Murky Depths

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Greenwich

How’s the Greenwich Low Emission Neighbourhood scheme looking?

A couple of years ago it was announced that parts of Greenwich were to receive funds as part of a Low Emission Neighbourhood scheme. Much physical change was centred around Trafalgar Road.

Guardrail gone

Things have improved since I wrote a post about work carried out back in March. There were flaws at that time such as raised paving at junctions lacking tactile paving.

March 2019

This is now rectified. Who paid I wonder for having to do the work again?

I’d go so far to say this was the least annoying walk down the road’s narrow paving since I can remember. It was actually enjoyable to stroll along. Much of the street clutter has gone meaning less jostling for space with pedestrians while walking.

Guardrails have gone from long stretches which used to wedge pedestrians into small spaces. Much does still remains at the junction near the Greenwich Centre sadly, though parts have gone even here and it makes the world of difference. The area suddenly feels far more open and pleasant as a place to walk.

It’s be nice if it stayed this way but plans for a pocket park saw a wall and bushes take the place of guardrails. Then again it also foresaw a table tennis table beside the road which was quite widely derided. It’s not a healthy spot for kids to play.

Despite improvements for pedestrians along the road traffic was still dire and it wasn’t even peak time. Two Ambulances were held up in the time I walked the length of the road. Still, getting more people to walk means better streets and it is a better street. Small steps…

Removing barriers works wonders for appearance and feel of a place – sadly traffic is dire

Though it is hard to see car use and congestion reducing here particularly if Silvertown Tunnel goes ahead. Some wishing to avoid newly installed tolls at Blackwall will be heading along here to reach the free Rotherhithe Tunnel.

Wands separating cycle lane from other vehicles

The cycle lane also is more pronounced with limited use of wands and raised sections, though some have criticised these as being dangerous – particularly if a car is parked. On this walk though for the first time in a long, long time no cars were parked and a traffic warden was patrolling. Hiring more staff paying off?

No parked cars

Greenwich Council will also make a mint at this junction from the yellow box which is ignored by many. The borough is one of just three authorities in London to have never sought approval to use cameras for traffic infringements though that changes at the end of 2019.

Vehicles jostling for position on yellow box

A number of pocket parks are underway. One is near Tesco. Not much to go on yet as it’s at an early stage:

Pocket Park

A number of options were on the table for this spot including this proposal:

Taken as a whole recent work has undoubtedly lifted the street. Some really small changes have led to a big improvement in how the area now feels. Dated design from the 1970s is finally going.

Before improvement work

The next change will be a big one and that’s improving the junction. If a wall is installed where guardrails existed we’ll know the general layout – and car primacy – of this junction is here to stay.

The junction is a big job -and not easy

And then there’s Woolwich Road to the east and links to the Peninsula to the north. We know some work is planned soon on approaches to the notorious Angerstein roundabout underneath the Blackwall Tunnel approach but not what is planned. It’s due in November this year.  Slowly but surely this area is improving.

In terms of traffic and the title of this scheme being the Low Emission Neighbourhood; well there’s no sign of that given traffic is still at very high levels and promises to rise higher still if Silvertown Tunnel gets the green light.

And locally many people won’t switch from cars en masse for local trips until improvements are seen in a wider area. Linking the Peninsula and east Greenwich is a fundamental aspect of that. Let’s hope this scheme is the first of many improvements in the area.

I’ll end with a nice little street improvement:

Unfinished but already a big improvement

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4 Comments

  1. JFP

    Thanks for your tireless campaigning on these issues. It’s so important that we have people like you championing these issues and keeping the council honest

  2. Chris

    I think you’ll find that the Rotherhithe tunnel will have tolls as well.

    If traffic is flowing well through the Blackwall & Silvertown tunnels there may be less traffic on these roads.

    The existing queues for much of the day encourage drivers to go for alternatives.

  3. Lorelie Wilson

    I think that most if the problems with queuing traffic along Trafalgar rd is due there being about 4 sets of traffic lights in about 500 meters. Once you get past these going towards Greenwich and onto the Romney rd section the traffic is clear. I often wonder if the traffic lights were linked so that they were all green at the same time, it might help to alleviate the stop start traffic. However I’m not a traffic engineer.

  4. CDT

    JFP Murky is a brilliant journalist and brings us a lot of information we do not get from elsehwere including Greenwich Council.

    There are also two other local journalist 853 and Charlton Champion and between the three of them they keep us up to date with what is happening around the Borough.

    With regard to the traffic congestion at this busy junction with Blackwall Lane, Vanbrugh Hill, Woolwich Road and Trafalgar Road I cannot see any improvements to the traffic congestion for the forseeable future. This is a major route used to get in to Central London.

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