With all the fanfare this week of work beginning on another stretch of Cycle Highway 4 in Deptford, the wait to open a stretch from Deptford to Greenwich that’s been nearly complete for months continues.
A delay was reported this week on 853, and today Greenwich West councillor Aidan Smith has stated it will be another 14 weeks until the Creek Road stretch opens.
Have heard back from officers – The works needed on the bridge are funded by TfL, but because of TfL's financial situation, they were not be able to fund it at the time of the other works. Costing and agreement for funding are ongoing. Bad news – the works will take 14 weeks!
— Aidan Smith (@aidanmasmith) August 13, 2021
And as stated, costing and agreement for funding are still ongoing.
Three months ago I went and looked at the near-completed stretch for a post.
Apart from a couple of areas it seemed good to go. Assuming costing is agreed, we are looking at seven months on from that visit.
The issue is focused on Creek Road’s rising bridge and who should fund repair work alongside the cycle lane, and if certain pots of money can cover certain areas of spending.
This has all the makings of another blame game between TfL and Greenwich Council and it’s far from the first time.
Not on the same page
Even on this stretch of cycle lane, during consultation Greenwich asked to retain guardrailing which went against TfL policy – as evidence and studies have shown in many areas it proves more dangerous. Lewisham asked for a feeder cycle lane.
TfL ignored Greenwich in the consultation report and agreed to Lewisham’s request.
Work at the major junction on Creek Road near Waitrose also typifies the problem. Greenwich Council spent large sums installing the junction using extremely dated design philosophy around 2014. Anti-pedestrian features and clutter which went against TfL streed design guidance abounded. It’s now all being replaced.
The notorious roundabout at the Angerstein roundabout has finally seen changes after years of TfL and Greenwich “discussion”.
Greenwich appear to have won the argument to retain extensive railings and actually installed yet more after work completed, and money went there instead while the area is still a gloomy, off-putting place despite the new cycle lane cut-through. It’s better, but far from what it could be with better lighting and street furniture to encourage usage.
TfL still manage to plough on with Silvertown Tunnel of course. While the bulk of funding is via private finance who will recoup through tolls, TfL are still spending up to £200 million.
Between Greenwich’s almost complete lack of understanding that attractive, open, appealing street design encourages walking and cycling, and TfL’s budget issues, it doesn’t bode too well.