Murky Depths

News in London and beyond

Charlton, Transport, Woolwich

Numerous vehicle park on unprotected cycle lane between Woolwich and Charlton

Courtesy TfL

As more cars head back onto the roads and public transport use discouraged, more vehicles are perhaps inevitably starting to park on unprotected cycle lane.

It looks like eight vehicles are parked in one spot alone on Woolwich Road.

Courtesy Google. Paint on the road does little

This area is a long standing problem. This was January:

Cars parked along cycle lanes back in January

Cycle lanes between Woolwich and Greenwich were an easy win for minor, cheap interventions to offer light segregation in the form of wands such as these:

Courtesy Google. “Wands” protecting lanes are a cheap measure

Doing so offered a rare chance to grasp the nettle as people took to cycling in recent weeks and prevent future gridlock. There’s no way roads can cope if more people turn to cars with public transport capacity reduced by 90 per cent in order to keep social distancing on trans and buses. No road space would have been lost by installing wands along this stretch in Woolwich.

The route is in line for a multi-million pound project but the future is now unclear. TfL may have to scrap many possible upgrade plans. It’s reported today that could be the price to pay for any financial support as they head for collapse.

Even if it did proceed the project will be some years away. Why not use cheap measures in the interim? It made little sense not to do so even before the current situation.

But alas there’s been no capitalising on the situation. So far nothing has happened in any location across Greenwich borough. This rare chance to enact real change could well be snuffed out. Even if work now begins, increased traffic volumes ensure it’ll delay drivers and reinforce the us v them attitude so prevalent in the UK.

And many that attempted cycling in recent weeks will now give up.

 

10 Comments

  1. Plumstead Resident

    That’s been happening for years on that stretch of the road as it leads to the roundabout.

  2. John Norman

    Trouble is..
    If you introduce a ‘Faux’ cycle lane in a place that isn’t designed for them adding them can be more of a danger than not having them.
    – The orcas on Trafalgar road were a death trap. Glad they removed them + kept a few of those ones with poles on.
    – They narrow the road – which pushes cars towards the center of the road – meaning turning right on a bike now becomes more dangerous (think side swipes + head on traffic).
    – The people installing them often don’t understand road usage – again thinking about having to leave the cycle lane to turn right or to avoid obstructions.
    – Shops, like it or not need to unload deliveries – making the cycle lane useless. But I dont know why shops decide to deliver at peak traffic times and use massive lorries and why the council doesn’t hit them with a ticket when its double yellow with stripes on the pavement..

    As a cyclist in Greenwich – I’d like to see a toll on the Blackwall tunnel + rat running off the A102, back on again prevented – just to reduce traffic. But more than anything I’d like to see a foot/cycle bridge over the Thames. And more dedicated cycle paths.

    • Charles Calthrop

      This has been the issue with Trafalgar Road for over a decade. At times the trifecta of Iceland, Boots and Co-op receiving deliveries meant a total gridlock along the corridor from Woolwich down to Greenwich and beyond. Unfortunately the rigid adherence to ±9-5 trading hours means staff available for unloading are an expense. One thing that the virus may change is the decades old adherence to keeping shops open only when the majority of paying customers are at work. If the anti social element wasn’t a problem imagine how nice it would be to relax at Costa in Greenwich on a warm evening

  3. Reece Plaster

    This is the reason why I am anxious to cycle to school. My parents keep encouraging me to cycle to and from my school near by this location and I won’t because of this exact problem. Needs to be adressed by the council.

  4. Ashley

    A much stronger emphasis is needed on enforcement to combat these vehicles from parking illegally (Borough Wide) and blocking such cycle ways and pedestrian accessibility. Not just has a deterrence but a revenue maker for the Royal Borough. Funds generated are plowed back into new schemes to better our Public Realm.

    I do think segregation Wands for Cyclists should be used in appropriate locations where possible. A cheaper alternative at this time.

  5. The problem of careless or illegal parking could be largely neutered by issuing tickets. Persistent offenders, or those who fail to pay, should have their vehicle towed.

  6. HK

    I think part of the problem is that the council are trying to patchwork multiple solutions, where individually isolated seem to make sense, but as whole lead to a real mess and are unworkable.
    Their solutions seem to cause other unintended consequences, and the cycle (pardon the pun) continues!

  7. D.W.W

    It’s about time they started charging road tax, an MOT type certificate and insurance on cycles as well as some sort of recognition plate on all cycles. It’s not just the cars, vans and lorries that break the law!

    • fromthemurkydepths

      Zzzzzz

    • Cycylist are not the problem. It is the ‘entitled’ drivers who cause the majority of the problems on our roads. Lest you forget, driving is a privilege and not a right.

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