Greenwich Peninsula busway converts to dual carriageway today

The controversial busway on Greenwich Peninsula today converts to a standard dual carriageway after nearby 20 years in operation.

The busway at West Parkside saw a two way bus-only road directly next to a two way general traffic road instead of a standard two lane dual carriageway in each direction.

Bus-only road nearest to camera. Two way general traffic on other side

It was built for a guided busway around the Millennium which never worked.

Pedestrians crossing the road were often caught out and collisions had occurred over the years.

The changes today see no loss of capacity to buses or other general traffic. Bus lanes are on the new layout.

TfL had consulted on plans in recent years.

The busway was one of only two TfL managed roads on the Peninsula. The other being the A102 Blackwall tunnel approach. All other roads are Greenwich Council controlled.

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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.

7 thoughts on “Greenwich Peninsula busway converts to dual carriageway today

  • That was very sudden after being talked about for so long, but very welcome. No more sitting at over-complicated junctions while the traffic lights work out how to deal with one car and one bus going in the same direction. Having got used to making sure I looked in the “wrong” direction when crossing the road, I will though now have to avoid subconsciously expecting a vehicle to turn a particular way at junctions depending on whether or not it’s a bus.

    Perhaps next the enormous roundabout leading to the south end of the bus station can be replaced by a simple crossroads. I’ve never yet been on a bus which has gone round it the right way when turning into the bus station.

  • It wasn’t just collisions – there were two deaths, one at John Harrison Way and one at Commercial Way. There were several other occasions where people were airlifted off the road to hospital, but survived. As far as I am aware ALL of these collisions were with buses. There were also numerous witnesses to buses jumping the lights – many people videoed instances of it. It has been commonplace to see vehicles turning into the busway and driving up it the wrong way.

    As questions began to be asked about the busway by local people and councillors – from around 2010 – it emerged that TfL did not monitor its use. However local attempts to get safety measures installed met with considerable resisitance from them. The three current councillors should be congratulated for sticking with calls for changing this dangerous system.

    Greenwich Council may well now manage the roads on the Peninsula. They have not always done so. Roads on the Peninsula were designed by the New Millennium Experience Co working for the Goverment and were intended for servicing, and emergency exit from the Millenniium Dome. This includes Peartree Way which has added greatly to the dangers of the flyover roundabout on Woolwich Road. After 2000 a body was set up under English Partnerships consisting of developers and London transport planners.

    Blackwall Lane and Horn Lane are of course traditional roads, along with Riverway which has more or less disappeared. Bugsby’s Way was owned and designed by the Council when the Peninsula was still industrial as access to local factories – but planning consents for big shed shops were forced through by the Planning Inspectorate.

    I don’t know also if people are aware that West Parkside is more or less on the line of a railway – which was, helpfully, removed by New Millennium Experience Co. (and I could say a thing or two about that too!)

    (PS – I worked on some of the road lauyouts in my job up to 1999, and then was councillor for the area from 2000 . just in case you wondered how I knew)

  • It was total chaos up there this evening. All the big roundabouts were blocked, and just to get passed the IKEA set up was a nightmare. Why have they closed off the road through to the B&Q and the Odeon by the petrol station? Cars were jamming up the garage just to turn around. It is going to be a no go for cars there soon.

  • Not sure it works for buses at all. Major queues at the traffic lights approaching the O2 today. Some buses just let everyone off before the traffic lights it was taking so long to go through.

    At a time when tfl is meant to be promoting public transport use and with the new IKEA opening so far the change isn’t working at all.

    They need to sort out the traffic light system if it is going to work, or sort out proper bus lanes. Shambles at the moment.

    • I’m writing up a post about i at the moment. Are cars in the bus lane a factor?

      • Yes, I’ll try and take some pictures tomorrow.

        At the moment, and I do not know whether this will change, not all of the left hand lane is solely for buses (probably only about 50% of West Parkside is actually bus lane only). Now without that exclusive bus lane use, buses are combining with cars and therefore it is taking ages for the buses to make progress. For all the possible bad points about the old layout, buses were able to make really quick progress all the way from the O2 to the road turning just after Millennium Leisure Park because they had sole use of that entire stretch of road.

        Adding to the problems are the traffic lights at W Parkside/Edmund Halley Way which are temporary ones at the moment. If you don’t get through at first try, you’ve got a long wait until they will change again (which is where people were just being let off the buses to walk the rest of the way to North Greenwich tube) and this again is delayed by the fact that buses and cars in this area are all using the same bit of road with no exclusive bus lane in existence.

        I’ve no idea how this change has come to pass in this haphazard manner. There were cons to the previous layout but from a public transport perspective it worked really well. To make this change successful Greenwich Council needs to ensure an exclusive bus lane down the whole of West Parkside and also sort out the traffic light system (a roundabout would be much better than the lights at W Parkside/Edmund Halley Way). But at the moment it is not working at all and is complete chaos at rush hour. At a time when TFL is reducing the bus service, if this change adds multiple minutes onto the journey of each bus it might bring the whole bus service to its knees.


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