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.
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.
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.
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:
@DanLThorpe @Royal_Greenwich just witnessed a very close call between a cyclist and car in Woolwich Rd, that new cycle lane is an abomination, it's going to cause many accidents. As a bus driver I can tell you it's extremely difficult to see cyclists now on this road.
— Leyton Wylde (@Wildster180774) September 23, 2020
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.