West Greenwich LTN road closure removed

Greenwich Council contractors have moved planters and removed a bollard at the Hills and Vales Low Traffic Neighbourhood opening the road to all traffic once again.

Contractors opened the road last night, though new Greenwich Councillor Pat Slattery stated they had “jumped the gun”.

LTN in Greenwich

However it does appear the council have agreed to open up roads in West Greenwich to all traffic in the morning rush hour.

The council recently also asked the Royal Parks to open a road through Greenwich Park to all traffic.

CCTV

Emergency services had asked back in spring 2020 for CCTV enforcement in West Greenwich instead of physical obstacles.

Some of the LAS’s concerns

That wasn’t possible as Greenwich Council had taken 15 years and counting at the time to agree to the use of CCTV for traffic offences – putting them 30th out of 32 London councils for doing so. It finally happened in autumn 2020.

Much talk and little action on the issue in preceding years ensured that when the pandemic struck, the authority had back themselves into a corner and weren’t in a position to consider CCTV even if they wanted to.

Taken from Greenwich Council document in Feb 2019

Freedom of Information responses reveal the authority kept emergency services in the dark on design. This followed a pattern of secrecy last spring with the public, which compared strongly with some other London authorities where plans to be submitted for funding was discussed in public meetings and placed online. Only very late on did basic information begin to be placed in the public domain.

Back to summer 2021, and the emergency services have apparently not requested the road open in the morning rush hour to all traffic, though Greenwich Council have opted to do so.

Alternatives

If they Greenwich Council open the road, it may relieve congestion though bring more cars past James Wolfe school on Royal Hill which includes a centre for deaf children.

The authority still lacks much of a plan to cope with rising traffic numbers long term. Numerous developments across the borough have seen incoming money from housing developers go just about anywhere else compared to improving walking links from new homes to local amenities.

Pedestrian improvements in Plumstead reduced in scope when 1,750 homes recently approved. Gyratory to remain

A recent Plumstead 1,750-home project sums it up. Greenwich allocated far less developer income than TfL stated was needed for buses, allocated no money to a rapid bus route that is supposed to pass the site and agreed to downgrade road changes late on. Pedestrians will face underpasses or an extremely narrow pavement to reach nearby station. Amazingly, they were trumpeting it as a win on consultation documents for Plumstead improvements last week.

That’s if they even collect income from developers. Despite being in the top five boroughs in London for new development, they were plum last (32 out of 32) for collecting it in recent figures.

New homes at Greenwich Millennium Village. Street design unsuitable for rising resident numbers

They were also 31st out of 32 for topping up TfL annual income for pedestrian and public realm improvements using parking and developer income. This financial year they allocated zero. Zilch. Nada.

Greenwich allocated zero money this financial year from S106 and CIL. £208k was 2019

That contrasts with other councils. As an example, Hammersmith and Fulham have allocated £9 million each year from S106 and CIL developer income as part of the existing three-year spending plan:

H&F annual spend

Over the past five years, Greenwich Council have collected little more via the Community Infrastructure Levy compared to neighbouring Lewisham did in one year alone – despite higher levels of development. If we look at Tower Hamlets, Greenwich are blown out the water. Over £27 million last year collected. In Greenwich less than £6 million since 2015 and £1.3 million last year.

Crossing one of few improvements – though road network still extremely hostile if on foot and crossings lacking elsewhere

In terms of car-centric policy, just yesterday a post on this site looked at a new planning application for a private gym in Kidbrooke. The council are insisting on an additional 22 parking spaces taking the total to 245.

Is that an authority with a plan to mitigate long term car use increase as many new homes are built?

Buses

They’ve continually failed to allocate developer income towards infrastructure updates such as a rapid bus route from Thamesmead to Woolwich – and potentially to north Greenwich, despite approving thousands of homes along the planned route.

TfL have often raised concerns about how little income the authority allocates to improving other existing bus services. In response Greenwich expect TfL to fund the vast majority of projects (despite financial problems) and ignore practices in other authorities.

Roads are not designed for thousands of new residents in the area

Recently Greenwich spoke about difficulties with traffic and thousands of new homes in the borough – yet the irony of them failing to collect income owed from developers to improve public transport and walking links, or even allocate income in the first place to increase the appeal of alternatives to the car, seems lost on them.

If you live in areas like Thamesmead or Greenwich Peninsula, can you blame many for driving when a walk to local shops can be so offputting?

Bugsby’s Way

In North Greenwich, millions of Section 106 and CIL income from thousands of new homes and numerous new shops in Charlton have seen next to no investment in safer, appealing links between Bugsby’s Way and new housing on Greenwich Peninsula.

Battle

In West Greenwich some local people are concerned that opening roads during the morning rush hour will send vehicles past James Woolfe school.

On the Peninsula, more and more people seems aware of how Greenwich have not used incoming money to benefit them if emails to this site are a guide.

The battle between those who drive through the borough, and those who don’t alongside many moving to predominantly car-free housing, doesn’t look like going away.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

5 thoughts on “West Greenwich LTN road closure removed

  • July 7, 2021 at 1:04 pm
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    Good point about wider strategic planning as I see little. Everyone talks about their own backyard but what’s the end game?

    Clearly opening up roads again is not going to solve the long-term problem. The ONS stated in recent days that the London population is now above nine million even after Brexit and the start of corona – when some said it would go down. It’s not going to go down. Next it’ll be many people moving from Asia such as fast track Hong Kong visas. How do people get around if even a quarter of incomers start to drive?

    It needs long term planning and investment from local and central Government.

    Clearly locally Greenwich are not doing so. The numbers speak for themselves, as does a walk around much of the borough. They can make a difference but seem unwilling to.

    TfL can’t do a great deal as they are now faced with huge cuts. LTNs were not funded by them let’s not forget but a fundamental part of Government policy during financial discussions for support.

    Central Government aren’t doing anything and have pulled the plug on all future public transport investment in London with the Bakerloo Line just one example.

    So where do we go from here?

    Reply
  • July 7, 2021 at 5:10 pm
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    It’s back now, though only after local residents enquired as to its removal. Apparently a mistake though we know they want to open it up again in the mornings as noted.

    Reply
  • July 8, 2021 at 7:55 am
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    What’s the plan to get greenwich council to change? An article outline the specific people and teams for residents to regularly contact, maybe with suggested content, would be great. Beyond that, some politicians with a plan would be even better!

    Reply
  • July 9, 2021 at 2:16 pm
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    I hope they do open it up as it should be and Cllr Slattery is wrong. it’s very unfair on residents who live in Royal Hill and Blissett street and are shut out of using the Hills and Vales/Hyde Vale even though they are free to drive along here into South street. Upper middle class nimbyism on the march in millionaires alley.

    Reply
  • July 9, 2021 at 8:07 pm
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    You know that LTNs exist in the poorest parts of the borough?

    Reply

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