Woolwich greenery and trees to be ripped out

A final stretch of greenery located along central reservations running through Woolwich and Plumstead is to be removed.

As it currently looks

Over recent years much has been taken out. According to information future work will see “removal of shrubs/trees in central reserve and lay new buff block paving.”

Greenery removed in previous years

This is the latest stage of a program of removing greenery shortly after installation. Just to the east it barely lasted a year. During that time it was not maintained by Greenwich Council and became littered with rubbish:

Green central reservation lasted a year. Wasn’t cleaned. Now gone

It highlights how we should be wary of glossy renders when it comes to new developments. Who maintains?

Notice of work

In Plumstead and Woolwich stretches removed have then replaced with guardrail – against TfL guidelines for street design.

Counter intuitively guardrail has been shown to be less safe in many cases as drivers speed up once installed. It gives a feeling of greater degree of separation from other vehicles and pedestrians which in turn encourages higher speeds.

Plumstead Road shortly after £1.2 million scheme concluded

Even further east a lot more greenery was replaced around two years ago along Plumstead Road, and again the new street was designed to look like a rural A-road rather than an urban street.

Greenwich Council have allocated £75,000 for training staff on modern street design – despite design guides already existing and regularly ignored.

If there was never any intention of maintaining then why approve it? And while this is happening in Plumstead and Woolwich down in Abbey Wood the same is being installed along Harrow Manorway. It’s a joint Greenwich and Bexley borough scheme.

Street upgrade

Presumably Greenwich will play no part in maintaining the road and Bexley will. If Greenwich are in charge upon completion (they were before work begun) can we expect the same again?

The work in Woolwich does not seem to be taking the opportunity to narrow the central reservation to provide space for a cycle lane.



Adverts are far from enough to cover site costs and my rent.

You can support me via Paypal here

Another option is via Patreon by clicking here

You can also buy me a beer/coffee at Ko-fi here

There's also a Facebook page for the site here

Many thanks

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.

13 thoughts on “Woolwich greenery and trees to be ripped out

  • Another example of GC using our tax pounds to pay for a job, then paying to remove it, before paying to redo it again. Wasteful. Mainly because its not their money, and that income is guaranteed year in year out, and not dependent on being efficient.

  • In many ways a real shame. Go onto the internet and type in ‘Singapore roads’ the take a look at how it can be done and what difference it makes.

  • Can we hope for random bollards thrown up? Always money for that.

  • I’m sure they’ll feel the need to fill the void with wooden posts or barrier fencing For safety reasons.

  • It is a same to see the shrubbery go but has mentioned they are not maintain and quickly become full of rubbish which makes them look very untidy. Which does nothing to improve the look of the area,

    it does seem very wasteful way of spending council tax payers money though to plant them and then remove them to put something else in it/s place with in a relatively short space of time.

  • The only people that gain from such poor decisions is the sub-contractors and the lazy minded council workers. Both of which are getting paid twice (or more) to do the same thing over and over and over again.

    Under normal circumstances any improvement would be a bonus but given RBG record the following is likely to happen.
    Due to delays in starting, some of the money will be wasted. As a result, the replacement paving will be cheap, look shoddy and won’t be fit for purpose. Then the famous wooden bollards will appear randomly but will not prevent parking violations. As there are a few parking wardens RBG will be known for permitting central reservation parking.

    If anyone for RBG is reading these comments note for a public appointed body it is hard to be positive about the way the borough is run. 25 years of a labour council and it is impossible to name 5 improvements to the borough public spaces that can be 100% attributed to the efforts of the council.

    I guess the comment made on social media still stands
    ‘RBG where civic duty, common sense and financial responsibility goes to die’

    • Going somewhere to die is merciful. Civic duty common sense and financial responsibility are not only rounded up and detained without trial, but awaiting a bulldozed grave once Silvertown Tunnel begins construction.

  • It is the classic, abject misuse of public money that gets me.

    What could have been done is to perhaps do away with the central reservation completely along the whole of that street heading west from the roundabout at Plumstead bus garage, move the lanes on each side of the road closer to the (new) centre of the road and the extra space gained could be used as cycle lanes on each side. I guess that is too simple for those at the Council.

    The issue of the bus stands – especially the irksome, bottle-neck-causing one on the curve in front of Callis Yard – would still need to be addressed though.

  • That is a very good suggestion Michael and I believe one the Council should give serious consideration too.

    A lot of people are suggesting the buses that stand by Riverside House should stand on Hare Street and start at the top of Hare Street or start at a bus stop at the end of Powis street before turning on to John Wilson Street. Route 301 could also possibly start at a new bus stopp by the Beefeater and Premier Inn Hotel on journeys towards Bexleyheath.

  • I also agree with with Michael and the idea by CDT for buses to stand on Hare Street. The buses that would stand on Hare Street would be routes 51 99 301 & 386,

    It may be possible however, for the 51 to terminate in Thomas Street and then stand at the bus stand on Monk Street behind Sainsbury’s.

    This would mean route 51 would serve bus stops on Woolwich New Road and Thomas Street which would be the last stop, On journeys towards Orpington Station the first stop is outside the Woolwich Sainsbury’s store so there would no change on journeys towards Orpington.

  • Extraordinary that RBG ruled it was unsafe to litter-pick on the central reservation. The Friends of Plumstead Common showed them three times that it was possible to do it no more dangerously than if it were pavement and collected huge amounts. As the council cannot / will not retrieve the mountains of fast-food (mainly) litter stuck in the bushes I fear it makes sense to grub it all out and convert to hard surfaces. Pity no one on the council thought that through when planning, but should we be surprised? Our council that is “zero tolerant” on litter!

    • Another thing I didn’t mention is fines for littering fell sharply around the time this went in if memory serves. No surprise it would become a mess and ripped up

  • Pingback: Trying and failing to social distance in Woolwich | Murky Depths

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.