Wheelchair users suffer again: Greenwich borough street clutter installed at Thames Path

More street clutter has been installed near the Waterfront leisure centre in Woolwich as discriminatory behaviour against wheelchair-using pedestrians continues in Greenwich borough.

In recent weeks and months this site has covered how residents in East Greenwich organised a petition and contacted the authority seeking to move street furniture on paving blocking wheelchairs and buggies.

Greenwich Highways claimed they couldn’t even afford £400 to look into doing so – let alone actually acting – while continuing to install ever more unnecessary clutter in the area and across the borough.

East Greenwich streets impassable for some

The reality is some of the most vulnerable in society suffer, as this reply to a previous post highlights. The respondent claims Greenwich’s leader hasn’t replied to a message for over a year on her daughter being having problems navigating to local amenities from home.

Reply to previous post. Click to enlarge

Greenwich council installing new clutter while simultaneously claiming no funding to move existing obstacles and ensuring pedestrian links are safe and accessible happens despite incoming funds derived from various new developments.

To give another example, last year railings were installed in Greenwich on a link to the Peninsula.

A freedom of information request saw Greenwich council claim no paper records of why the decision was made nor costings were available.

It’s likely more will be going in about this new addition and others in the borough. If you want to ask them, you can email Foi@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

One claim for ever more barriers is someone asked for it. If true, access for all is being obstructed due to a few – or even a single – complaint. An odd way to operate.

Many obstacles exist

Mopeds are a common reason given. In effect Greenwich are stating all pedestrians should be inconvenient due to a tiny minority. By that rationale if the odd moped now goes another way that should be obstructed for pedestrians. Where does it end?

If the police are requesting it, refuse. You don’t hinder all pedestrians especially the most vulnerable for a tiny minority. Police should act on illegal riding.

Police sometimes make some very odd design calls during planning applications as well. Decent planners realise some is counter productive and refuse.


The location of new barriers hampering wheelchair access to Woolwich leisure centre from new homes in Woolwich makes it all the more egregious.

It’s not as if other access points are much better:

Crossing point outside Waterfront

It’s all in contradiction to their own policies and reports:

Greenwich carbon report

Even if Greenwich council departments and officers are acting against the interests of pedestrians, one wonders what the council’s leadership are doing?




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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.

    13 thoughts on “Wheelchair users suffer again: Greenwich borough street clutter installed at Thames Path

    • Quelle surprise! Between the street clutter; CIL; and abject apathy of the Council (excellently covered by MD, ad nauseam), Greenwich Labour have lost my vote – a first for me any any election.

      Would that any councillors were here to read this and make some changes, that would truly be a surprise!

    • This is at the very start of the new river path too. A great introduction to the area.

      On it’s own it’s not much (unless disabled as stated) but the fact they blindly continue doing this is really indicative of political leadership being absent.

      Labour will win the borough of course but labour need to get Thorpe out. He’s only there by a very tight vote.

      He can’t get a grip on chronic issues, will just blame outside factors while ignoring internal issues and we know skyscrapers are bringing millions of pounds funding, is silent on Silvertown Tunnel and generally doesn’t seem to care less for the vulnerable who suffer as a result.

    • Not just any barriers of course. Royal barriers.

      It’s moronic isn’t it. What about the Cabinet Member for Transport? Why do they allow this?

    • A miss match of different bollards, Concrete to Wooden and a Guardrail too… Seen across the borough especially in Plumstead common area! Nothing will happen with Complacent Labour… Its devastating to see how our Public Realm has been left in disrepair… Where is the investment, Trees, Greenery or even a few hanging baskets? Thank you John Smith for your hard work with reporting this tirelessly.

      Don’t forget People, Local Elections on May 5th … So please get out and Vote to make a Real difference.

    • Why the hell game they stuck barriers across the cycle quiet way? This is a big f you for cycling and go get in a car

    • Thats so annoying. It is so nice to cycle by the river, and so many good parts. Why are they making it more difficult?

    • This borough is ruled by morons. Get Thorpe and Merrill out.

      Labour you can do so much better than the clowns in charge right now. Send them off to Havering or somewhere and let them join the Tories.

    • If only you was concerned like that about what the ltns did to disabled people murky depths

    • It has been made clear time and time again that the Labour Administration on Greenwich Council do not care one jot about the elderly or disabled in the Borough. Health and social care charges increased for those that can least afford them. Sheltered housing blocks for the elderly and disabled sold to private developers or for new housing with many elderly and disabled people now stuck in unsuitable homes. As unable to move to more suitable shelters accomodation.

      Barriers and bollards installed and smaller pathways by new developments are all obstacles for disabled people. Wheelchair users and partially sighted people.

      If ever there was a need for a change of leadership on Greenwich Council it is now.

    • What is even more stupid is that there are many alternative ways that motorbikes can get onto the Thames path along this stretch so the new barriers are utterly pointless anyway.

    • It really is bizarre. Surely they can’t be that moronic to think this is actually good practice. It must be incentivised somehow, an easy way for them to tick boxes and appear like they’re doing something. Or, they’re getting a backhander from the suppliers. Either way, these people need to go. I really hope the May elections bring change.

    • The time has come to vote for some fresh new Councillors on to the Council coming with fresh ideas and who will put the needs of residents and local businesses first.

      Councillors need to listen to residents reply to residents correspondence and be open and transparent which we do not get from the current Labour administration now.

      It does feel that the elderly disabled and vulnerable people are forgotten as the new barrier and street clutter confirms.

    • @ Ashley I totally agree with you. John Smith has done amazing
      work on his tireless work reporting on these issues. With our Hi John’s articles we would not have a clue what is happening in the Borough 99% of the time.

      Thank you John Smith.


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