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.
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?