New Greenwich street clutter as council plead poverty when asked to remove pedestrian obstacles

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.

Obstacles on both sides of road obstruct pedestrians

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.

Moving all obstacles on right side of street over the narrow road would free up space for wheechairs 

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:

Ideal spot for tree

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.

Yes, another one

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.

Street design is decades behind the times

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.

Installed badly

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.

Greenwich carbon report

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.


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J 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.

    7 thoughts on “New Greenwich street clutter as council plead poverty when asked to remove pedestrian obstacles

    • For too long Labour has taken us for a ride. Our Public Realm is in a dire state of disrepair and much investment is needed.. Cleaner Streets and enforcement for illegally parked and abandoned vehicles must happen. Not only this, Our Estates have fallen greatly and the repairs service and something must be done. VOTE MAY 5TH…Change is vital so vote differently… Vote Conservative or Greens.

    • No money to remove obstacles? Funny, that! The over-extended Highway Department only recently installed even more street clutter on Woolwich New Road at the intersection of Sandy Hill Road! Just as you stated: Plenty of money for MORE street clutter! I’ll be that someone gets a backhander from the vender that sells the bollards!

    • If less people stopped dumping their rubbish in said streets and expecting the council to clear it up free then there would be more money. I find this council the most proactive I’ve ever lived in and I’ve lived in many. Im not sure how comments can suggest voting Conservative when Bexley went months with no basic bin collections last year for residents… perhaps you want that instead….

    • Great article highlighting the failure to run very basic levels of highway management. Very sackable but Greenwich leadership lost interest in running the council years ago so now just jump around looking for photos shoot opportunities for whatever buzz word they can jump on; else there would be an acknowledgement of the issues repeatedly highlighted by this site, an apology and clear 3 month plan to make it right.

    • You are so right in what you have said Ashley. Greenwich Council has been badly managed for years and take residents and business owners for granted..They do not collect money owed to them from parking enforcement etc. They do not reply to correspondence either which is rude and unprofessional. They need to listen to residents.

      So much money provided from developers etc has been directed towards GLLaB which was meant to be used for public transport and public realm improvements etc around the Borough..

      We do need a change on Greenwich Council as we have been taken for granted for far too long now and we have to say enough is enough.

    • I agree 100% with you Graham. This Borough has so much potential.

    • Other local councils are refunding the £150 council tax refund Bromley and Lewisham have already started doing this. Do we know when Greenwich will start refunding their residents?


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