Greenwich Council have today released details of projects to increase space for pedestrians and cyclists.
Crucially though they are implying others have to fund it – which could see little to nothing actually happen.
They state: “While we wait for funding to be confirmed by TfL to enable us to make the big changes to our streets to make them safe for cycling and walking, we’ve been making plans behind the scenes. Our plans so far include:
- widening footpaths in town centres and around Greenwich Park
- filtering more residential streets to reduce through traffic but maintain access for cyclists, pedestrians and emergency vehicles
- creating more School Streets
- bringing forward plans for the Greenwich to Woolwich cycle route”
There are no details on exactly which school streets. Hackney Council, for example, have already implemented measures:
Absolutely delighted to see Triangle Road filter go in & create a safer, healthier environment outside the Ann Tayler Children's Centre and surrounding area including @LF_Primary. Already the streets nearby are calmer. Thanks @hackneycouncil pic.twitter.com/Wuo08KJwWF
— Kყ-Cყƈʅҽ-ʅιҽ (@netwench) May 11, 2020
Other areas mentioned include:
“Woolwich is the fourth busiest bus hub in London, with 18 bus routes, and presents a big social distancing challenge. We’ve identified areas where temporary measures will need to be implemented.”
Yet there are no details of what areas are included.
More details are included for Eltham:
“In Eltham town centre our priority is to suspend footway parking to create space to queue at shops and walk along the street, disabled parking will still be provided. Protection for cyclists will also be added to the cycle lanes on the high street. ”
This is good, but why did the street design include pinch points? It’s only a couple of years old.
When it comes to measures many other boroughs have already sprung into action. This announcement does seem to be what I and others feared, with the authority passing the buck to others which follows a long trend.
Many measures can be undertaken quickly and extremely cheaply without external help. Authorities the length of the UK have initiated schemes before external funding is received either from regional or central Government.
And with TfL on the verge of financial collapse, expecting much from that direction for borough streets seems somewhat optimistic.
For years TfL have given every London council money on an annual basis which authorities can then top up. As I’ve covered before, Greenwich are pretty much alone in not topping it using income from new developments or parking revenue.
Even when money is allocated it has been unspent. Funds from TfL was given to be spent in 2018/19 near the Blackwall flyover but has yet to be spent. An earlier allocation of £50,000 in 2014 also went unspent.
Greenwich finish their statement by saying:
“The Council is preparing an ambitious bid for funding to TfL so that we can implement the measures we’re planning. TfL have not yet confirmed any borough funding, but we will provide more detail on specific measures as soon as they do.”