Murky Depths

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Greenwich, Greenwich borough, Woolwich

Street changes in Woolwich, Eltham & Greenwich – but are Greenwich passing the buck again?

Greenwich Town Centre.

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”

Wide roads in Woolwich

There are no details on exactly which school streets. Hackney Council, for example, have already implemented measures:

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. ”

Eltham

This is good, but why did the street design include pinch points? It’s only a couple of years old.

Eltham pinch point cause by raised planters

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.”

 

 

 

 

9 Comments

  1. Jo

    Yep this is exactly what I was expecting. Blame others for not doing anything. It’s not our responsibility guv! Blame X, Y and Z.

    I don’t think anyone expects multi-million pound schemes right out the door but simple projects as shown in Hackney cost next to nothing.

    Nothing here suggests anything like that is to happen soon. The lack of details suggest this “taskforce” has cobbled something together yesterday. They’ve had 7 weeks now.

    It’s all being set up to blame others as is their custom in this area. Nobody is going to be fooled by it surely?

    • Kush-I

      There’s been a tacit acknowledgement by those in power, that our roads aren’t safe enough, a realisation all of us cyclist already know. There must be a concerted, ambitious and purposeful drive to change this complicit apathetic attitude. We as the public must hold those in power to account. I’m hopeful we can do it, for the safety of our loved and to be kind to the earth.

      Peace and love

  2. Paul SuperUnknown

    Again, small town planners with smaller minds, cannot see the big picture! Greenwich Council in a nutshell.

  3. Ashley

    Now surely The Royal Borough of Greenwich have adequate funds At their disposal from the amounts we hear generated from S106/CIL payments. Where has all this revenue gone.

    This council lacks any resolve for change or improvement. A radical overhaul is needed to reform Royal Greenwich and yes, far to long they hinder the prospects to rejuvenate the public realm in Plumstead and Woolwich with much needed improvements.

    They should be working in partnership with TFL, especially in TfL red routed areas, Not against them.

    Real change must happen!

  4. Rob

    My prediction:

    TfL are skint and focused only on their own network. So no dice there and certainly not anytime soon for borough roads.

    £2 billion in funds from Grant Shapp’s announcement will take time to come in. They will be the main target for blame with TfL as a sly back up given its a Labour Mayor.

    Lots of political games from the council as little happens on the ground. Cycling doesn’t increase as it should and congestion rises.

    When anyone complains Greenwich point the blame at others in coming months and hope people do not look at the rest of London.

    It’s the tried and tested way

  5. Graham

    For years TfL have given every London council money on an annual basis which authorities can then top up.

    The Royal Borough of Greenwich have adequate funds At their disposal from the amounts we hear generated from S106/CIL payments.from new developments

    I have to agree with the above statements and question whete all this money has gone ? As we are not seeing this money spent around the Borough. Accept for large amounts of money which is continously given to GLLAB. .

    If these schemes go ahead and the Greenwich one way system is removed which i did support. Will this mean bus routes 129 and 286 would termainate at Grrenwich Station rather than Cutty Sark to allow for the pedestrianisation of the area around the Cutty Sark.and Greenwich Market.

  6. Graham

    ** Where, Greenwich Station **

  7. CDT

    I think the removal of the Greenwich One Way System and more pedestrianisation around by the Cutty Sark and Greenwich Market will be good for Greenwich.

    Some of the pavements in and around Greenwich Town Centre are narrow considering how busy the area actually is.

  8. CDT

    p.s. If these works do go ahead in Greenwich Town Centre in the near future, TFL make take the opportunity to extend route 129 to Lewisham Shopping Centre as originally planned in readiness for the opening of Crossrail (Elizabeth Line) Station.

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