scope to add cycle lanes by narrowing central reservations and utilising grassed areas along roads. It’s dire for bikes and pedestrians. A pedestrian is shown trying to cross where no crossing facilities exist:
The council may be waiting for future cycle superhighway work to solve some of these issues. That seems optimistic given that TfL’s latest five year budget plan once again fails to mention Cycle Super Highway 4 at all, nor even plans to commence consultation. Both main mayoral candidates seem lukewarm, and TfL’s budget squeeze in coming years doesn’t bode well.
Other plans are likely to be needed to solve the myriad flawed roads, roundabouts and junctions in Greenwich. I don’t want to be too harsh on Greenwich council’s cycling officers. Some appear to be doing a decent job in difficult circumstances, but there’s real doubts any real transformative change is coming soon unless other options are considered. Otherwise it could be a long wait for changes, if they happen at all, which the area cannot afford with thousands of homes, new schools and additional businesses imminent.