Despite the return of traffic wardens this week poor parking continues along the usual haunts in various areas of Greenwich, Charlton and Woolwich.
Since lockdown no measures have been taken to make cycling safer along main roads heading east to west in the north half of the borough. Cycle lanes are being blocked at regular intervals. Some lanes have a solid white line and some are merely advisory.
When it comes to parking in cycle lanes the rules state:
“You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable”
Two major problems across Greenwich borough that continue to hamper attempts to encourage cycling as public transport capacity is severely reduced are poor cycle routes and vehicles blocking routes that do exist.
These problems are closely linked. Income from fines is ringfenced and can be used for investment in streets and public spaces – though a lack of parking staff and income shortfalls totalling over £12 million over a number of years plays a direct role in failing to improve the situation.
Staff numbers were static for much of the 2010s despite a large rise in population and housing. They only ticked up last year. Even as late as 2018 there was no net gain as this screenshot from a council report that year shows:
In recent weeks central Government announced CCTV could be used to fine drivers who block lanes, yet Greenwich never sought the power to use cameras since it was introduced in 2003.
By 2019 they were just one of three London authorities out of 34 (all boroughs plus the City of London and TfL) not to use powers available. That is finally changing but there’s no confirmation cameras are yet in place and switched on.
We also still don’t know the full list of street projects planned as a result of TfL funding bids as the authority continue to ignore requests for information from a number of people. Emails are also going unanswered.