Documents revealed in a Freedom of Information request show that a failed bid from Greenwich Council to TfL would have seen a bus lane removed on Blackwall Lane in east Greenwich.
Greenwich did not reveal this information to the public and were forced to reveal it – along with much else – after residents requested documents.
The lane they sought to remove was the southbound bus lane as part of improved connections between east Greenwich and the Peninsula though work would have stopped before the large junction near the Greenwich Centre. A two-way cycle lane would have been installed. I rarely take buses that way so I’ve no idea if a good idea or not. Please leave comments if you do use buses in the area.
There’s also the possibility of course that it would only have been temporary while bus capacity was reduced. Work on Blackwall Lane did not include this junction:
Perhaps that will come with any later TfL work.
In terms of bus lane removal, Creek Road in Deptford also sees plans to remove a bus lane and Greenwich borough had no issues with last year and that road is heavily congested on a regular basis which buses can currently avoid by using the lane. I covered the bus lane issue here. In that consultation Greenwich’s only comments were to keep railings and outdated street design. TfL ignored them, but did listen to Lewisham borough requests for feeder cycle lane, and Lewisham gained funding.
Other changes were minimal and included slightly wider crossings at a roundabout on the Peninsula though they still misunderstand human behaviour. The crossings are not at the mouth of approach roads and pedestrians / cyclists have to deviate some way from direct routes to use them – so often people do not. Putting obstacles and diversions for pedestrians and cyclists when going from A to B is dated thinking. It doesn’t entice people to ditch cars.
John Harrison Way would have seen lanes removed for cyclists.
One big positive was removing railings blocking cyclists from Tunnel Avenue when they reach Blackwall Lane. This is an extremely cheap measure and ideally would be carried out regardless.
No clutter however was to be removed at the pretty awful area under the Blackwall approach flyover. Without making this area more appealing it would likely have failed anyway.
In terms of the east Greenwich plan a lack of immediate consultation – or at least waiting to hear results – can be understood given the urgency of the situation to enact measures before traffic built up again. However that ship has well and truly sailed now. Traffic in the area is gridlocked every day.
Those authorities who have set up consultation websites generally did state urgent work would be undertaken before feedback received and then over a six month period it would be noted, changes made and after six months projects either removed or retained. The websites are to get the ball rolling and in some areas did see changes before implementation. Greenwich Council still have no website established.
Various projects were not only kept secret but the authority have continually refused to let the public know, despite being drawn up many weeks ago.