Filming for another film production at the Old Naval College in Greenwich has seen the grounds closed again today.
This has once again blocked a major link between Cycle Highway 4 – which is being built from Tower Bridge to Greenwich to the west and a lane to the east. Plans to extend to Woolwich are hold, though a temporary lane is being built from Greenwich to Charlton. The connection between the two is via the Old Naval College and the University of Greenwich.
Closing the site for filming is a regular occurrence and one that brings in sizable income to the University. They won’t give that up without a fight. When closed cyclists are forced onto Romney Road. The riverside path is too narrow to use.
Closure of the grounds was a headache during lockdown too. Last year people were being told to cycle on the one hand, then meeting closed grounds for some months until a solution was found.
The University closing the grounds leaves us with regular severance of a major cycling lane project, or doing something about Trafalgar Road. That will be a political minefield. Maybe some boldness and moving the wall a couple of metres away from the road to create space for cyclists which could then meet a rebuilt town centre? The wall could be rebuilt exactly as it is slightly to the north. However trees in places present a challenge.
The other option is to remove the bus lane – as is happening at Creek Road to the west – but should we be hampering public transport users yet further? Removing Creek Road’s bus lane will delay buses by up to six minutes according to TfL’s own projections. The other option is a ban on private vehicles but again I cannot see politicians going for it.
There’s no easy answers, and for now it seems a major strategic route in future once cycle lanes complete will be at the mercy of the university’s regular closures.