Teething troubles in Greenwich: Loading blocks the road

A number of issues have arisen in recent days as a new cycle lane is installed in east Greenwich running along Trafalgar Road.

Traffic lanes have been narrowed for segregated two-way cycle lanes on one side of the road. This means any vehicle stopping blocks the road behind and this morning a lorry stopped just after 9am halting traffic and buses.

These wands now removed for two-way lane oon opposite side of road

For this to work companies will need to rearrange delivery times and the necessary road markings applied. In addition, if they’re ignored enforcement requires stepping up. It’s a long running problem. If the project is to work it’s essential Greenwich Council are on top of it.

The fact that to the east of the planned lane in Charlton we see vehicles blocking a mandatory cycle lane every single day with minimal action by the authority doesn’t offer much promise.

Staff to keep roads clear

The authority failed to increase the number of parking enforcement staff after 2010 despite a large rise in traffic, housing, shops, new parking zones and general population.

In fact it dropped on occasion.

Data from Greenwich Council obtained via Freedom of Information request

It was only in 2019 that the authority hired additional staff raising numbers to 32. However, given daily problems in the same areas this still appears insufficient. Particularly so when they are looking to expand resident parking zones such as Plumstead which will require staff time reducing availability for main routes.

Other CPZ such as Abbey Wood are still not in place over three years after approval in July 2017. Greenwich had allocated £86,000 for the project which has yet to occur.

Abbey Wood parking isn’t great

It also appears that poles have been removed in places in east Greenwich where food delivery mopeds congregate and often block cycle lanes.

One tool the council do now possess is cameras which went live this month. However they are restricted in number and can only issue fines for a limited number of offences such as parking on Keep Clear marking outside schools and not general parking.

Another issue is visibility. A bus driver has warned of this today:

Clearly it’s early days and issues will arise. Measures can be altered as the scheme beds in and active travel encouraged. Some changes have occurred at the one-way system in Greenwich town centre as barriers removed, though the scheme still features major issues by squeezing cyclists into confined spaces.






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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.

10 thoughts on “Teething troubles in Greenwich: Loading blocks the road

  • Your first photo – 2 stripes on the pavement – Means No loading or unloading at any time.
    Now, this may not be practical, but most shops do have rear access for small vans – not artics. Maybe it would help level the playing field between big companies and small independent shops if small van deliveries were mandated.

    As for the Cycle changes – as a pedestrian I tried to navigate 2 way bikes then 2 way traffic. It was an absolute nightmare.
    I am a cycle commuter – but haven’t used the new lay out yet. But I also have a family and need to use a car sometimes – So I think as a general road user, I would like it to go back to before. But with no loading lorries and safer junctions.

    • I agree with John.
      As a pedestrian, even at a crossing, by the time I have double checked for two way traffic bikes and electric scooters and then two way traffic cars the green man has turned red!

      • Used the new cycle lane for the first time and it’s a big improvement on trying not to be killed by cars vans and lorries. They seem super safe if you are riding with someone so kids will benefit a lot when used to get to school. The lanes are more narrow then what you get in the rest of London and the road markings haven’t been done very well but it’s a big step forward.
        I anticipate vehicles wanting to turn out of roads will break the law a lot and block the cycle lanes so will have to see how the police and council manage offenders.
        Lighting is poor as previously mentioned so better street lights as well as catseyes and curb lighting would really improve night safety.
        Turning from the cycle lane into an adjacent street is precarious due to the road markings not creating a safe space so hopefully that will improve.
        Again the most suitable road would be between Greenwich and Woolwich with one lane converted to a cycle lane on each side but that’s unlikely to happen any time soon, when it does the implementation should be better due to increased space.
        This is a wealthy part of Greenwich so would be nice if the council extended it to Woolwich and plumstead.
        I’m hoping this encourages more to cycle and starts to impact the awful smog that is always on that road.

    • Surely not using artic lorries means more smaller vans, causing more traffic and pollution?
      Again, anyone with half a brain could see the consequences of these cycle lanes such and how they are implemented.
      These planners can’t think/see one step ahead of the knock-on effect!

      The council can’t have it both ways! Installing cycle lanes to encourage cycling, then approving big out of town retail parks where it’s more practical to drive (especially if going to the DIY stores for bulky items), and then trying to save local businesses who need to make deliveries.
      Then there’s the silvertown tunnel – I know it’s Khan’s responsibility, but still you get the picture!

      • Totally agree HK Greenwich Council cannot have it both ways.

        The Silvertown Tunnel will just add to taffic Congestion which is already a nightmare in and around Greenwich and the Borough as a whole.

  • Totally agree Murky, enforcement officers in Trafalgar road (evenings too) and strict regs about loading/unloading plus signage all essential or this will backfire badly. Same old story with Greenwich. Pocket parks it appears have no staff to maintain or clear litter from either. Was the lorry delivering or broken down then? surely the driver didn’t stop there to deliver during rush hours?? It also needs supermarkets etc to begin using smaller localised trucks, pref electric too, the juggernauts here like Tesco’s are totally unnecessary. And parking a no-no on the road, should it be converted to a red route perhaps?

  • John and Pat, valid comments, as a mainly cyclist guy i need to try out the new system, is it fully operational now?

    • I second that Derek Small John and Pat made very valid comments,

  • In my opinion…as buildings cannot be moved…then I think pavements should be reduced in width..no cycle lane..and extra lanes for vehicles…and no stopping 7am until 7pm…..
    All other measures are just wasting effort…either you solve a problem or not.
    And as for cameras…should triple the number and all operational for Speeding especially…together with character recognition in several places ANPR

  • I am a cyclist and I think this ‘highway’ is very badly designed in parts.
    Closing the main bus stop outside the Post Office on Trafalgar Road was a very big mistake.
    The bus stop served vibrant local shopping ; Iceland, Co-op, Boots, fast food outlets, small shops and street traders and a chemist as well as postal services and opticians. Now bus travellers must use alternative stops over 100 metres away and navigate complex dangerous road junctions to access the area. Disabled and elderly as well as mothers with pushchairs are severely affected .
    The problems with loading and no parking has caused major problems, as noted by others.
    Re-open the bus stop please and use a better design to configure the cycle route in that area.


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