BT seek to add advertising and clutter across Woolwich town centre

A number of applications have been submitted by BT to install “Street hubs” around Woolwich town centre.

The hubs are in effect large advertising screens that – if approved – will be installed across the town centre.

BT sometimes get away with this by replacing existing phone boxes, but in this case nothing already exists.

BT’s render of advert screen taking up half the pavement space. Footfall will increase in future as various developments built in vicinity

Sites uploaded to Greenwich’s planning portal this week include Hare Street, Wellington Street and Plumstead Road near the new Elizabeth line station.

The hubs are essentially advert screens at 75 inches in size, and would occupy areas of paving that see very high footfall, including near the new Woolwich crossrail station and adjacent bus stops.

BT’s existing hubs are already a blight:

BT box on Powis Street

Greenwich council are currently consulting on a £21 million project to be undertaken at Powis Street and Beresford Square. A stated aim being to remove street clutter, though current plans also look to install substantial amounts.

BT state obstructing pedestrians “is a sleek modern answer to the demands of a digitally connected, converged-media society”. There’s more PR-friendly waffle designed to sway the gullible, though nothing it does cannot be done in ways far less intrusive to the streetscape.

Amusingly, while acting as impediments to free flow of pedestrian, BT state they are good for “counting pedestrian numbers“.

The also claim benefits such as free USB charging, which I’m sure won’t break within two months and never be fixed again.

The proposed location could also hamper future cycle lane provision in a number of areas.

Lots of potential street clutter revamp – before BT turn up

BT state councils receive free advertising as a sweetener to gain approval.

The key question is should public space be given over to a private company to make money, while at the same impeding pedestrians and potentially cyclists in future?

The latest applications continue a recent series including a site in Charlton beside Sainsbury’s.

If they gain approval, will they continue to seek to obstruct pavement space?

Adverts are far from enough to cover site costs and my rent.

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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.

2 thoughts on “BT seek to add advertising and clutter across Woolwich town centre

  • Sigh, the usual everyone and their half deaf mother on the side of common sense and improved public space/realm vs greenwich councils agenda to drag woolwich into the gutter. Let’s hope the new leadership team take the opportunity to view the major works improvement and immediate area under the same umbrella

  • Fat chance of any common sense when they can pocket the cash and give it to their chums in GLLab to spaff up the wall (or fund their next re-election campaign…)


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