A survey has commenced on the temporary cycle lane running from Greenwich to Woolwich.
Transport for London are seeking feedback on changes which involved street alterations from east Greenwich to Charlton. They were introduced in part due to 94 collisions which saw a pedestrian or cyclist becoming injured. Two cyclists were also killed.
From Charlton a bus lane was introduced to Woolwich with cyclists having no physical protection, though the bus lane does prevent many vehicles getting too close.
Deputy leader at Greenwich Council Denise Scott-McDonald (Labour – Greenwich Peninsular) yesterday liked a tweet which was against the project.
She was formerly cabinet member for transport.
The project has divided many, with opponents stating congestion has risen, including the stretch from Charlton to Woolwich where a new bus lane was introduced.
A new bus lane should in theory speed up buses, though in my experience buses are held up at sections where the bus lane intermittently disappears. Buses also crawl along and wait to “regulate the service”.
In other places bus stops entirely block traffic behind, which causes other buses to be stuck.
Supporters praise the section in east Greenwich for enabling safer cycling to encourage modal change, and it does now offer a far safer route under the Angerstein flyover.
However parking enforcement on the lane has continued to be a problem.
Greenwich have a long track record of ignoring parking problems dating long before changes, with some stretches seeing many cars blocking the road.
This has lessened in places such as Charlton, but does still occur.
Changes took many months to overcome problems which may have hampered usage. Drivers became confused and were driving down the cycle lane or the wrong way down roads.
An east Greenwich junction became chaotic. It was also a visual mess with ugly street furniture:
That has now improved as an image taken this week shows:
Original plans for substantial changes from Charlton to Woolwich now appear on the back burner with TfL’s financial issues and Greenwich’s problem with failing to obtain sufficient developer income since 2015.
Those plans had no dedicated bus lane in parts with cyclists having a dedicated, separate two-way lane.
Some subsequently approved housing plans along the route make such a layout tricky to now achieve.
The estate rebuild at Morris Walk approved since TfL’s segregated cycle lane plan made a virtue of a green area, though this reduces street space and renders show no cycle lane.
Cycle lane plans were designed tin part to encourage new residents moving into now homes along this stretch to ride a bike. Greenwich however made reaching the lane from new homes extremely difficult by failing to allocate developer income towards improving links across the rail line. You can read a lot more about that issue here.
Other housing developments along the cycle lane include Mast Quay 2:
As well as a large number planned in Charlton:
Another 149 went in for planning this month, which was covered here. The hope of those advocating a cycle lane is that safe cycling provision for new residents will lessen pressure for car usage, particularly for short journeys.
That does depend though on areas such as Charlton retail park not being encouraged by Greenwich council and investment in improving public realm in that area. It’s another area developer income has failed to benefit.
The survey is available here.