Murky Depths

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Greenwich borough

Greenwich residents complain of rat-running and seek street closures

Courtesy Google

Residents in east Greenwich are lobbying Greenwich Council to act on rat-running and pavement parking on Colomb Street off Trafalgar Road.

The issue is before before Greenwich Council’s Highway’s Committee this Wednesday. Residents had asked for action back in 2010 but nothing happened.



The council’s response is to state another study will be carried out later this year and any scheme needs to be in a wider context and isn’t possible before 2020/21, while once again claiming only TfL will fund thorough the Local Implementation Plan.

They state: “The funding is provided by Transport for London, which allows for traffic management and safety improvements to the boroughs roads.”



Yet they can fund themselves with incoming TfL money used elsewhere. As we see across London, borough’s can supplement TfL money.

A separate scheme funded some work in the area – though neglected to include tactile paving for the disabled

It seems a common strategy for the authority (see the nearby Angerstein roundabout) to state others must fund and ignore the issue of Greenwich Council allocating less parking and developer income towards public spaces and streets than many other London Labour Councils, as figures for this year alone show:

  • Greenwich – £206k
  • Lewisham – £1.33m
  • Lambeth – £1.2m
  • Southwark – £765k
  • Ealing – £766k
  • Brent – £6 million
  • Camden – £5.26m

UPDATE: I’ve written a new post with figures from more London authorities here.

Greenwich are still firmly at the bottom of the list.

Greenwich Council can fund street improvements if desired.

And this is simply looking at funds related to TfL’s Local Implementation Plan which councils can top-up themselves. There’s ample other sources of income.

As a borough with one of the highest level of new builds in the UK, Greenwich Council are seeing more income from the New Homes Bonus scheme this year than the entire cities of Sheffield, Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester. The authority have received around £66 million since the scheme’s inception in 2011.

The authority also has more Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy income than the vast majority of UK authorities. The town of Greenwich has not exactly been short of developments the past decade. Many have brought money in within a stone’s throw of this site.

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6 Comments

  1. John

    I think walnut tree road was made no entry 2010 (after complaints from residents). The council didn’t want to do it because they thought it would be ignored, but they did.
    The signs went up and the constant stream of cars that go down that narrow road (with no front gardens) was halted.
    Then mysteriously, a few months later, the no entry signs disappeared. Not sure it was the council or some disgruntled driver.
    I think the poles with no sign maybe still there.

    The volume traffic going down Vanburgh Hill is 10x worse now than then. And quite frequently you see cars at loggerheads trying to go into Walnut Tree road and clashing with cars coming out of Column Street. It must be non-stop noise from about 6am on Column Street now.

    And… Of course with the car-park for the extra 600 households or so about to come on line in the Greenwich Centre… even more traffic.

  2. Suprised

    Is there some where Greenwich Council list the details of what they are spending this money on? If not, it feels like an FOI request should go in.

  3. Steve

    Thing is Greenwich council have over the past number of years closed all the back road routes running parallel to Trafalgar Road forcing everyone onto Trafalgar Road. The volume of traffic is therefore too high now, it’s frequently very hard to turn left at the lights from the bottom of Vanbrugh Hill onto Trafalgar Road and drivers use Walnut Tree Rd out of desperation more than a desire to cause locals harm.
    Trafalgar Road problems are compounded by several sets of traffic lights grouped together that are rarely all green and usually force traffic to drive along it at a snails pace at most times of the day.

  4. East Greenwich Resident

    I live on Walnut Tree Road and it’s a nightmare, cars constantly using it as a cut through and travelling at speed. For such a tight road it causes constant problems with drivers travelling at speed, near misses and loud noise. They turn into Colomb Street and have effectively turned that road into a one way street as a cut through to skip the lights at Vanbrugh Hill (still not convinced how effective this is personally).

    I’ve had my car hit before, and of course no one has left any insurance details causing costs (part of the course in London I guess).

    One thing I have noticed is that instead of heading down Colomb Street to go to Trafalgar road, increasingly I’m starting to see drivers cut down Walnut Tree Road and then turn left up Colomb Street to head towards Earlswood street and cut through there. As Colomb street has got busier and busier, drivers are now trying to skip the build up of traffic there.

    This is also in part due to apps like Waze, which automatically look for the quickest route, I often look at drivers windows to see if they have a greenwich parking badge in their windscreen, and very often it isn’t locals using it as a cut through, but those from outside the area.

    Walnut Tree Road should be no entry, going some way to fix the problem (as should rodmere street from Vanbrugh Hill/Trafalgar Road). For such lovely little streets, that are tight, it’s a real nightmare.

  5. John

    If the council designated Walnut Tree road as one way – but never un-designated it, maybe it would be a simple matter of putting the no-entry signs backup?
    If you look at Google maps – and go back to Oct 2016, you can see the posts for the no-entry signs – with the sign removed. The posts have been removed now.

    Oh and whats all the mopeds parked at the end of Walnut Tree Road? Workers on the Greenwich Centre? – If so, I can remember something in the planning about not using the surrounding streets for parking.. Maybe that was just for the original block…

  6. East Greenwich Resident

    I wonder if like you say it is designated as a one way street, but something has changed. Would be fantastic if the road was no entry and became one way, would solve a multitude of issues.

    As for the mopeds, they are construction workers at the site next door. Assuming they don’t get tickets like cars, although I might reach out to the main contractor on the site, Mace, and inform them of this. Thankfully they removed the 2 hour parking window during the day as the road was being used for people to park and go to the gym. I would probably enforce the EG parking restrictions 24 hours rather than during the day, once the new flats are fully built I can see even more residents from there trying to park without a permit in the evenings on Walnut Tree Road and surrounding roads.

    Another bug bear is how many cars back on both sides of Vanbrugh Hill in the evenings and at weekends (especially Sunday mornings) blocking traffic from both directions.

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