Greenwich street upgrades – dangerous for the disabled?

In recent months money has been spent altering streets around east Greenwich as part of a Low Emission Neighbourhood scheme.

It’s not exactly revelatory work, and with Ikea and a future Silvertown Tunnel the notion of “low emissions” can seem a bit of a joke in this area but nonetheless some decent ideas were on the table.

Looking east

However, now much work has been finished complaints have arisen from people stating some changes are dangerous for some disabled people and in particular the partially sighted. There are no tactile paving bumps at junctions – which have seen continuous paving installed.

The notion of continuous raised paving is fine and works well in many places as a way to slow cars and show primacy of pedestrians, but many areas use subtle hints and tactile paving to signify junctions, as seen here in Bromley:


Note the darker band signifying the road line. As well as that, warmer colour tones on pavement materials work so much better than the cold greys installed in east Greenwich – which also highlight dirt far more easily.

Dirt already very visible after a few weeks

A lot of this is pretty basic design. Not only is the paving cold and grey but there’s so little greenery too. As the pictures show, traffic was still solid. Low Emission Neighbourhood? Far from it.

I do feel though I shouldn’t criticise too much. They are trying here – which this website has long argued for and something notably absent across Greenwich borough for so long in so many areas. Some clutter has been removed and thumbs up for that.

Future pocket parks will also bring some greenery which is to be welcomed. So it’s far from all bad and there’s much to celebrate – but also evidence that there is still much to be done.




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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.

6 thoughts on “Greenwich street upgrades – dangerous for the disabled?

  • And binferl very strongly it’s dangerous for Children. There is a bus stop very near one road and my grandkids saw , and then ran straight for the bus with out seeing the change in pavement over the road.

  • Junction plans appear more basic than promised, though reduction in railings and clutter welcome (although something almost completely flattened old railings on the Greenwich centre corner this week, wonder what may have happened without them or maybe they caused it by lack of view: who knows?). Concerned that the LEN budget is running out as pocket parks has had a second public consultation. Rejigged plans much better but is there now much change in the pot for delivery? Still issues at Mell St where siting of community garden kit is, apparently, directly under people’s bedroom windows. Residents concerned with increased anti social behaviour as scheme provides too many places to sit at night (note ASB levels at Trinity Walk on Thames path, closed for river wall repairs, currently, and due to be reinstated as was; complete loss of opportunity to Design out Crime). Plans to totallly block off Mell Street pocket park might have to be binned due to practical objections plus Sam Manors block closed and due for demolition so not much Community ownership there. Would have been worth consulting residents better before coming up with grand, expensive plans, it wd seem. This one may well be stuck in consultation/binned altogether through a lack of immediate community engagement to shape plans. More money down drain. Can’t really corroborate as most heresay from public consultation meets. Worth keeping an eye on. Maybe dm EGRA

    • Thanks for the useful round up. The police pushed a car into those railings to stop a pursuit. Interesting use of them though not one that should really guide design! Without them they would have used “tactical contact” elsewhere to spin the car round.

  • I thought there was meant to be a pedestrian island at the intersection of Christchurch Way and a Trafalgar Road?

    And the pedestrian island further down is gone?!

    Worse for cyclists. Worst for calming speeding drivers.

  • Even if there is no pocket park on mell street I’d love it if it was blocked off. No throughfare is needed and about 4 or 5 cars speed up woodland grove doing 30-40mph a day. It’s madness. Reconfiguring the street to be thinner for cars might slow them but that’s an expensive option versus just blocking the mell street entrance.

  • Pingback: How's the Greenwich Low Emission Neighbourhood scheme looking? | Murky Depths

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