Transport for London have allocated £711,000 from recent bailout funds towards transport improvements in Greenwich borough. The funds were a condition of money from the DfT.
While there are some specifics in the list, there are disappointingly still too many vague “borough-wide” descriptions.
£161,000 is allocated to school street closures borough-wide and modal filters in “the Westcombe Park and Maze Hill area, Horn Park and Woolwich (are likely areas subject to engagement and feasibility)”.
£45,000 is allocated to “supporting groups at higher risk of collisions” though there are no details. £40,000 for “improvements to pavements to make walking easier for people with disabilities, such as tactile floor surfaces” also lack detail. It’d be helpful if the authority stopped installing clutter which blocks pavements.
There is £30,000 for Controlled Parking Zones but no details of which – despite those agreed around three years ago having yet to be introduced and a lack of staff to monitor existing zones.
One may overlook the lack of detail in today’s announcement if we hadn’t seen such secrecy in the spring and for projects over previous years. A failure to engage, reveal details of future projects and even spend money goes back many years. It took Freedom of Information requests to reveal bids and plans from the spring. That revealed large sums spent on little more than temporary barriers.
£142,500 was spent in Eltham:
£164,000 was spent in Woolwich:
And £119,130 was spent in Greenwich on barriers:
£711,000 announced today isn’t really “new” money. Before this year, every London borough would receive money annually from TfL via the Local Implementation Plan. I’ve been covering that project for many years as Greenwich have long been secretive on funding. Some money in previous years was never been spent despite allocation.
The Local Implementation Plan is now on hold with councils not receiving much expected funding. Greenwich were due to see around £3 million this year. This “new” funding and funds from spring partly make up for it.
It should also be noted that annual LIP funding has traditionally been topped by up councils to the tune of millions each year – though Greenwich had decided long before the pandemic not to top up LIP funds from TfL using developer funds by a penny either this year or next.
I compared Greenwich to other London Councils. They were last among Labour councils across all of London – and behind some Tory boroughs. Here’s some examples of total parking and developer allocations last year from boroughs in Zones 2-4+ (Greenwich has since dropped to zero):
- Greenwich – £206k
- Lewisham – £1.33m
- Lambeth – £1.2m
- Southwark – £765k
- Ealing – £766k
- Brent – £6 million
- Camden – £5.26m
While this latest £711,000 may sound a lot, it won’t go far borough-wide and pales into insignificance compared to incoming funds from new developments in the borough. The authority continues to rely heavily on TfL to do the heavy lifting while failing to allocate their own cash towards better streets in many instances. A glaring example was seen again last month with plans approved for 6,000 homes at Greenwich Peninsula. Almost no income will improve the area’s public realm and pedestrian links to east Greenwich.
Click here to view details of the latest £711,000.