Murky Depths

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Greenwich

Greenwich Council remove segregated cycle lane measures weeks after installation

Greenwich Council have removed measures installed on Trafalgar Road in Greenwich to provide a light form of segregation for cyclists.

The work was installed as part of a  “Low Emission Neighborhood” scheme in east Greenwich – and is now gone weeks after installation.

The authority states they were removed due to pedestrians finding them a trip hazard. You could say cars are a death hazard but they havn’t gone. There is no confirmed word on what, if anything, will replace them.

Trafalgar Road

Some cyclists had criticised the bumps as being dangerous if hit – which was a danger in an area notorious for illegal parking and poor enforcement. Others had praised them for reducing poor parking and vehicles straying into cycle lanes.

Courtesy Google. “Wands” in Aldgate

Would so-called “wands” work better? In places they did exist though still attached to raised sections on the road.

Trafalgar Road wands. Maybe a ton of wooden bollards would be good?

Other Errors

If nothing is installed to replace those removed it makes a mockery of the low emission scheme. Beyond the scope of this project lies atrocious streets for those on foot and cycling as it is. Removing very modest changes reduces benefits to near zero.

Nearby junction mostly unchanged

It’s the latest mistake on a project that has seen errors from a council Highway Department often seen as operating with dated working methods and anti-pedestrian and cycling policies.

No tactile paving

Raised surfaces were installed at junctions but no tactile paving installed which saw criticisism from some partially-sighted pedestrians. Paving was ripped up and relaid weeks after installation.

Tactile paving installed

Design mistakes have been so prevalent the authority allocated £75,000 in March this year for staff training – though there are already modern design manuals available for the authority such as TfL’s Manual for Streets.

For years the authority has ignored modern design guides. One example was in Woolwich where a green central reservation (that was never cleaned) was removed after a year and guardrail installed.

Green central reservation lasted a year. Wasn’t maintained.

The Plumstead to Woolwich road upgrade just to the east also ended up looking like a motorway dumped in an urban area.


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There’s also the question of who is footing the bill for rectifying basic errors in design.

Much better

It’s a shame these issues are arising as a recent look at changes in east Greenwich revealed a street that is much better than the dated and cluttered area it was before.

One of the best parts was removing some railings at the major junction near the Greenwich Centre – though I fear further changes will remove a new-found feel of openness as more clutter is installed to pen pedestrians in.

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11 Comments

  1. Greenwich Park Fan

    It’s a shame the bumps have gone, they made cycling feel so much safer here for me.

    Literally the day after they were taken away I saw a car parked on the double yellow lines. Why do some drivers think putting the hazard lights on means they can park anywhere they want 🤷‍♂️

    Also I find the raised surfaces at the junctions along this road really confusing. No one seems to know who has right of way.

    • fromthemurkydepths

      That’s the idea. Confusion slows down drivers. Traffic speeds also reduces when lines removed in places. May seem counter productive but accidents reduce in places. Only in places though – has to be carefully considered

  2. Lord Lew Can

    Wonder what the cost is of planning, implementing, then ripping it all up within weeks. Nice use of our council tax GC.

  3. Edward

    Absolutely shocking. So for the cost of installing orcas then removing them, they probably could have gone for a more lasting and effective solution. This stretch of road was horrendous, then moderately improved, now it’s back to being horrendous again.

  4. Les

    Parking on double yellow lines illegal we know and wardens are in place to deal it however I witnessed a man come off of his motorcycle after hitting one of these bollards while pulling in to allow an ambulance to pass injuring his arm and damaging his bike the question he asked was and whose going to pay for this
    Also there has been a couple of incidents of elderly people tripping on them

  5. Charles Calthrop

    The wands are somewhat safer but I’ve often seen them abused by motorbikes. Watch the traffic around Old Street roundabout or even along the Embankment towards Tower Hill and you’ll see quite a few bikers using wand lanes as a shortcut. In an area with as little respect for traffic laws and pedestrian safety as Greenwich, it’ll be something to bear in mind. I suspect nothing will be done for a few months and the orcas will eventually be returned

  6. John Norman

    As a person who commutes by cycle every day I am so glad they are removed.
    As a cyclist – they are so dangerous. I clipped one when trying to negotiate them, the stream of traffic I am joining + the up coming van parked. I fell off my bike into the traffic, luckily not hurt.
    They also push both sided of cars/lorries into the center of the road making it dangerous if you are in the center on your bike waiting to turn right.
    They do however work if there is no one blocking the lane and you dont need to turn right.

    One evening last week there were police + ambulance parked on the road ~8pm, the next day the orcas were removed. I am wondering if they are connected. I do hope its not a cyclist or pedestrian hitting one of these + falling into the path of a car – and my feelings would go out to both parties.

  7. BlackheathZak

    I saw a number of people trip on them, one person into oncoming traffic..
    Living in east Greenwich for 10years anything apart from more grey railings and wooden posts is fully supported.. i just implore the planning team to actually plan properly…

  8. Rebecca

    I’m quite a keen cyclist but I refuse to Cycle along Woolwich Road between Charlton and Greenwich park largely due to the dangerous roundabout and the terrible parking enforcement to its west.

    What Greenwich council could do at quite a low cost is signpost directions that send Cyclists on to safer back roads, like the bridge to Westcombe park station (which avoids playing russian roulette with HGVS at the roundabout)
    and down Old Woolwich road (which avoids some (not all) the bad parking. With some improved crossings this would make like safer for us.

  9. Gordon of Greenwich

    I cycle commute every day and these were a nightmare. Why? Because of the constant stream of delivery trucks and cars that park in the cycle lanes. It was horrible trying to overtake these illegally parked vehicles whilst looking over your shoulder, signalling with one hand off the handlebar and attempting to avoid one of these humps. It was even worse when dark and wet. I as have several other residents complained about the lack of parking enforcement along the stretches where these humps were placed in particular by Iceland and CO-OP.

  10. MARY

    there is supposed to be a lorry ban in Trafalgar Road which is supposed to be enforced bty tge police- who don’t seem to do it. There are always problems with large vehicles trying to overtake buses and some of the drivers behave appallingly. Also most of the older shops have no service road to the rear and even if deliveries are supposed to be made at night, many truck drivers ignore that and turn up and park as they fancy. Many of these deliveries could be made in smaller faster vehicles but I guess warehousing costs mean companies use large ones. The whole thing needs sorting out at a much higher level – national criteria.

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