Greenwich to Charlton cycle lane is now open

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.

Courtesy @RichardT135. Passing relatively new retail units ahead

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.

Courtesy @RichardT135. Lane leads to enlarged area to await signal changes

The entrance to Gallions Road from Woolwich Road is now blocked to vehicles which must enter via Bugsby’s Way.

Concerns

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.

New development in Charlton – space for cycle lane wasn’t taken

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.

Woolwich Road before changes. Lane on what is paving would permit buses to overtake

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:

Morris Walk rebuild = no space for cycle lane alongside except taking away existing road space used as a bus lane

The render below shows no space for a cycle lane in new designs now submitted:

Wide green buffer and narrow pavement. No cycle lane

It’s also seen in Woolwich town centre at a development due to be approved next week along Beresford Road:

No cycle lane

And also at the base of Berkeley towers on the Arsenal site:

Berkeley Homes towers on former Waterfront car park. Laybys but no space for cycle lane

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.

Cycle Highway 4 route

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.

Before changes. Wide paving.

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.

 

 

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John Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

17 thoughts on “Greenwich to Charlton cycle lane is now open

  • April 23, 2021 at 11:12 pm
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    So lots of very chunky men in speedos to be seen? Scary!

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  • April 24, 2021 at 7:59 am
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    The cycle lane along Woolwich Road leading up to the Angerstein roundabout causes traffic to go really slow and tail back when a bus is at a bus stop, Motorist have to wait behind the bus as there is no room for motorist to safely pass the bus.

    it can be a total nighmare for drivers in the rush hour as well as delaying buses and emergency vehicles which are also stuck in the traffic.

    So I agree with Murky more thought needs to be put in to these new cycle lanes as part of the planning application of new developments while ensuring not to reduce pavement space for pedestrians and road space for motorist too much,

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  • April 24, 2021 at 11:58 am
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    As a daily cycle commuter along these roads, generally I think its negative. All was needed is no unloading during rush hour. Oops – it already was – just never enforced. The people who design improvements for cyclists – cant be cyclists. Those orcas – nearly killed me by me hitting them with my front wheel – glad they got removed. And I suspect sadly they were removed because someone got really hurt.
    Take a look at the cycle path to get from Trafalgar Rd to old Woolwich Road. Its positioned better for a left turn from Trafalgar road – than a right turn from Trafalgar Rd – but why would you want to turn Left down Old Woolwich Rd – if you have just come that way from Trafalgar Rd? You want to turn Right of Trafalgar Road and use Old Woolwich road as a ‘quiet way’ – after all it is part of cycle route 1. Also as a pedestrian (with children) 2 way cycle lane, followed by 2 way road – is horrible (and risky) to negotiate to cross.

    Cycling is only a small part of the answer. Its not for everyone and every situation. Therefore – provision for it shouldn’t dominate (and ban those scooters on existing roads). However, new areas design for alternative transport. Have safe efficient routes for scooters, ebikes and cycles. Claim the Thames path – make it really wide -enough to separate cyclists/scooterists and pedestrians. For cycling to be a viable alterative – you need to be safe and go fast (and not stop too often). Oh yeh – pedestrian/cycle bridge across the Thames – that’s what we really need.

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  • April 24, 2021 at 2:55 pm
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    It was pretty grim down there when I walked to the shops yesterday, with a even split in the nine cyclists I saw between using the pavement, the road and the cycle lane. The zebra crossing at the bottom of Victoria Way is hideous: mid-road traffic islands are verboten in highway improvements but not for cycle lanes it seems. Unfortunately, most of the traffic was vans, lorries etc where cycling is not a solution. Buses were suffering badly.

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  • April 24, 2021 at 4:44 pm
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    Sorry employees of Charlton Sainsbury’s, I’ll be going to other stores now which are easier to get in and out of and to as well as not involving sitting behind buses blocking all the traffic when stopping at bus stops.

    Also, why not use some of the already wide pavement for the cycle Lane and why so many batons? As rightly stated these are actually dangerous for cyclists. Just more wasted money that could have been spent elsewhere and more intentional traffic forming measures to create pollution and irritate drivers not to mention it being nearly impossible for emergency service vehicles being able to get through the increased traffic.

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  • April 26, 2021 at 9:16 am
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    I cycled along here a few weeks ago (before it officially opened) and enjoyed the ride. It’s vastly better for people on bikes than it was before. It is a shame that improvements for people on bikes has come at the expense of bus passengers; but the road is too narrow to preserve a bus lane and a segregated cycle lane. I wonder how long it will take regular drivers along the road, sitting in traffic day after day, to consider switching to a bike after watching how ever many people stream past them.

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  • April 26, 2021 at 5:39 pm
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    Now that it is officially open, I cycled along the whole of it today. Horrible experience. Much conflict with pedestrians either crossing the two-way track or, at the bus stops, queueing across the tracks. I am not blaming the pedestrians. One of the cycle crossing lights under the Angerstein roundabout wasn’t lighting up when you pressed it, so you don’t know if it’s working or not. Having to keep stopping and crossing over the traffic stream is tedious, slow and dangerous. The cycle track has all sorts of unexpected curves that don’t match the surface (roadway/pavement). All the additional traffic lights make the whole route slow for a cyclist.

    In any case, not a good use of road space to take out a bus lane and put in a cycle track in my opinion. Even if it was a good one from a cyclists point of view (which it isn’t). As a cyclist I would always prefer to use backstreets and give buses priority on the main roads. How many cyclists can travel in the same space occupied by a double decker bus? Four? As usual with Royal Greenwich, pedestrians and bus passengers are the poor relation in all of these schemes.

    Where this route ends (at the Antigallican), we still have the crazy arrangement for cyclists coming south to Charlton from the riverside path. Although buses have their own lane that goes straight on up Charlton Church Lane, cyclists are expected to join the dual carriageway at Anchor & Hope Lane, cycle East up to the Stone Lake roundabout, cycle all the way round it and back down the other side before turning left up Charlton Church Lane.

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  • April 27, 2021 at 5:25 pm
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    Well at least it is open. Been a few frustrating months queuing in traffic, behind buses, whilst the cycle lane was closed. At least I can count the number of cyclists using the lane whilst I wait now.

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  • April 27, 2021 at 6:06 pm
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    I’ve never had my say and now i’m getting old it’s about time i started moaning. Can’t wait for a decent London Mayor to rip up all these cycle lanes and traffic calming measures. The public should go out and get rid of it all themselves with hammers. Even the most speedy of vehicles, the moped, is struggling to go fast in the traffic as they cannot weave in and out of it, so your dinner will be cold from deliveroo. There must be businesses struggling due to deliveries, it’s a joke.

    What’s the point of cycle lanes with them poles that cannot even be cleaned properly on Shooters Hill Road as the roads too dangerous. People wonder why everyone’s buying SUV’s. You been over some of them humps in 20mph zones at 20mph? you take off in Charlton Village. Imagine them poor sick people in ambulances, no wonder they strap you down on the trolly.

    I hope one day people have enough and see common sense and the hammer revolution begins to get us moving forwards again and we get what we want, not what other people want to win votes and waste money. Let’s get the right people in the right positions, making the right decisions.

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  • April 27, 2021 at 10:43 pm
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    I think the new lanes are great. I use them every day.
    Much like Ed I wonder how long it’s going to take before people start getting the hint that there is no space for everyone to drive in London and to maybe try a different form of transport? Not everyone of course but those who can or could.

    mrrunninbear -not sure what your problem is with the lights at the Angerstien roundabout??

    I suspect they didn’t make those particular lights activated by the button so they could phase the traffic better.
    They are in fact automated so you can cross clearly indicated by the green light for bikes and pedestrians when its time to cross (I can’t believe I’m having to point this out to someone?).

    Pedestrians seem not be a problem for me either? Might just be my luck but most people look both ways when crossing the lane, if by change someone is crossing it, I just slow down until they’ve passed so it’s not particularly dangerous in that respect.

    I’m seeing more and more people use the lanes, particularly those with children, although I wish there was more encouragement for people to use them, although the amount of hatred cyclists seem to draw for simply riding a bike would put anyone off I guess.

    It’s funny….you could almost think mrrunningbear isn’t a cyclist at all considering he doesn’t really approve of any cycling infrastructure? You might think they might be a disgruntled driver or resident with time on their hands, but don’t be silly…..who’d waste so much time posting fake opinions in the run up to mayoral elections eh.

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  • April 28, 2021 at 8:22 am
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    If you don’t need to press the button, what are the buttons for? Let’s stick to the discussion about the cycle infrastructure without the snarky remarks eh?

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  • April 28, 2021 at 8:38 am
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    If you don’t need to press a button, why is there a button?

    Let’s stick to discussing cycling infrastructure without the snarky remarks eh?

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  • April 28, 2021 at 1:40 pm
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    I haven’t had the misfortune of going that way since the “improvements”. Since the over-zealous implementation of 24 hour bus lanes along the whole route between Woolwich and Charlton causing tailbacks where traffic previously flowed, I bypass the carnage via the A2. Nothing will persuade me to haul a 20kg bag of rice and a week’s worth of groceries with 3 small children and a buggy in tow via a bicycle, let alone a bus. Buses are even less attractive for solo journeys due to 20mph speed limits and cycle lanes replacing bus lanes, let alone the risk of COVID. Sure have a war on motorists, but surely it’s self-defeating to make bus travel less attractive in the process. No pun intended, but families are slowly being driven out of London.

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  • April 28, 2021 at 5:49 pm
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    You’re right, sorry…..just can’t help responding to stupid remarks. The automatic phasing of those particular lights work well. I know I don’t have to press the buttons, just wait till the light tells me its safe to cross…..you have to admit thats even simpler than pushing the button.

    And in response to DaddyShark’s comment. Families aren’t being driven out of London by cycling or the roads….it’s house prices. Most people don’t want to raise a family in a flat, which is all that is being built at the moment.
    Normal victorian houses where I live (not a particularly special place) are 1 million pounds firm. So the only sensible option is to buy further outside of the London. It’s bonkers.

    I don’t think everything with the lanes is perfect. DaddyShark’s point about making buses less attractive is a good one. But it’s going to take time for everything to settle and adjust for things to get better. If more people used the lanes, the less traffic there is on the roads, the more buses and other priority traffic can flow.

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  • May 6, 2021 at 12:44 am
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    There is no amount of cycling infrastructure that will fix cycling in London, I’m a confident cyclist, for me the cycling lanes provide a pretty grim experience. Why are they so lumpy? Why do they go from road level to pavement level? Why are the bus stops in the same ‘space’ y as the lane? Why do people cycle in the wrong direction? Why do people on ebikes go past the stop line at the lights then be in the way? Why are the scooters even on the public highway? Why aren’t drivers looking for cyclists when they have to turn a junction? Why are mopeds always in the advanced stop boxes? Blame the council, blame the mayor, blame drivers, busses, scooters, pedestrians, other cyclists. The one thing as far as I can tell that makes cycling in London so awful is ‘Londoners’.

    Reply

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