The next phase of segregated cycle lanes from Greenwich to Charlton has now opened. This section follows a stretch from Greenwich to the Blackwall Tunnel approach flyover which opened in December 2020.
This subsequent phase passes retail parks in Charlton as it heads along Woolwich Road.
Lanes stop at a junction beside Anchor and Hope lane and the Antigallican pub near the Valley and Charlton station. Cyclists heading east then share space with a new bus lane up to Woolwich ferry.
A large box for cyclists has been installed at the junction, permitting cyclists to depart and remain visible to cars turning left from Woolwich Road towards Bugsby’s Way.
The entrance to Gallions Road from Woolwich Road is now blocked to vehicles which must enter via Bugsby’s Way.
One of the concerns with the first phase in east Greenwich has been shop deliveries blocking the road. This should be much less of an issue in the eastern section.
Another issue is that stopping buses now block the road, which prevents traffic behind from easily passing. As a bus user this can be frustrating. It has been an apparent oversight to permit new builds along this stretch with no foresight to include space for cycle lanes.
I’m all for enhance pedestrian space, but in places new builds such as Sainsbury’s would have permitted sizable pavements even with a cycle lane alongside while retaining road space to permit passing buses.
Unfortunately this looks to be continuing in much of Woolwich, as I covered here. New builds in various parts of the town are not including space for a cycle lane along adjacent major roads, which will no doubt mean changes down the line and possibly impact upon space for buses. We see it at the vast Morris Walk rebuild:
The render below shows no space for a cycle lane in new designs now submitted:
It’s also seen in Woolwich town centre at a development due to be approved next week along Beresford Road:
And also at the base of Berkeley towers on the Arsenal site:
The new lane in Charlton was to be part of Cycle Highway 4 which now will run from London Bridge (well, Tower bridge but a recent light segregation now runs to London Bridge) to Greenwich where it meets the temporary lanes installed over recent months.
Segregated lanes will do much to encourage those hesitant to cycle to give it a go – which in turn should lead to reduced car journeys.
I’m a little wary of how it’s been done and the possibility of creating more conflict between cyclists and drivers, and how measures can crucially slow down buses and reduce their appeal. A sustainable city needs buses and cycling – and planning staff need to be pushing developers for design to accommodate that when new builds are drawn up.
Another small point – which is pretty pedantic – is the wand design uses extensive amounts of reflective white which turns filthy very quickly. I’ve noticed designs used in other areas of London and the country wears much better.
Perhaps due to the new lanes, a new bicycle shop opening at Blackheath Standard a little to the north of the new lanes. I covered that earlier today.
Anyway , after what I hope is seen as constructive criticism, this stretch is an obvious improvement for cyclists and is part of what is needed to persuade people to give cycling a go. The more that do, the less congestion and pollution there’ll be in the long run.