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Greenwich Council and TfL pass the buck on sorting lethal Greenwich roundabout

Dangerous, ugly and an all-round mess for many years

Greenwich Council have responded to a petition calling on authorities to improve Woolwich Road roundabout after 1863 signatures was presented last October.

The roundabout saw a fatality last May and another in 2009 and is situated near to the forthcoming Ikea. Many other collisions have occurred.

Railings are a dangerous to cyclists being squeezed against them

The council’s response to the petition has some snippets of interest. It appears Greenwich Council do manage this roundabout located underneath the Blackwall Tunnel A102 approach flyover (which is TfL controlled). We knew they managed many roads in the area but not the roundabout itself.

What rankles a little bit is a desire to pass blame onto TfL – and whilst justified in some ways can overlook their own lack of action.

They rightfully criticise TfL on removing the roundabout from a “safer junctions” scheme and then scrapping Cycle Superhighway 4 between Greenwich and Woolwich, which is now back on the agenda.

Greenwich claim they are lobbying hard for TfL funds and the scope of an entire reworking is beyond small-scale Local Implementation Plan funds they receive annually from TfL.

However, could smaller-scale interim measures still have been enacted years ago?

Just this week I’ve reported that Greenwich Council have still not had authorisation to use CCTV for traffic violations. Something most authorities gained approval for many years ago and Greenwich have been talking about for years. That could help with poor driving standards and people jumping red lights.

Then there’s funding. In 2015 £50,000 was due to be spent on the area from a previous Highways Improvement scheme named HILLS.

In addition, back in 2011 LIP funds were supposed to have been spent on the area:

  • £274,000 in Greenwich on the A206 / Trafalgar Road, SE10 ( from Lassell St to Armitage Rd incl. Blackwall Lane Junction)
  • £100,000 at the Woolwich Road/Blackwall tunnel approach roundabout

Not huge sums and they wouldn’t have permitted wholesale changes but interim measures to increase safety could have been enabled.

But nothing appears to have been done.

In addition a huge number of developments in the area have brought tens of millions of pounds into council coffers. How much of that could have been used? Ikea alone brought in £1.7 million for transport improvements to give a sense of scale. Think about all the large supermarkets and depots in the area that would have brought additional money in.

Both at fault

It’s hard to give much credit to TfL or Greenwich Council for the mess. Both seem to pass the buck instead of take responsibility.

The report again mentions some improvements using Local Implementation Plan funds but we’ve heard it before. LIP funds weren’t spent in 2011.

In Plumstead High Street LIP funds also remain unspent almost two years past a deadline and in Abbey Wood funds were spent – and within weeks two serious accidents occurred due to poor design.

How many more accidents will it take at this roundabout?

2 Comments

  1. Graham

    Both Greenwich Council and TFL need to take action on this notorious roundabout as soon as possible.They should both be making this a priority. IKEA opens in just a few weeks which will see increase traffic and pedestrians in this area.

    Public transport has not be increased increased in this area for years.Funding offered by Developers to improve public transport in this area was not taken up by TFL or Greenwich Council. Developers also offered money for transport improvements to extend the 202 route to this area from Blackheath when the new Sainsburys Store opened.

    The street lighting under the Woolwich Road Flyover and on Pear Tree Way has not been working for years. Which makes using this roundabout more dangerous for cyclist and pedestrians. However, I think TFL are responsible for the street lighting here rather than Greenwich Council to be fair.

    This is a very dangerous roundabout and improvements need to be implemented as soon as possible, Both TFL and Greenwich Council should be making Road Safety a top priority.

  2. CDT

    I used this roundabout yesterday evening (Friday 18th January) at around 19:45 hours and saw two cars parked on the side of the road of the roundabout that had a minor collision. Although one of the cars had lost all of its back bumper has this was still lying in the road.

    As part of the improvements to his dangerous junction I would like to see all the traffic lights set to go in sequence so all lines of traffic move around this junction separately. This may add a minute or two to journey but at least everyone moves around this dangerous roundabout safely.

    Road safety must be a top priority of motorist, cyclist both (pedal and motorbike) and pedestrians.

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