Thames Path access causes controversy in Greenwich

A newly installed piece of street furniture in Greenwich Peninsula has caused controversy with claims it impedes access to the Thames path for cyclists, wheelchair users, parents with buggies and those in mobility scooters.

Greenwich Council have installed barriers in a somewhat isolated spot beside the gold range off Tunnel Avenue in an attempt to stop mopeds accessing the Thames Path.

There is a long standing issue in the area which many residents have complained about, calling for greater police enforcement.

Street clutter also impedes pedestrians in area

The barrier is an attempt to halt access, though in the process blocks other street users.

It’s claimed that people can still access the Thames Path at other points, though that does beg the question that surely moped riders can too, thus negating any benefit.

It’s the latest in a long line of street barriers in Greenwich and beyond installed by the council.

Barrier installed in 2020 obstructing wheelchairs and buggies

Another recent addition can be seen above. Upon enquiries Greenwich Council stated they had no paper record of why it was installed but that it was based upon a visual inspection alone.

West Greenwich barriers hinder those in wheelchairs

Met Police apparently requested measures at Tunnel Avenue, though is this just a lazy act that fails to address the root cause and merely moves the issue along to the next access point?

The Met do often suggest measures that punish the majority for the actions of a minority rather than acting against small numbers committing offences.

It is afterall easier for them to insist funds are used to block access rather than act.

And what of funding? Time and again we hear there’s no money for improved crossings or streetscapes for pedestrians, yet when it come to barriers Greenwich immediately find the cash.

It remains to be seen whether anyone takes legal action and attempts to determine this action is discriminatory.

In some way this does appear to be an act that intends to show that “something is being done”, whether that achieves much is another matter.

Given numerous access points across the area it leaves two options: either block them all in as an attempt to stop mopeds or actually enforce against those riding mopeds along the Thames path.

The latter method takes more time and effort, though doesn’t block access to every street user.


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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.

12 thoughts on “Thames Path access causes controversy in Greenwich

  • Spot on well said, lets hope RBG are reading this, especially our local councillors.

  • You could perhaps have mentioned that this barrier (and probably the others) are illegal under the Equality Act 2010. These will be coming out, I expect, before long.

    Wanting to stop a nuisance cannot justify acts of discrimination.

    The Met should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Absolutely agree with your assessment that it’s just meaningless actionism without somebody having actually thought through the consequences.

  • How is this still happening?

    It never solves the issue but moves it along. Of course Greenwich council love it and they’d put this on every access path if they could. God forbid they improve things for pedestrians in the area.

  • The DVSA yard is opposite and they sit there almost every day by Ranburn which is less than a hundred yards from the barrier, pulling vehicles over. Can’t they just do a couple of late shifts and confiscate the annoying mopeds?

  • The simple fact is those A frame barriers don’t stop motorbikes. I use the Thames and Medway canal path a lot and despite these being in place people still get motorbikes through, because the people with motorbikes are generally young fit and able to lift them up and over because there’s a group of them. Someone in a wheelchair, mother with a buggy etc doesn’t have that luxury.

  • They have similar barriers along the Thames path near Greenhithe where if you are in a wheelchair you have no chance (and there are steps with no ramp) There is no warning so if you were unable to get over these hurdles you would have a long trek to go around via the road.

  • Fixed measures don’t work, our local council has tried the same type of measures to stop cycling on local footpaths.

    The offenders & friends remove the obstacles and repairs and or replacement are a long term expense and problem!

  • Whoever signed that one off should be cuffed to it for a few days and deal with the vitriol it has justifiably caused. The lack of foresight and accountability by our public servants these days is no longer tolerable.

  • It may not be entirely analogous, but a similar problem is apparently being experienced in West London on the Thames Path.

    It has popped up on the Thames Path in LB Hammersmith & Fulham …… who notoriously closed their public parks during the pandemic, and also restricted the Thames Path, major overreactions if ever there were serious open air transmission problems.

    E-bikes and scooters could be banned from the Thames Path in 2023, after residents reported concerns over safety to Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

    Among those concerns are the speed of these vehicles,obstructions on public walkways, and potential collisions with walkers and other cyclists.

    In response the council is now considering introducing a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to prohibit the riding of e-scooters and e-bikes and other motorised vehicles along the Thames Path.

    The council is also considering the prohibition of reckless riding of pedal cycles and whether to include segways, mopeds, quad bicycles and hoverboards.

    Not a sleuth, more of an irregular.

    “I believe that they are really after us.”

    “No, it’s not quite so bad as that. It is the unofficial force, — the Baker Street irregulars.”


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