Elizabeth line stations’ cycle parking provision raises complaints

Cycle parking provision at Elizabeth line stations in south east London have come in for criticism over a lack of stands – if spaces are open at all.

Woolwich station has a limited number of cycle stands near the station entrance which are regularly full.

Many major developments within a few miles radius have been approved with hundreds of cycle spaces while few safe facilities are created to park near stations.

Woolwich station

The station also has no safe cycle lane running alongside on the busy Plumstead Road to reach cycle parking – particularly from the south and west.

Numerous developments nearby have been approved with Greenwich Council failing to allocate money towards street improvements to improve and enhance the safety of cycle access.

Head one station further along to the south eastern branch’s terminus at Abbey Wood and it’s not much better. Here at a Bexley council controlled area we see cycle stands never opened for public use around two years after completion.

Fenced off

It’s part of shambolic management of public realm around the station after £6 million was spent on upgrades.

It appears the money ran out – or someone forgot to finish the job – around 18 months ago and the area was left in limbo.

Blocks dumped down perched atop leftover paving slab before falling off

Alongside closed cycle stands are “temporary” blocks dumped down to act against vehicles exiting the road.

The blocks were dropped down at short notice in some cases perched atop broken paving slabs. It all has the look and feel as a very last minute gesture.

Ugly street furniture amid poorly maintained public space

Neither Greenwich Council or Bexley Council have discussed the unfinished state of the area in relevant meetings. Paving space is increasingly used for vehicle parking.

UPDATE: Bexley have offered comment on the cycle racks:

“The parking area under the flyover was not opened for use as there is ample cycle parking elsewhere around the station and because the area was partially hidden by temporary uses of the Felixstowe Road car park, including storage of materials and Covid-19 testing units. 

We will be reviewing its use over the coming months on the basis of demand and the fact that the car park is to be put back into operation, which will bring increased footfall and CCTV coverage.”

Yet other parking spaces are far from safe.

The borough boundary between Greenwich and Bexley runs smack down the middle of Felixstowe Road outside the station. There has been talk that Bexley Council are supposed to manage both sides but this has not been confirmed despite requests for information.

Cycle stands to left below flyover fenced off. Vehicles on paving ever more common as it was before public realm work begun

You don’t have to travel far from either Woolwich or Abbey Wood stations to see many, many developments under construction which are predominantly car-free.

333 homes coming to former care home in Thamesmead just one of many developments in area

Planning applications often make much of cycle parking provision within residential blocks for forthcoming residents.

Yet those residents attempting to cycle to their nearest major Elizabeth line station will be faced with nowhere to actually park their bike.

Temporary fencing long blocked cycle parking. New street surface becoming patches of tarmac

Abbey Wood does have some cycle parking on the other side of the station alongside the top of the flyover but good luck to anyone using those.

Shortly after writing this post this was uploaded, and it’s far from the only report:

Thefts are common and the area isn’t in the busiest spot for footfall or oversite.

For those coming from Thamesmead this side of the station is also hassle to reach with a flyover needing to be traversed. It’s slower and not exactly what people want trying to reach their morning train into work.

The area under the flyover at Felixstowe Road could at least provide controlled and safer access – if it ever opens.

Both authorities have a long way to go if they aim to entice people to cycle to new stations, whether it be existing residents or thousands moving to various new-builds in the area.



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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.

3 thoughts on “Elizabeth line stations’ cycle parking provision raises complaints

  • None of the 3 Abbeywood Councillors live in Abbeywood
    The brainwashed voters are the problem

  • Roy, it’s spelt “Abbey Wood”.
    If you don’t know how the town’s name is even spelt I’m not sure we should believe your claim. There’s six councillors covering this part of Abbey Wood with three in each borough. Some I believe do live in the area. I’d agree the area needs far more attention from most of them but can we not pretend any other party ever really cares. None ever knock on my door.

  • Pingback: Our response to the Woolwich cycling proposals – Greenwich Cyclists

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