As with Abbey Wood, the arrival of Crossrail is sited as the reason. It will cost £30,000 for this expansion. More than a third of that is on consultants and fees. Just £13,000 of that is for the lines and signs. Will they put up more clutter or add signs to existing street furniture where possible?
The money comes from TfL’s annual £3.5 million award to Greenwich Council through the Local Implementation Plan. We are still waiting to hear more information on what £150,000 for Plumstead High Street will cover, £50,000 for Trafalgar Road in Greenwich and £120,000 on Eynsham Drive in Abbey Wood. All areas with much scope for improvement.
Requests for information from Greenwich deputy leader Danny Thorpe (and councillor for Shooters Hill) have resulted in re-sending almost year-old documents containing very little information. The promised consultations havn’t arrived yet either with no start date given. When asked for more public information, as other councils such as Lewisham provide, Danny Thorpe stated providing information is “producing more paper”:
Below we see the kind of information that Lewisham Council had in the public domain almost a year ago as a result of consulting regularly with residents at ward meetings:
There’s many more. Here’s the sum total of information Greenwich provide for each area with no detail on each plan:
Eynsham Drive, Plumstead High Street and Trafalgar Road could all do with better pedestrian environments, public realm, greenery and welcoming shopping areas. Given Greenwich Council’s previous action over the past decade and lack of openness and consultation again this year, the fear is we’ll only see a lot more signs and street clutter plus consultants fees.
Danny Thorpe does more on Twitter than some of his colleagues but a failure to engage is often apparent. Many would be happy even with a response of “I don’t know and will look into it” when it comes to consultation on such large amounts of public money that can do so much good. Something like a weekly blog of what’s happening would also go a long way too. It’s 2017 – use Facebook, a personal website or the council page to let people know what’s happening.
It is believed Greenwich Council will hire more parking wardens soon – five has been cited. It was recently revealed that Greenwich Council have never had a full compliment of parking wardens, and even if they had the full number would still be below many London authorities. This is a factor in continued low revenue from parking (£9 million since 2011/12) as well as endemic poor parking borough wide.
Whether five more wardens is enough to monitor the newly expanded zones and the problems borough wide remains to be seen.
Just today the Fire Brigade Union revealed that badly parked cars and bollards were a major factor in fire engines not being able to reach the Grenfell fire.