Measures installed in Greenwich town centre for additional pedestrian space cost £119,129,59 according to figures revealed in a Freedom of Information request.
TfL did not agree to fund the bid after Greenwich submitted these details. It took a couple of days and mostly comprised of temporary plastic barriers with sandbags. The sum seems astonishing given the limited nature of work.
Work came in for criticism almost immediately as it forces cyclists to dice with vehicles and blocked access from the one-way system to cycle lanes near the river. Pedestrian crossings are blocked in places:
Many moons after lockdown and this is what faces pedestrians /wheelchairs crossing King William walk to go east from town centre . The ramp does not do anything to help. None cars expected to do a detour – Are you proud of this @Royal_Greenwich @DanLThorpe ? pic.twitter.com/PPvlxakprG
— Kate Middleton (@KateM45) July 26, 2020
Even taking off nearly £50k for six month’s maintenance costs – which presumably is spread across the borough – highlights very high cost for very modest work.
There are a number of other Freedom of Information requests to Greenwich seeking information on what bids were made to TfL for funds and details of what each project contained. This is because the authority neglected to tell the public their plans.
There are also requests to other authorities to gain information on projects and costings, which will be useful to see how they compare to Greenwich. We do have some documents from other authorities which are more transparent than Greenwich. These appear to show projects costing far less:
There are modal filters costed at £9,000 including a cycle contraflow in Bromley town centre. There’s also footway widening using bolt down temporary kerbing rather than plastic barriers and crossing just £17,000.
A new footpath costed at £5,000 is another example. Here’s more examples:
These all point to vastly inflated costs in Greenwich. Could this be why ambition was so low and so little has been achieved?
Southwark closed roads in Peckham and Bermondsey Street for £50,000 each. How did some plastic barriers in Greenwich cost so much?
There’s more documents to go through and follow up posts will be put up shortly.
Both saw little more than plastic barriers.