TfL survey on Greenwich to Woolwich cycle path underway

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.

Charlton retail sheds with island bus stop

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.

Previous approach to roundabout was dangerous

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.

Courtesy TfL. Numerous cars would block cycle lane and buses pre changes

This has lessened in places such as Charlton, but does still occur.

Initial problems

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.

Cars on wrong side of road

An east Greenwich junction became chaotic. It was also a visual mess with ugly street furniture:

Poor design

That has now improved as an image taken this week shows:

Taken from 177
Original plan

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.

Original plans

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.

Green verge leaves little space for cycle lane

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.

How thousands of new residents will be expected to reach new cycle lane

Other housing developments along the cycle lane include Mast Quay 2:

As well as a large number planned in Charlton:

Submitted in recent weeks

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.

Public realm at Bugsbys Way

The survey is available here.







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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.

6 thoughts on “TfL survey on Greenwich to Woolwich cycle path underway

  • So tiring to see people unable to understand the obvious. Cycle lanes go in, congestion increases. It’s not rocket science Plummers.
    Despite the pandemic, trips in cars are still less than they were 20 years ago and are still below immediate pandemic levels pieces (as The Grauniad piece says).

  • There were already cycle lanes on each side of the road before though. When using the new safer cycle route it’s plain to see where the congestion is – mostly at the Blackwall Lane junction. So it’s not the cycle lanes fault there. Then congestion continues towards Greenwich once the cycle lane has stopped – so it’s clearly not the cycle lane’s fault there. The more people feel safe, the more will use the cycle lane and less will drive. But such changes obviously take time – people aren’t going to dump their cars overnight. Once they’ve paid for that vehicle they aren’t going to just get rid of it. As more and more safe segregated infrastructure is introduced, more and more will cycle though, leaving the roads much clearer for those that can’t.

  • The problem with your point, Chris, is the more road capacity gets given to cars, whether existing road space or new schemes, the more traffic it generates. That’s been proven over decades of transport planning. Any meaningful solution involves taking road space away from cars, giving it to alternative forms of transport, and making those safer and more appealing.

  • It is the ‘cycle lane’s fault there’ – they removed a left-hand-turn and right-hand-turn lane onto Blackwall lane to install the cycle lanes. Wouldn’t mind, but they’re not even being used. Latest figures show that under 2% of residents cycle. It’s a mess

  • Except that discouraging vehicular traffic impacts negatively on businesses and commerce. The relationship between cycles and automobiles is inelastic. I don’t see a plumber, an Uber driver or a delivery service using “alternative” modes of transportation. The way traffic density is effectively handled is by providing effective parallel routes that skirt high density areas. The 1970’s concept of one way roads and fracturing the urban grid has been shown to fail. I’m puzzled at how Greenwich sticks to outmoded traffic management systems. Bicycles and busses will never replace cars no matter how many (mostly empty) bicycle routes they create.


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