A number of alterations have been submitted for a proposed housing site in Kidbrooke.
These homes will certainly help those in need of a home and prevent people housed in expensive overnight accommodation for weeks or months at a time.
The application has includes new renders of the completed development. There appears to be no thought about cycle lanes despite the council adopting a number of recent strategies on active travel and reducing emissions in the borough.
The plot sits on Kidbrooke Park Road and beside Thomas Tallis school yet no cycle lane exists along the entire road.
The development is mostly car-free and includes 608 cycle parking stands.
The road outside includes wide central hatching for much of the road’s length. There is a cycle lane relatively close though it’s not too appealing for some given its remote route through dense greenery rather than along a built up area.
With thousands of homes either built or planned, Kidbrooke in many places was a blank slate to include cycle lanes from the off. It would help encourage students to cycle to school and new residents (who mostly will live in car-free homes) to embrace active travel.
The chance hasn’t been taken.
What does exist after thousands of new homes were built, and thousands more to come, is ample railings lining the road showing who really has priority here, and it isn’t people on foot or cycling.
They line a long stretch of the area. Even if removed once construction is complete – and Greenwich love them so don’t count on it – the lack of space provided for a dedicated cycle lane appears a big opportunity missed.
There is the odd pinch point such as over the railway, though much of the area could see vastly better provision eventually linking to Blackheath and Greenwich.
The development seems to make it harder if anything to install in coming years. No future proofing appears evident.
Funding certainly shouldn’t be a problem with a vast number of homes being built at Kidbrooke Village alone, let alone other sites in the area.
Not everyone wants to take the train, or indeed have the train go to where they may want to reach.
Active travel is essential to reduce traffic congestion, but it won’t happen with the odd line of point in a busy road.
When given the opportunity and thousands of homes, how in 2023 is it that still nothing is happening?
Public space looks lovely in renders but will Greenwich Council ever maintain it to levels required?
If you’ve read this site in recent weeks I’ve covered the state of recent public realm work in Abbey Wood, Plumstead and Woolwich in recent years.
Abbey Wood’s new public realm outside the new station is a mess less than a year after Elizabeth line services begun, Plumstead High Street likewise and landscaping was removed in Woolwich to be replaced with concrete shortly after installation due to little maintenance.
All three areas have seen little love for decades. Will this development?