TfL have made final awards on emergency funding for street changes and with almost no detail in the public domain Greenwich have released a news story showing how much money they will receive from TfL.
It appears they missed out on many projects they sought money for. Given they told no one (including TfL?) what the projects involved it’s hard to know what could have been. They state £1.266 million in funding but do not break it down by project. You have to dig about for detail.
The authority never set up a website to gain feedback or engage as seen elsewhere across London.
In terms of confirmed funding, around £600,000 will create a Shooter’s Hill cycle lane. Where exactly is unknown. There are no details.
£142,458 is allocated to Eltham High Street. No details of what this includes either. It surely cannot be for what they’ve installed so far – which comprises of some temporary fencing and a modest number of wands. Both are extremely cheap to buy and install and cost far less that £142,458.
However, given it states “social distancing measures have already been installed in Eltham High Street” that could be it. If it is, questions need asking.
Three school streets are installed – which is less than many authorities plan or have already installed.
Greenwich still havn’t come up with any real detail of modal filters months after other boroughs begun work. All they state is work in these areas:
- West Greenwich
- East Greenwich
There is money for Plumstead but no details. Also income for Queen Elizabeth Hospital but again no details.
It appears simple projects such as closing a small area of a sidestreet in Eltham to assist cafes, a tea shop and restaurant is going nowhere. It would cost next to nothing and does not block access for deliveries.
There’s no money to link east Greenwich and Greenwich Peninsula. Perhaps TfL looked at why the authority has over £100 million in income from developments in the area owing to new buildings and yet has done so little.
The Greenwich cabinet member for transport seems content with what has happened from council departments:
“Cllr Sizwe James, Cabinet Member for Environment, Sustainability and Transport said:
“We have already done lots of work to improve our streets and town centres to keep people safe in response to the ongoing national health emergency. With the funding we’ve been given we can now continue this work to maintain and improve the momentum of active travel we’ve gained in recent months. It will enable our residents who do not own cars to walk or cycle safely while public transport is greatly reduced.
It’s disappointing not to have received all the funding we bid for to improve walking and cycling routes in Royal Greenwich, but we will continue to lobby and bid for more transport funding when it becomes available.”
Notice again how emphasis is placed on external funds. The authority regularly fail to use funding from new developments and parking in the borough to improve streets, public spaces and parks across the borough. They have much form on this.
Even then, funding awarded years ago by TfL is still unspent, including this in east Greenwich:
Four months after lockdown and traffic is now as bad as before. Any future measures are sure to arouse anger from some now that roads are full. A crucial window for action when roads were quiet to lock in behavioural changehas now gone.
Where work did occur such as in Greenwich town centre major mistakes were made – and it’s still a danger to many users months on.