Blackwall tunnel approach road in Greenwich to be closed for 18 months

Work to close a slip road in Greenwich has been announced leading to the A102 Blackwall tunnel entrance closed to all vehicles.

The northern slip road leading from Angerstein roundabout will see barriers installed and then only permitting emergency access.

No access to Blackwall tunnel on the left

These ideas were mooted in plans for permanent changes, though only now do we see that’s it’s brought forward and included in a temporary project.

Drivers will turn off at this junction

Drivers heading from the east towards the Blackwall Tunnel will be expected to turn off and head to Bugsby’s Way and then access the A102 at Blackwall Lane as shown below.

Click to enlarge

Reducing traffic along Woolwich Road has been a long term aspiration though not without repercussions. It will result in an increased number of vehicles heading past the recently opened St Mary Magdalene School – which is still a long way from an eventual 1,600 pupils.

Traffic will increase here beside new school

It also means more cars along Bugsby’s Way – which is often congested and a poor experience for pedestrians.

End of bus lane on Bugsbys Way

A bus lane on this stretch ends before reaching retail parks and buses are often stuck in queues.

Bugsby’s Way traffic. Bus lane ends here

From the west drivers will need to turn off at Blackwall Lane to reach the Blackwall Tunnel.

New route

This will reduce traffic levels to the west along Woolwich Road.

Blackwall Lane

Vehicles will then enter the A102 towards Blackwall Tunnel at a junction up the road. It’s frequently slow-going due to some drivers trying to jump the queue, though newly installed cameras should help reduce that issue.

Main access to Blackwall Tunnel from the west

People moving into new-builds along Blackwall Road will see an increase in traffic:

New build approved on Blackwall Lane at garage site

There are of course no easy answers in an area with a burgeoning local population, public transport capacity heavily reduced and a need to prevent gridlock and encourage walking and cycling.

Heavy traffic in east Greenwich – camera go live soon covering this area

Elsewhere cycle lanes along Trafalgar Road will become two-way on the north side of the road instead of one each side of the road as now. These light segregation measures lasted barely over a year since a “Low Emission Neighbourhood” scheme was installed last year.

Wands installed in 2019 will be removed

I took at look at the Low Emission Neighbourhood project in September last year. It improved Trafalgar Road quite a bit, in what is a constrained and narrow road.

It’s a shame a lack of foresight ensures some work is rendered moot so soon after installation.

Cycle lane here will shift to opposite side of the road

In terms of the new cycle lane upon leaving the Old naval College, it heads along Old Woolwich Road though instead of entering Trafalgar Road at Lassell Street – which is more direct – it carries on around Old Woolwich Road and joins at Christchurch Street.

Blue route = what is planned. Red = what is quicker

I wonder how many will go the longer route? Doing so may mean a quieter road, but one that has cars parked on both sides, a blind bend and five junctions.

All this should get cracking in September. Expect some vociferous arguments soon.

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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    28 thoughts on “Blackwall tunnel approach road in Greenwich to be closed for 18 months

    • Oh wow. Many thanks for this. This is going to be fascinating,

      • What about Denham Street into Tunnel Avenue? Can’t see any mention of that shortcut being tackled?

        • I thought I was the only one who was bothered by the Westcombe Hill, Combedale Road, Denham Street and Tunnel Ave Rat Run. Good to see there are others!

        • It looks like this may be resolved with some of the road closures. Hopefully Tunnel Avenue is free from drivers simply cutting through. Can’t even get out of your own driveway at times.

    • Interesting thank you. Anecdotally at least it seems to be that Blackwall Lane is already suffering extremely high traffic volumes due to congestion zone extension times into later into the evening and weekends, so this will add more traffic to this road.

      Hopefully the cameras help alleviate the problems caused by the exiting and rejoining A102 drivers, but I’m not hopeful.

    • Greenwich Council are only interested in short termism….one day it would be interesting to see a Master Plan based on 10 years up to 50 and road and parking systems to support instead of this pillar to post attitude

      • You are expecting far too much from Greenwich Council! They can barely organise a drink up at a brewery!
        You are correct though, there needs to be a longer term plan, but the problem is they are throwing up high density housing developments left right and centre, which brings with it people who own cars and there is the lack of provision for parking that adds tot he problem!

    • Interesting.
      I am wondering if pedestrians will still have access to safe crossing past the closed route and access to lights toward Peartree Way/ Horn Lane. Or, will we all have to follow the new cycle route through middle of roundabout and then back toward Horn Lane?
      I also wonder how the pedestrians will manage with sharing space with cyclists. Not something I look forward to!!

    • I think people will go along the slightly longer route. I cycle down here most days and this bit of Old Woolwich Road is so gorgeous with the historical housing stock and pleasant as the road is always dead quiet.

      • What with the recent road closures in Greenwich if you’re a business (or individual) and thinking of relocating here, do yourselves a favour and don’t bother. I live at the top of the hill and most times of the day rather than look to use shops in central Greenwich, Royal Hill et al (which I used to frequent,) it’s now quicker and easier to drive to Bluewater. You will now add retailers on Bugsby’s Way to that list. Local Councillors and the MP are signally a bunch of idiots. Add a second tunnel and Greenwich will be in a permanent state of gridlock. And to those who say use public transport at commute hours, why would I when most buses terminate at The Standard as they’re unable to get to North Greenwich due to the volume of traffic? Expect huge impacts either side of the Sun In The Sands, even more drivers committing to the A102 and seeing nothing but miles of static traffic. We need to use all the roads we have, not restrict them.

        • Most people in the area do not own cars. Check the stats and census data. That percentage is only increasing as most developments are car-free. Local business will improve if walking and cycling is better.

          The number of people locally I know who drive to Bluewater is tiny. It’s mostly older people.

          The population is going up, will keep going up and everyone having a car like they did for decades is dead. It’s not happening. You have the option of complete gridlock like LA or China or going the route of enlightened cities and have people out of cars.

          It’s happening in every city.

    • The slip up onto the blackwall tunnel from the East is dangerous, and too short. Filtering in so close with extra traffic will lock up the peninsula entirely.

      And the problem isn’t traffic turning off to the Blackwall Tunnel – it’s through traffic into Greenwich.

    • It’s just incredible that yet again, people who have to use there vehicle for work and are unable to use public transport when it’s just not feasible when brings tools or goods are being pushed out and penalised.
      With the difficulties that are being created with the traffic flow in Greenwich at the moment, this just going to add to it.
      There’s a distinct lack of thought, when it comes to lack of flow of traffic and people, how the council expect businesses to survive along the whole route to Greenwich and onto Deptford.
      When I lived in Greenwich I accepted the noise, traffic and the buzz of the busyness of the area and how much it brought to the Borough as well.
      Everything is leading to a lovely place to live but fa to do because nothing will be left.
      When you move to a busy part of the city, you should just accept what’s around you, if you don’t like the hussle, don’t live there..

      • When people think of the buzz of cities it’s nightlife, food places, shops, life, parks and loads more. Traffic isn’t it – for those in it or those around it. Get rid of many cars. The best areas of cities aren’t those bits with busy roads.

        Of courser loads will be left – as they’ll be much nicer places to be. Who wants to eat beside a traffic jam?

    • Bugsby way towards the 02/ blackwell tunnel is already jammed pack in the morning. This planned route will not only make it worse for motorist but also people trying to get to the North Greenwich underground via bus or uber.

    • This is definitely going to disrupt trading at Greenwich Market and business in general, what a time to commence a project when we just about started trading after 3 month of the lock down. 18months that’s a long time.

      • I got a TFl leaflet through my door today, says some bus stops are being relocated but not to where. And some being removed. Local cyclists , including Deliveroo, use the pavement in Woolwich rd to get to/from houses which are nearly all on the south side of the road , they are not going to use a Northern Woolwich rd route.

    • Blackwall Lane is already congested with selfish drivers blocking the bus lane and sounding their horns and shouting at each other without consideration for residents. This is gonna be great….

    • This is just going to cause tons more traffic wait and see 🤬🤬

    • It’s just possible that this will improve traffic flow on the Blackwall Tunnel approach road and reduce the number of drivers using rat runs .

    • As a cyclist and a driver I see two big issues here. Firstly, when I am furiously pedalling to work in the morning I am not going to want a long scenic diversion down Old Woolwich Road. I can guarantee most cyclists will just join the traffic at this section. So a supposed safer route becomes more dangerous for a stretch. And as a driver who joins the A102 at the Angerstein Roundabout, blocking that slipway will just push me, and let’s face it, thousands of other motorists each day round and round the local roads instead of whisking us away on to the Tunnel Approach Road. Bugsbys Way and Blackwall Lane are going to become car parks. A good scheme but with two big flaws.

    • I think it’s a mistake to not put the cycle lane on Trafalgar Road. Perhaps the problem is the Royal Naval College owners?

      At some point there needs to be a cycle lane put through the A206 / Nelson Road roundabout. What’s that going to connect to?

    • For 🤬🤬🤬 sake!! This is just great making traffic even Worst!

    • For the life of me, I cannot see why Greenwich council would even do this. The result will be long tailbacks and blocked junctions.

      • It’s not Greenwich Council.

        I suspect it’s in connection with work on the new tunnels.

    • That just makes prefect sense, close of the slip road and create aggro. Sounds to me Greenwich Council are creating a problem to reduce traffic flow only to the slap a congestion charge for the area because then they’ll say it’s needed for the area as it is heavily congested, much like the west end with it useless road layouts. What makes me laugh the most though, this area is meant to be a ultra low emissions zone. Can’t see how that is because you got ten fold of traffic lights in the area that is unnecessary, it’s no wonder a large proportion of the population is obese, there got traffic lights what seems every 20-30 yards in the area. But as its portrayed, there needed for safer roads. Makes me laugh because, what makes the roads safer when there is mass amounts pollution along these roads due to constant bumper to bumper static traffic due to restrictions of traffic flow? Is that making the roads to walk and cycle along safe? And the other part that makes me laugh, let’s reroute the heavy Blackwall tunnel traffic to along by a local school and they can bask in the more so polluted air then we can call it a success that we’ve achieved maximum gridlock around the area by closing the slip road. But as it’s portrayed, it’s much needed for safer roads. It’s a joke! With all these closed off roads with these plant pots put in the road to close them, had anyone give it a thought that this is gonna also extend waiting time for emergency services due to these now mass amount of road closures because of so called “rat runs”. Think about it, they now have to go all round the houses ADDING more time to rescue those in need when it’s most needed in life of death situations. Because you now can’t take that shortcut to save time anymore because it’s blocked off and now adding more static traffic on the roads making it harder and longer to battle through. You can’t also move out the way because now you got camera’s that will now issue you a fine for moving out the way for emergency services, example moving into cycling lane’s. It’s all beyond a joke! Makes me sick!

      • I totally agree with you Rich. I could not have put it better myself. It is completely and utterly crazy that all the road restrictions are being put in place. Make some areas better at the expense of those who are going to suffer the consequences of the rerouted traffic. Those imposing the closures are obviously blinkered and not seeing the whole picture of the consequences. There pollution issues everywhere but to make it even worse in some areas is not fair!!!

    • Will the bikers pay road tax now they have a line to them self’s and motorist get a rebate as one is taken away from them


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