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Greenwich borough, Transport

Queue on A2 from Eltham to Greenwich well and truly back

Pre lockdown afternoon traffic heading away from Blackwall Tunnel

The A2 is again seeing queues of some miles tonight with traffic towards Kent from Eltham backing up to Greenwich as traffic reaches pre lockdown levels.

This is despite most school children staying at home and many working from home, plus shops closed.

While some measures to tempt people out of cars have slowly emerged, plans for a Silvertown Tunnel continue from TfL and Mayor Sadiq Khan. The plans foresee 30 per cent more traffic onto existing roads which saw nightly queues until lockdown.

 

 

17 Comments

  1. Derek Small

    I despair Murkydepths, I really do. Silvertown or no Silvertown it was kinda on the cards a traffic nightmare, with public transport taboo for many, and the alternatives being pushed (like it or loath it) of cycling and walking not being supported enough by LBG to make them realistic options.
    How DO we get some people out of their metal boxes? I’ve cycle commuted from Chislehurst to Greenwich and back for over 35 years, take zero medication, have no heart,lung, weight, or other organ complaint, or serious medical issue as a result (touching wood now!). Daily physical aerobic exercise is a REAL medical miracle, not a spoof one online, and its never too late to start, ask any Doctor. Now at 65 I have benefited so much healthwise, physically and mentally, (and financially) from replacing a car with a bike. And at the same time helped my fellow man by having zero emissions (save for the occasional cycle fart!) I’m far from ‘holier than thou’, but by God I’m so pleased I only use a car in emergencies and trips to the dump!
    I know there’ll be loads out there who cannot ‘get on a bike’ for lots of personal reasons, and it gets up their nose to have people preaching at them, so please don’t attack me for this heartfelt message, I do understand. But if everyone just stops and thinks ‘Could I do this by bike?’ You’ll maybe amaze yourself. And if by posting this I convert just ONE person, just one, and that person gets the health benefits I have across the years, so that I and they can enjoy the physical exertions of grandchildren (if they come!!) I’ll be a happy man. Join me in cycling, believe me you’ll love it (even in the rain haha!)

    • Totally agree Derek. I commute from North Woolwich to South Norwood, through Woolwich and Greenwich and on through Lewisham and a Bromley boroughs. I previously before lockdown thought that journey too far to cycle, previously always going by public transport. Because of Covid-19 I tried to cycle it and it wasn’t too hard and doesn’t take any longer than the journey by public transport! Everyone that id physically able should give it a go, as you say – because you may not realise how possible it is til you try.
      There certainly is a big issue with making it safer to cycle. Until I found a map of the London Cycle Network, most of my route from Woolwich to Catford took me along the South Circular which was most unpleasant. Now I only have to go on it for one section where it’s the only way under the railway line at a pinch point. The rest is on back streets which isn’t as annoying as it looks on the map. But, the wayfinding in Greenwich (& Bromley) is appalling, especially compared to Lewisham, who have built cycle route directions into their street name signs.

      • Matthew

        Saw the queues while cycling home from Lewisham. I laughed as I cruised on home. I’ve seen lots of people on bikes that are clearly novices in the past week. It’s not that they are bad road users, but they had an expression of exasperation when they have to turn onto the South circular, or they ask if they can follow me when turning right at a poorly designed junction.

        Roads should now be repurposed and redesigned for cycling as if you would be happy to let children ride on them. Greenwich council are at best complicit at worse negligent in their handling of street space.

        With more people cycling (cyclist demonises people into objects) I expect it to be a voting issue in the future and the incompent councillors can be turfed out for lack of action in their terms.

      • Derek Small

        Hi Rocklad, well done for making the move across. Feel healthier yet? You make valid points about signage, needs improving, as does access to the ‘quiet route’ maps & those for routes like the south east green chain, thames path and national cycle network. I had to go from Greenwich to Bromley court and meant a walk to Cutty Sark DLR for Lewisham, national rail to grove park, change platform for shuttle service bromley north. So tried cycling the next time, and once you work out the quiet routes it was great, you go through parks, along waterways, through alleys and along back streets. No traffic fumes, no noise, greenery i never knew was there! And was quicker and more reliable and cheaper than public transport. You have to work it out yourself but eventually there’ll be apps for all these routes tried and tested. Anyone else going to give it a try then?

    • Steven Norris

      Derek this inot an attack on you, but i am pon crutches due to multiple knee an hip replacement, arthritic spin., Due to covid 19 rules, people in my situation are not allowed in the front seat of a mini cab, buses seats can be to low to sit on, so a metal box as you put it is the only way to get anywhere, im 70 yrs old but iim not ready to swop it for a wooden one

  2. Ian

    I agree, well written post.

    Now tell me how to deal with the idiots on bikes who ignore red lights and shout at me me when I am on a pedestrian crossing.

    • Derek Small

      Totally understand Ian, some cyclists even get shouted at by other lunatic cyclists. And cyclists are also pedestrians themselves. There’s no enforcement on the road anymore-public services cutbacks we all are well aware sadly (even lollypop people get abuse!), and no Govt information programs, no or little training about road use or cycle use from childhood, and in some people just a total disrespect for other road users which carries no excuses, just ignorance. Pedestrians are just as vulnerable as cyclists. As a cyclist, a driver and a pedestrian I was raised by my parents to respect ‘others generally’ not only on the roads. Do fewer parents instil that value in their children these days? Is a solution enforcement, education, a reappraisal of moral values? I guess all of these. Will it happen overnight, no way, but the likes of Trump and Johnson et al have put us back decades (and don’t mean to be political, but things are so bad they must be part of the problem too).

    • JB

      Ian, it’s the cars you need to worry about, they’re the ones that will kill you. Check the stats.

  3. Greenwich Park Fan

    Where are they all driving to anyway?

    If we’re going to avoid the carpocolpyse then the only realistic solution is a huge take up of cycling.

    The only way I can realistically see that is happening is a big,big,big increase in safe cycling routes. Whether that means building cycleways or closing existing roads to private cars, it will have to be drastic.

    Also all the schemes need to connect up. A few wands along some high streets dotted around London is not going to cut it.

  4. Charles Calthrop

    One of the reasons I left the Borough last year after nearly 50 years was because it was becoming too much to cross the Tunnel each morning. Walthamstow has its own issues but by and large its quite a pleasant change of pace, and has a nice balance for casual cyclists such as myself (not as aggressive as the ones in the City nor as blithely ignorant as the ones in Islington). That said traffic is on the rise in Hackney and Islington too and the local councils have responded by…blocking rat runs and forcing traffic onto the only two routes through the Boroughs. Still, no more wooden bollards or metal rails.

  5. A bare month ago, I stood on Old Dover Road and looked down towards the Sun in the Sands. There was no traffic. I took a picture for posperity.

  6. James R. M. Telfet

    Where is the pic

  7. CDT

    I totally agree with Ian this as happened to me more than once on zebra and pelican crossings with cyclist screaming and shouting at pedestrians and car drivers although they are clearly in the wrong.

    Cycling is a great way to get around if you are able too does have health benefits as mentioned by Derek Small.

    But everyone needs to adhere to the rules of the road and this does include cyclist. There are no eceptions to this.

    On a slightly separate note motorist do provide a lot of income to the Government through fuel duties and Vehicle Excise Duty which Governments Treasury does rely on each year.

    People will turn back to their cars while public transport as reduced the amount of passengers able to travel on bus at one time for example as people do need to get to work.for those unable to work at home.

    • Derek Small

      Thats exactly what the concern is CDT, that people transfer to cars who previously used public transport. The likelihood of terrible congestion, gridlocks and vehicle emissions looms large. And remember the vast majority of people live in cities. The cost to central Govt in pollution related illness, disability and death is also massive, and NHS savings from health improvements could easily counteract the loss in revenue from fuel tax and excise duty.
      Personal vehicle transport ownership will not disappear overnight, but over time, and replaced by alternatives such as car clubs, robotic cars, zero emission vehicles and others yet to be discovered! The pointless dominance of our streets full of petrol/diesel cars/vans/HGV’s, depreciating and mostly stationery for long periods, will change. Saves going to the car wash and saves a lot of hard earnings! Reclaims the streets for our children to play in as they used to.
      If you haven’t visited cites like Amsterdam they are worth a visit, to see the future. Other countries are already so ahead of us in re-planning their cities around people and not cars.
      You’re spot on though that ‘everybody’ has to respect the rules of the road. But you surely agree car drivers shout at lollypop operatives and pedestrians too! There’s a lot of rudeness and lack of care from all kinds of road users. In the majority its cyclists and pedestrians who die and suffer terrible disabilities from drivers of vehicles, not the other way around. And this is not always entirely the drivers fault. Being a bus driver in central London stopped at traffic lights and being surrounded by waiting cyclists on all sides I’ve been told by a driver is horrendously difficult. Respect for rules, not just of the road, is sadly lacking among many in society. We can only keep trying to reduce it in all.

  8. CDT

    Derek I totally agree with you.

    The UK is way behind a lot of other European cities when it comes to how we will move around our cities in the future.

    I am not a fan of driverless cars buses and trains and think these ideas should be scrapped while we look at more practical ways to move around our cities.

    We do need to see more investment in our public transport systems in the UK including buses trains, light railways like the DLR and underground systems.

    Sadly in London before the Coronavirus out break we were already seeing cuts to bus services in the way of reduced frequencies and some routes curtailed involving changing buses to reach your destination you once reached with out the need to change buses.

    I also agree that some drivers do shout at pedestrians and cyclist. Some are very inpatient when elderly and disabled people are trying to cross roads too but have to say this is the minority.

    I have seen a lot of drivers jump red lights and some very poor standards of driving during lock down of late as if the rules do not apply them too. As I have mentioned before.

    So I do ask everyone please adhere to the rules of roads whether your a motorist, motorcyclist, cyclist, pedestrian lorry driver, bus driver etc. The rules of the road really do apply to us all with no exceptions.

    So much better to be safe than sorry !!

  9. Getting back to the original story, I think I can post an image of the empty A102 as it goes under the Old Dover Road – https://i.imgur.com/m4lSHlr.jpg

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