Earlier this year a number of residents in Greenwich wrote to the authority about local streets and obstacles on pavements obstructing pedestrians.
In some streets those in wheelchairs or parents pushing buggies couldn’t access shops via some of the most direct routes thanks to poorly located street furniture. While one issue was trees, a far more widespread issue that was much easier to remedy was bollards and street lighting posts.
When the issue came before councillors at a Highways Committee, the Highway Department claimed they couldn’t even afford to analyse moving street furniture let alone do the job – and thus nothing should happen. This was not accepted by councillors, who asked for a study.
It was a very odd claim for a department well known for spending large sums installing street clutter all over the borough – and often doing so completely at odds to modern design guidance from Transport for London and the Department for Transport.
Councillors told them to at least spend a few hundred pounds looking into whether moving obstacles was feasible to assist pedestrians. We await whether they’ll bother to do very much or just hope locals give up, councillors don’t press it and then the disabled can lump it.
Anyway, I cover this again now as walking around the area and it appears that while Highways claimed they couldn’t afford a study thus spending just £400, they’ve managed to somehow cobble funds for ever more street clutter.
As apparently have the Housing Department who similarly love to waste money on clutter while failing to conduct routine maintenance.
They’ve managed to find the money for another bollard partly blocking a dropped kerb.
Clearly a better use of money than, say, planting a tree nearby:
Or repairing broken walls on the estate:
Or any sort of routine upkeep:
We often hear about little money would possibly hold sway if not in the midst of plentiful new development and ample funds for often pointless street clutter.
Let’s head a few metres o the main road nearby.
They’re sprouting again.
Remember, removing street furniture is impossible due to no funds. Installing more is no problem.
Once again clutter is doing a stellar job of stopping pavement parking is in evidence.
The level of pavement parking is still high in the area and staff on the ground to enforce minimal – so let’s waste more on clutter.
As in a recent post on streets north of here, there’s never a shortage of funding for certain things while others are left begging.
That railing is located on another street that makes life as tough for disabled pedestrians to pass through with obstacles elsewhere while money was not found to alleviate the issue.
Remember, no money to remove obstacles that block pedestrians. But always money to install new ones:
This particular railing is an interesting one. The rationale seems to be the odd moped is enough to permanently make life harder for those in wheelchairs.
One resident contacted the authority about who authorised this, the cost and asking for documents on sign off and design.
The response from Greenwich council?
We don’t keep them. We have none.
For now the most vulnerable pedestrians continue to be treated as third class citizens by an authority that talks a lot, produces many reports, but has departments and officers that ignore just about every modern guide on accessible design while senior local politicians are unable or unwilling to get a grip.