Murky Depths

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Greenwich borough

Cameras to go live across Greenwich borough to catch poor driving

After a number of delays Greenwich Council is set to join 29 other London boroughs in using cameras to fine drivers committing a number of driving offences.

It’s 15 years since powers became available to the authority and only two other boroughs – Bromley and Kensington & Chelsea – have never adopted powers as this screengrab from a council report shows.

Taken from Greenwich Council document in Feb 2019

From Monday 24th August cameras will be in use but not fining drivers for the first two weeks. I’ve already heard some say it a money making scheme due to recent events. Not so. They’ve been talking about it in reports for over three years:

Despite all that it has been delayed numerous times.

Yellow box junction

Cameras cannot be used for illegal parking unless on a designated bus lane or cycle lane. They can also be used for cars parked on keep clear markings outside schools.

Other areas they can be used are yellow box junctions and ignoring “no left” or “no right turn” signs.

There’s a few places they will raise much revenue. One is the no-right turn coming out near Lidl in Woolwich. Cars turn right despite a clear sign and head towards pedestrians crossing outside Premier Inn on green lights. Local people are sick of it judging by emails to me.

Cars exiting are supposed to go left – few do so

Last time I was there I watched 5 out of 6 vehicles turn right despite the sign and the last one did it at speed towards crossing pedestrians. Idiotic.

Another is Blackwall Lane. Some drivers leave the A102 and turn right  on the exit slip to rejoin  the entry slip in an attempt to jump queues. This often blocks traffic to and from the Peninsula.

Junction where drivers often attempt to jump queue

Another spot is Passey Place in Eltham. This was upgraded as part of a £6 million scheme. Some drivers then decided to park on it and damaged a number of granite benches.

Pedestrianised area street furniture hit by vehicles in Eltham shortly after £6.5m project completed

Plumstead Road bus lane will also see cameras. Over 100 bus drivers have previously signed petitions about dangerous conditions at bus stops due to parked cars.

The full list of sites is:

Income raised from fines can NOT be used for general spending. By law it is restricted to transport and street spending. Whether that will see better maintained and more attractive streets or a flurry of street clutter remains to be seen.

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22 Comments

  1. CDT

    Excellent news and very much welcomed.

    I am surprised that the Shooters Hill Roa junction with Well Hall Road and Academy Road is not on the llist. Along with the John Wilson Street junction with Wellingron Street and Artilley Place. I have seen many cars drive through red lights at these junctions many at high speeds.

    • Jay Jay

      Yes. Especially when TFL has been fining people coming out of Broad Walk/Well Hall Road for more than 8 years. More to come perhaps

    • Chris L

      The lack of lights for turning traffic on the Shooters Hill Road junction is part of the problem. Once you pull forward you have no way of knowing when the lights change.

      • CDT

        I agree Chris L. This junction is a prime example where squenced light signals are required along with secondary traffic lights. Road safety needs to be top priority.

  2. John

    Will this catch poor road lay out as well?
    The staggered junction outside of the Greenwich Centre…
    Its a yellow box junction, but if you hold back at the traffic lights until its clear, you will never get anywhere – and I am sure drivers from behind you will get out their cars and ‘remonstrate’.

    What do you do? Go forward, wait until the box is clear and then what happens if the lights turn red? You are stuck past the lights in the junction at the edge of the box…

    Or are they hoping to raise revenue by poor drivers not being able to follow the rules – because of the road lay-out

    • The rules for box junctions are clear: ‘You MUST NOT enter the box until your exit road or lane is clear. However, you may enter the box and wait when you want to turn right, and are only stopped from doing so by oncoming traffic, or by other vehicles waiting to turn right.’ if you ignore them, don’t be surprised to get a penalty ticket.

    • Greenwich Park Fan

      John, the reason it’s impossible to follow the rules at that junction is because no one else follows the rules at that junction. What’s wrong with the layout? It’s the same layout in thousands of places.

      • Graham

        Absolutely Greenwich Park Fan.

      • John

        Yes you nailed it. Its other people not following the rules.
        I actually wonder why they dont put a ‘traffic cop’ here at peak hours. Lights dont work – you need a person. I dont understand why they dont do this – the money saved by getting people to work would dwarf the cost of a person for an hour or 2 a day.

        I think with this junction, the problem is the yellow box is not extended to where you wait. So you have a quite a bit of road past the lights that is not yellow box – so you get berated if you dont go forward as soon as the lights change. I recon, hold back – miss a couple of lights – you prob will get your windows broken by another person waiting behind you.

        • Greenwich Park Fan

          Yes maybe a traffic cop would help. The volume of traffic is just far too high there. I regularly see the traffic which turns Westbound on to Trafalgar Road create three lanes (from one) in the box junction. It’s mayhem.

          • CDT

            I think a traffic cop at this junction would also be a good idea.

            You have hit the nail on the head there.Greenwich Park Fan with three lanes of traffic created from one lane of traffic turning from Blackwall Lane on to Trafalgar Road which is a major problem at this junction.

        • HK

          I agree with John on this one. The problem is the junction is staggered and rather large compared to the average junction, so it’s more difficult to judge if their is enough of a space to go ahead (if coming from woolwich towards Greenwich). Going the opposite direction isn’t so much of an issue as the road is generally clear.
          Much of the problem at his junction is due to the traffic on Trafalgar Road!

          There must be clear signs at the junction to make it clear that their is now an ‘active camera – do not enter the yellow box unless clear’. Otherwise drivers will get irate and it can quite easily turn nasty!

  3. Roy

    Personally…the cameras should have been in operation the last 20 years and double the penalties…I still remember getting 3 points and a £60 Fine…many years ago…I see too many examples of abysmal driving….many are am accident waiting to happen

    • Graham

      Roy I could not agree with you more on both points. Yes the cameras should have been turned on years ago.

      I also agree that there is some really abysmal driiving standards out there and it is getting worse. I have seen so many drivers blatantly ignore red traffic lights and speed limits etc as if the rules of the road do not apply to them.

      We also need to tackle the poor parking around the Borough Of Greenwich with much improved parking enforcement. Why making sure emergency service vehicles and buses can get down the roads they need to with out obstruction.

      We need to all work together to make our roads as safe as possible for motorist, motor cyclist, cyclist and pedestrians. The rules of the road apply to us all.

  4. Steve

    The postcode they’ve given for the camera at Plumstead Road appears wrong.

  5. Andy

    Whilst good it needs to have enforcement at the blackwall lane junction you mention, but I’m not confident it’ll make much difference and this is where camera enforcement like this can only ever be complementary to proper road design and enforcement.

    One of the main problems with this junction is people exiting the a102 and turning right where prohibited to do so in order to rejoin the a102 – this causes tailbacks in traffic on blackwall lane as it blocks the road and adds a large volume of cars to a small road.

    But with these cameras people will simply turn left and then do a right into Telcon Way or Salutation Road, to rejoin the traffic, as this isn’t prohibited.

    Cameras will add little benefit here to traffic flow – the problem is people being able to exit and immediately rejoin, and abysmal road design at that junction (I hate to think how much the council spent in installing that trash). The only time I see this junction functioning to a reasonable degree is when you have a policeman enforcing it, but even he can’t stop the people turning at Telcon/Salutation.

  6. Andy

    In summary, cameras will fine a few people but have little noticeable effect.

    It will be the same situation at the Trafalgar road junction at the other end of blackwall lane as the chap mentions in the comments above. I’m not sure what some of you expect but cameras will not sort these junctions out – the problem is volume of traffic and poor road design. Cameras will do nothing for this

  7. Andy

    Also final comment but will the camera at Norway Street / Creek Road be enforcing the old no left turn when coming out of Waitrose? I ask because whilst this was a notorious junction (as people turning left did so on a green light for pedestrians), with the roadworks it’s no longer entirely clear whether that’s still a no left turn junction as there’s no pedestrian crossing and no signs prohibiting this that I could see.

    • There’s also a lot of traffic now turning right from Creek Road westbound into Waitrose as the no right turn sign has been removed. I have no idea what the law is about all this but my guess is no signs = no restrictions.

  8. CDT

    Personally I think all traffic lights in the Boorugh and London as a whole should be set to sequenced traffic signals so all trafiic lanes move in an order. With out the need to criss cross in front of each other or get stuck in the yellow box.

    They could be monitored so if by chance one of the roads had no vehicles waiting at the lights to turn a sensor could pick this up and change the signal so the next line of traffic can move safely. Just as some buses can change traffic signals using sensors.

    It may mean an extra minute or so waiting at traffic lights but the junctions would be come much more orderly and much safer for both motorist and pedestrians. So worth the Department of Transport(Highways), TFL and Local Authorities thinking about

    • Steven Norris

      The reason your suggestion will not come to fruition, cdt is its not a money maker for tfl or the council’s, but its a great idea to help with the flow of traffic, an cut down on pollution
      Steve n

  9. D.W.W

    I am surprised that the junction at the top of Griffen Road and Waverley Crescent doesn’t have a camera? People and especially schoolgirls from Waverley school take their lives in their hands trying to cross there. The amount of times I’ve seen drivers failing to stop and others chatting on their mobile phones cutting in front of traffic coming up from the lower part of Waverley Crescent!

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