TfL have confirmed that major work along Trafalgar Road in Greenwich to create a cycle lane plus closure of the Blackwall Tunnel slip road at Angerstein Roundabout is to begin during daytime this Monday 7 September.
Some smaller scale work has already begun along the route alongside overnight work.
The work comes barely a year after a large amount of money and disruption was caused to create a “low emission” neighbourhood. Now much of that work will be replaced.
There has been little reduction in congestion since the scheme completed. Parking enforcement has been extremely poor since completion hence cycle lanes are still being blocked daily.
Work also created pocket parks which will remain, yet elsewhere in Greenwich half a mile away the council are now looking to sell a small park according to a notice placed in little read publication Weekender this week. The only place I’ve ever seen it is libraries – and of course less people are now visiting those. They have not placed this information on their website.
The most contentious issue is closing the Blackwall slip road below the Woolwich road roundabout, with the intention to instead send vehicles to a slip road to the north passing a new school to a point beside the park now up for sale.
This is phase one of the route and work will be under way until October. A further phase will continue to Charlton where protected lanes abruptly end under this plan. Existing cycle lanes do continue but offer no protection, and vehicles park in it daily with next to no enforcement despite hundreds of requests to Greenwich Council. That is not an exaggeration.
I thought I’d check TfL cameras to see the situation right now at the time of writing. Yep, a car is parked again.
Despite this, numerous attempts to gain a response on this from council leader Dan Thorpe (Labour – Shooters Hill) on whether wands or light segregation will protect existing lanes go unanswered.
It appears cyclists will be unprotected in part and then made to share a lane with buses closer to Woolwich.
I expect much conflict between drivers, bus users and cyclists during the next month or two as these measures are installed, even though cyclists never asked for such a short-lived scheme which is lasted barely a year and now being replaced, nor to be placed on lanes with buses. Something that is not going to entice people to ditch cars for short journeys and sure to annoy bus passengers.
It’s almost as if conflict is the intention given how slow and poorly planed so much work is. Remember, Berlin drew up and installed plans in three days in the early days of the pandemic when traffic was greatly reduced. And for a previous project to last barely a year is a great waste in a time of stretched funding.
There are positive though and the awful Angerstein roundabout is to see work at last for new crossings and railing removal. Hopefully it lasts a bit longer than prior schemes. And fingers crossed someone sees sense and installs some light segregation where lanes already exists and enforces parking.