Consultation into east Greenwich Low Traffic Neighbourhood begins

Consultation into a Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) covering eastern areas of Greenwich around Maze Hill has now commenced.

The scheme would involve three cameras placed on north-south roads between Greenwich Park and the A102 at Maze Hill, Vanbrugh Hill and Westcombe Hill.

Click to enlarge

The use of cameras instead of physical obstructions would permit the use of emergency services vehicles, taxis and buses. These are presumably three of the 40 cameras Greenwich Council seek to install from this spring, as I covered earlier this month.

Existing LTN planters outside Greenwich theatre

There is one physical obstruction at Halstow Road where it crosses the railway line.

The project follows another LTN to the west of Greenwich Park.

No through traffic on Vanbrugh Hill if approved

It is estimated the use of CCTV will result in sizable income which is ringfenced to transport projects. If the scheme does go ahead will we see incoming funds used to  improve nearby streets which are far from inviting for pedestrians?

Walk from Westcombe Park station to Ikea includes poor design

Some concerns have been raised about additional traffic on Trafalgar Road and Woolwich Road. Supporters claim it will make local streets safer for residents. One concern is displacing traffic to the east past Victoria Way in Charlton and hundreds of new homes. It is possible that will be the next area for an LTN.

The consultation runs until 8th March and can be seen here.

UPDATE: I’ve been reading through comments on the consultation website and some misunderstand how these projects and their finances work. Money allocated for them is ringfenced and cannot be spent elsewhere, thus saying “spend on X or Y” is often not possible.

Other comments include “how about a speed camera”; it’s different funds and different organisations behind them. Council’s do not fund or decide on the installation of speed cameras.

Another argument often seen is “only in posh areas”, yet the poorer east of the borough around Abbey Wood and lower Plumstead have had them for years. Also, new flats facing busy roads in the area are far from cheap to buy or rent.

Finally here’s one argument that misunderstands the whole point of LTNs: “With the closure all these roads, to drive two streets away will necessitate a 5km drive via the A102 and the Sun in the Sands roundabout, creating far more pollution and congestion than is the case right now for a two minute journey”.

Preventing people driving two streets away (or any short journey) is exactly what it is intended to do. Far less people will do it when it becomes arduous. With less people driving short journeys when they are able to travel via other means, the aim is to then free up road space for those that do need it. It’s not an instant fix-all and proponents state behaviour change takes some time.

 

 

50 thoughts on “Consultation into east Greenwich Low Traffic Neighbourhood begins

  • February 5, 2021 at 4:23 pm
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    Can’t find any link on this page? Nor any info on RBG website.Is this info correct?

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    • February 5, 2021 at 4:25 pm
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      Found it, you since added after I read Facebook page

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      • February 5, 2021 at 4:26 pm
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        Sorry about that it apparently timed out while uploading.

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  • February 5, 2021 at 4:30 pm
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    Leaving aside the merits/demerits of this, I find it immensely frustrating that these are seemingly being done without any consideration of the wider area. It’s probably a tactic rather than a flaw, but it is inevitable that this will increase traffic on Eastcombe Avenue and Victoria Way as people try to find a way through to the supermarkets in Charlton (a journey that is not straightforward by bus and involves crossing roads to make connections, so great with shopping). So then we have the pressure for an LTN east of the A102. And so on.

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    • February 5, 2021 at 4:51 pm
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      I expect they will head east in time to Woolwich. The legacy of past mistakes such as encouraging car-centric retail parks coming back to haunt them.

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  • February 5, 2021 at 4:33 pm
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    Possibly the most biased response form I have seen in some time. Presented as though it will happen .. just consulting on how. The door to door notification did not include the map and relies on on-line responses only. The whole approach is just so piecemeal and fails to show up any joined up thinking. it would help thier case, if as you suggest, the use of any additional income was specified and tied in with the bigger picture they paint eg use it to invest in more local EV charging points. Somethings needs to be done but this isn’t looking it. Please encourage people to respond as the RBG track record in documents presented to members to roll those not responding in with those not objecting. They do this kind of stuff so poorly.

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    • February 5, 2021 at 4:54 pm
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      I’ve long though people need to be brought along with changes and agree they should have a list of projects to entice change. Some will never agree but many would if a clear plan was presented. They will soon have more than £10m per year income from various sources and if people saw improved high streets, greenery and trees, better streets and improved towns they would see the trade off and be liable to support measures.

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    • February 5, 2021 at 5:24 pm
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      What door to door consultantation?

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  • February 5, 2021 at 6:15 pm
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    Poorly thought out. I would mean that those between the railway line and the Woolwich road are in a series of unconnected islands, with the only entrance or exit out via the Woolwich Road and the motorway.

    It would mean that to drive out to the A2 across Blackheath or to drive south via Blackheath village or Lewisham will not be possible, unless via the A102 Blackwall Tunnel motorway and the notorious Sun in the Sands roundabout, a road that in normal times has stationary traffic backed up for miles.

    This could easily add 20-30 minutes for the first/last mile of any journey to/from the south and increase local pollution still further.

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  • February 5, 2021 at 7:21 pm
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    I have reservations about this but some of the comments from those against on the consultation are so full of basic errors that they aren’t worth a dime. A good 90 per-cent include basic mistakes.

    A lot seems to be coming from some odd Facebook groups and black cab drivers not living locally.

    “How will I drive to the shops” is a classic. Err, online shopping? Go when quiet? Walk and shop more often? Plenty of options. This is the year 2021 people and online shopping is not new.

    “If I want to drive to my Mum’s or to my usual supermarket I will have to drive a considerable additional distance if the bottom of Maze Hill is permanently closed”.

    Really?! There’s NO other option?

    Many can’t grasp the most basic idea which is that making other forms of local transit quicker than cars means a certain amount of people will switch out of cars.

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    • February 12, 2021 at 2:39 pm
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      Some people really will have to drive a considerable additional distance for journeys though. Because all routes from the top of the hill to the bottom of the hill will be closed. We live south of the blocked out roads – there won’t be any way for us to get to Woolwich Road to access the tunnel unless we go towards Blackheath and Sun-In-The-Sands. There are often queues there – this will add to our daily commute. Further issues: can’t use public transport due to shift working, and working ‘on call’ we need to live within a set journey time. We might have to move.

      We can’t be the only ones who use the tunnel for daily commutes/similar – I wish they would put a system in to keep routes open to residents and not allow others to short cut through the area.

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  • February 5, 2021 at 7:26 pm
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    The shops line is interesting as people stating shops will die if people can’t drive forgets the huge numbers of new homes within a short walk of east Greenwich now going up with many more to come. Those shops can thrive with all that local custom. Of course Greenwich Council do not help with such poor pedestrian links from Greenwich Peninsula which was ignored again at a planning meeting this week.

    It’s like one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.

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  • February 5, 2021 at 8:27 pm
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    Yet again Greenwich Council have no idea!!

    Trafalgar Road is always tailing back to Woolwich Road flyover nearly every day, since they built those stupid cycle lanes, now they are forcing thousands of extra vehicles down that road.

    Don’t use your car they say, but what alternative is there, you get on a bus at Charlton, an hour later you’ve not even reached Vanbrugh Hill, this is due to cycle lanes reducing road space!

    Maybe when they put this in, as a protest, we should all drive down Trafalgar Road on a go slow?

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    • February 6, 2021 at 8:39 am
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      Removing turns onto Trafalgar Road will reduce delays. Something has to be done to improve the flow.

      I’m doing most of my shopping while I’m out for my daily walk.

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      • February 6, 2021 at 1:55 pm
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        I believe the intention is to stop people using their cars for short, “unnecessary” journeys. When the schools go back – walk the children to school; if less people used their cars unnecessarily, the busses would be able to travel more quickly and be more reliable. This would also aid people who DO NEED to use their cars.

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        • February 6, 2021 at 4:57 pm
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          This assumes that journeys have a single reason. If I think of my own family, dropping children off is often part of a longer chain of reasons for travelling. My brother has about four objectives in his daily journey. He is not time rich, he does not do an office job, he cannot work from home. I’m sure after a day’s manual labour he’ll love cycling uphill. My pensioner mother will no doubt enjoy walking home laden down with shopping. Online shopping? OK, but if you need to use more than one shop? Four van deliveries? And if we’re putting even more traffic down the A102, what about air quality around there?

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          • February 6, 2021 at 8:56 pm
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            Well said, Ned.

            I think that most people do not just do one task on a trip. I know that, in non lockdown life, I would usually call into several different locations, eg going to work, shops, drop something to somewhere on most trips. My work used to involve calling at multiple different addresses during the day so a car was essential. It would not be possible to do some work only using public transport, either due to journey times, or to having to carry large items or equipment.

            Living in Westcombe park area for years, it was bad enough when the London marathon used to lock us in our homes for one day a year, now it seems like we will be imprisoned completely unless I want to travel south.

            In my view Westcombe Hill, Maze Hill and Vanbrugh Hill are all essential local through routes, they have bus routes, and are vital to allow traffic through. The other local roads are capillaries allowing traffic to circulate.

            However I can see that Greenwich council are determined to hold a very biased consultation to bring this mad scheme in .

            More traffic on the A2 or A102 will only lead to longer journey times with traffic at a standstill for a lot of the time. Just think what it will be like when the Silvertown tunnel beings even more traffic!

      • February 7, 2021 at 2:20 am
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        Great if you can walk, what if your in a wheelchair and you want to do a weeks shopping or if your elderly and can’t get on public transport, not everyone is fit and healthy.

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  • February 5, 2021 at 9:54 pm
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    “Don’t use your car they say, but what alternative is there”.

    The new cycle lane? The one you reference in the very same sentence.

    “Trafalgar Road is always tailing back to Woolwich Road flyover nearly every day, since they built those stupid cycle lanes”

    Cos it was free flowing before? I work here and let me tell you it wasn’t.

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  • February 5, 2021 at 10:09 pm
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    I’m voting against the Labour council in the upcoming local elections and advise everyone to do so.

    I’ve voted Labour all my life but they are turning the area into one where no one can move without serious issue. I’m a tradesman who works in this area and to be honest the traffic levels are not bad enough to warrant what the council plan to do here and will make traffic on Greenwich High Road and the Heath much much worse and increase pollution markedly. I suppose the council can be held responsible for extra illness and deaths caused by the extra pollution through this and other schemes by idling traffic?

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  • February 5, 2021 at 11:34 pm
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    The intention maybe good, but unfortunately I think there will be unintended effects. To have zero access from the top of westcombe park to trafalgar road for regular car drivers will cause bottlenecks around the surrounding area, which will then cause the council to introduce measures elsewhere.
    This will then push all the traffic onto the main roads (which I guess is the point), but I feel this will create more traffic and pollution if other steps are not taken, like the traffic light sequencing
    Then there is a problem if and when there is a traffic incident on the main roads (which isn’t uncommon). This could possibly create chaos if cars have no ‘escape’.

    There needs to be a more holistic approach rather than what seems to be doing various things here and there, that don’t seem to be very effective overall and in some cases creates other problems (the cycle lanes on Shooters Hill Road is one such example)!

    I personally own a car but do not commute to work – I walk 40 minutes each way (I work near the centre of Greenwich) and drive less than 5k miles a year, so for me it’s not the end of the world for me, but I do think closing off Maze Hill, Vanburgh Hill & Westcombe hill to through traffic in my opinion is too much. I personally think leaving open Vanburgh Hill would be a reasonable compromise

    I think much of the traffic problem is due to the traffic light sequencing along Trafalgar Road and the Greenwich Town one way system that led to the rat running, then closing off some road (Park Row & Woodland Cres.)

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  • February 6, 2021 at 9:45 am
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    “Another argument often seen is “only in posh areas”, yet the poorer east of the borough around Abbey Wood and lower Plumstead have had them for years. Also, new flats facing busy roads in the area are far from cheap to buy or rent.”

    Your second sentence undermines the argument you put forward in the first. Also it’s not really relevant to Greenwich proper where it’s frankly clear most of these LTNs are in West Greenwich and prevent rat runs through posh residential streets at the expense of more traffic on the trunk roads which run through the poorer areas. I don’t object wholesale to these in principle as traffic management is not bad per se, but the fundamental objection is that they were implemented without consultation, without proper assessment of their impact (instead letting that assessment take place in real time) and are now causing consequences to traffic on streets that were already extremely busy.

    This isn’t exclusive to Greenwich – ridiculous and unnecessary 24 hour bus lanes and bus gates have been implemented in similar manner throughout London without any consultation/assessment – but Greenwich is a particularly bad example of a bad bunch. For instance, I know parking gets a lot of commentary on this site but I can’t park my car anywhere in any of the hundreds of vacant on-street parking spaces in Greenwich without paying a frankly extortionate hourly rate other than on Christmas Day and NYD, with no discount at all for EVs. Meanwhile I can go to Notting Hill, Mayfair, Westminster, City, Oxford Street, and various other central locales and park for free on Sundays and even in some instances after 1pm on Saturdays. And thus I don’t ever shop in Greenwich proper, but simply take my custom there. Madness. It’s all simply indicative of bad and overbearing policy.

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    • February 6, 2021 at 10:17 am
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      I wholeheartedly agree with your 2nd and 3rd paragraphs Andy.
      I often wonder if the people who are coming up with some of these ideas and implementing them live in the local area and drivers, as they don’t seem to look at the knock-on effects of their schemes.
      If appears that their aggressive policies against motorists are about hitting the pockets of motorists using the excuse of fighting pollution & traffic.
      Yes, we need to reduced the traffic levels but the balance seems to be all wrong.
      I often thought that VED should be scrapped altogether and add say 5p tax (for eg) to a litre of petrol/diesel, so the more people drive, the more they pay. Where as drivers are currently saying to themselves, they’ve paid money for the VED so make use of the vehicle.
      Then I would reduce bus fares to £1 to make it much more of an incentive for people to use buses locally to go to the shops and to work (obviously the TFL budgets will need to be rejigged).

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      • February 6, 2021 at 10:25 am
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        Sorry, but I forgot one example of unintended consequences of some of the road policies is the cycle lanes on Shooters Hill Road (between the row of shops and up towards the junction to the hospital).

        With so many emergency vehicles using this road, I regularly seen the emergency services drastically slowed down/blocked even in moderate traffic because the other vehicles are unable to pull over to the side to let the emergency services pass, due to the wands segregating the cycle lanes!

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        • February 6, 2021 at 10:51 am
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          I know in some nations they have bollards that vehicles can drive over in emergencies and they flip back up. A possible option

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        • February 6, 2021 at 5:54 pm
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          With respect the cycle lanes on Shooters Hill Road were created by removing the islands in the middle of the road. Only one lane of traffic in each direction has been the norm for many years. The only extra bit of space was at the Baker Road junction.

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          • February 6, 2021 at 11:51 pm
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            I aware there is one lane in each direction along that section of Shooters Hill Road before the cycle lanes were installed (i’ve lived on that road for almost 30 years), but the road was wide enough to pullover to the kerb and let emergency service vehicles pass. Now that the wands have been installed you can’t pull over to let vehicles overtake. Imagine if and when vechicles breakdown on that section of the road, it will cause long tailbacks

          • February 7, 2021 at 12:55 pm
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            Having walked down the length of Shooters Hill Road this morning there are numerous gaps in the posts on the cycle lanes where you could pull over to allow emergency vehicles to pass.

    • February 6, 2021 at 2:07 pm
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      Not sure how it undermines when it’s only stating LTNs have long existed in poorer areas so to claim they benefit the wealthy alone is not correct. That is both borough wide and in the west of the borough as this proposal could shift more cars in the short term past new developments where a flat costs £530k+.

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      • February 6, 2021 at 4:11 pm
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        The ones in poorer areas have gone through consultation, however, which is the key point you’re missing here – many more will have been rejected in such processes. The ones that have been pushed through without any consultation are almost all in the wealthy areas of the Heath and West Greenwich. That’s not by chance.

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  • February 6, 2021 at 10:02 am
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    I think we really need to know what hours the restrictions would apply before we can establish how it might affect us, and therefore what we think about it. The consultation is clear that the hours have yet to be decided. If it is week day am and pm rush hours, then it seems to address the rat-running that we are told is the reason for change and I’m fine with it. If it is 24 hours, including weekends, then this is not about rat-running and I’m not.

    That said, can anyone explain to me why taxis would be exempt, but residents wouldn’t?

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    • February 6, 2021 at 10:34 am
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      I agree Will, if this is a 24 hour, 7 day restriction, then it’s going to a firm no for me too.

      I think it will be too much admin/difficult to process if local residents are exempt? Not sure how the process/system know how taxis are exempt though .

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  • February 6, 2021 at 10:10 am
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    The survey seems to be getting plenty of responses. I can’t get the notion that these measures will reduce traffic, they will only move and displace it. Hence such proposals should be out to a wider community. and in this case Charlton/Blackheath Standard. I am also intrigued by the way the responses seem to be colour coded (green, amber, red) there is no indication about how the classification is being done … is it simply allocating a colour based on a single question in the consultation or is someone reading each one amd making a judgement about what colour to label it. It will likely be case that the outcome reported to RBG cllrs simply tots up the colours and adds in any non reponses as showing support to the scheme.

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    • February 6, 2021 at 10:37 am
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      Hi Hedley,
      Do you have a link so I can also give my opinion?
      Many thanks
      HK

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  • February 6, 2021 at 12:03 pm
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    About 30+ years ago it was recognised that there was a serious future problem with traffic along Trafalgar Road and the Naval College. There was a proposal to build a tunnel along the waterfront at Greenwich taking traffic from the tunnel approach(?) to the Lower Road/Creek Road. It never got past this proposal stage. I guess it came down to cost but I wonder what things would be like if that had gone ahead or even if it could be considered now.

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    • February 6, 2021 at 2:37 pm
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      I have always dreamed of a tunnel under the Heath especially after the a2 was shut for 6 months when the giant hole opened up on Blackheath hill.

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  • February 6, 2021 at 11:54 pm
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    The consultation is so deceptive by the way the questions are framed and the choice of answers, so the council can show that there is support for the scheme!
    Reading some of the comments from people have completed the consultation have also called this out!

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  • February 7, 2021 at 2:06 am
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    They just don’t understand traffic flows or needs of locals to an area. It’s a complex problem and is being badly thought out. The hypocrisy is also clear, ban traffic on local through roads for pollution reasons, but then approve Silvertown tunnel and remove bus lanes, whilst adding to a busy bottleneck shopping area around a new ikea and other Charlton retail. The people in charge of this aren’t that smart or consistent.

    I do think better cycle lanes are overall are a good thing, but again they have been poorly thought out overall. Our transport and social infrastructure needs to be looked at as a whole with in and between areas. Cross South East London travel on public transport is a bit of a joke.

    Where I live has almost rendered using the car pointless as traffic is so consistantly bad except out of hours. Not ideal with a disabled partner and 2 very young kids, the context of the user is not really taken into account in any of this.

    There’s a good private eye podcast on the issue.

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  • February 7, 2021 at 6:29 pm
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    I agree its complex. Not enough traffic surveys have been done. and there is a missing factor of local highway engineers who understand the area.

    The data presented is poor, for instance rat running is usually one way but traffic counts don’t show this. And goes different ways at different times. There is no map on how the road closures fit with the rest of the north/south/north routes between the A102 and Blackheath Hill.

    Also missing is a diverse range of designers. Too high a proportion of people involved in our local transport design are cyclists, not public transport, car, pedestrian or pushchair users. A study by academics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) published in 2011, explores why in London “cycling is disproportionately an activity of affluent, white men” or, as Transport for London (TfL), has put it, why the London cyclist is “typically white, under 40, male, with medium to high household income.”

    I agree with murky depths that car users need to be forced by obstructions to reevaluate their travelling behaviour. I got rid of my car years ago after examining if I really needed one. ( would be good to have a local Enterprise car rental place here). Public transport and pedestrian routes need to be made more attractive. And we need a strategic transport authority for London which includes trains , and has offices in local areas so highway engineers understand the transport needs and don’t themselves travel out of area!

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    • February 8, 2021 at 12:01 pm
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      One major improvement for streets would be more car hire places at reasonable cost. It’d cut down a lot of parking spaces and lead to much more efficient use of road space. Progress has been slow on this front. Many new developments have free/cheaper car club membership to reduce parking spaces but it only lasts a short while. Before anyone pipes up abut needing a van, car on call all the time etc then yes it’s not for everyone and those can retain a car but many other do a journey every few days and it could work for them.

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  • February 7, 2021 at 9:52 pm
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    As one of the billionaires living in ‘affluent’ West Greenwich, we had an LTN installed a few months ago, and whilst I was initially outraged by the plan, it has actually done what it set out to in terms of all but eliminating our local car journeys. We now pretty much exclusively walk to the town centre/station/supermarket whatever the weather as its so much handier than driving. Also the local streets are no longer filled with aggressive nutters in vans, willing to take anyone out just to save a second. Plus the air is cleaner, apparently.
    So whilst I was unhappy initially with similar street closures in far-more-affluent West Greenwich, I must reluctantly admit that Greenwich Council were right about its impact and it has been good generally for my family. I acknowledge however that old pals in East Greenwich has been negatively mugged off by the West Greenwich changes, so I really hope these changes happen for them too and they get some peace 🙂

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    • February 7, 2021 at 11:53 pm
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      No doubt from your comments you are white ,middle class and privileged .

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      • February 8, 2021 at 8:37 pm
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        Hmmm i’m really not sure how to respond to that odd comment. Not very traffic related.

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    • February 8, 2021 at 11:56 am
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      That’s a similar scenario borough wide. Opposition, acceptance then advocacy. Abbey Wood for example is a bit of a ballache as the 469 bus meanders around the barriers, but a small hassle and many locals would now keep it.

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      • February 8, 2021 at 8:41 pm
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        Exactly. People (myself included) can be very fearful of change, but when changes are forced on them they grow so used to the changes they become fearful of their undoing. Which is where I sit now in terms of the West Greenwich changes.

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  • February 8, 2021 at 1:50 pm
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    My fundamental objections are that these changes are being put forward during the pandemic, implemented without consultation, without proper assessment e.g the cycle lanes on Trafalgar Rd. The impact on the residents to the already busy main roads, increasing pollution and creating further congestion so close to Blackwell tunnel whether we catch public transport or not. The door to door notification without a map excludes those residents who do not have access to the on-line responses. I agree the whole approach is just so piecemeal and fails to show up any joined up thinking in order just to use up the funding!

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  • February 11, 2021 at 8:30 am
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    I might not have understood these plans correctly – we just got the letter from the council this week. However we drive to work via the tunnel – we have to drive due to working hours and no public transport connections. As we live near the top of Vanbrugh Hill, it looks like there will be no route down the hill to join the tunnel as all north-south routes will be blocked. So we’ll have to go towards Blackheath to join the A2 and then get onto the A102, where there are often already long queues and the whole Blackheath area can already be extremely congested. If this happens, for some of us it will have a massive impact – we’d actually need to think of moving.

    Why can’t they allow access to locals (if they are implementing cameras surely this would be possible?).

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  • February 11, 2021 at 10:03 am
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    The low traffic schemes in Lewisham have seen tailbacks and gridlocks and, in fact, the scheme was eased a little, but to no noticeable effect. The current “lockdown” and snowy weather has reduced the volume of traffic, but it won’t last.

    Reply

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