New Greenwich bridge installed: Approaches remain neglected and filthy

This weekend saw a new footbridge installed in Greenwich after a weekend closure of the Blackwall tunnel.

The new bridge replaces another structure a few metres away so additional lanes can be installed with the advent of the Silvertown tunnel.

Eight lanes of traffic will run below the new footbridge from 2025.

Existing bridge features slopes and good for cycling

With news that it was going in and the prospect of Transport for London trying to put out their positive PR spin I thought I’d go and see the wider area.

Is it as bad as it was a year ago?

Everything covered in layer of dust. Area is never cleaned

Course it is.

Rubbish and litter is everywhere. It’s clearly been here for months if not years

This is Tunnel Avenue and the approach to the west. A new hotel was built on the road with new housing approved nearby as well as previous recent developments such as River Gardens.

Little change from last year

No investment seen here on the approach to bridge which links those homes to the o2 and North Greenwich tube station.

New build approved on Blackwall Lane. Work underway. Bridge connects residents to north Greenwich

TfL’s Walking & Cycling Commissioner Will Norman has today lauded the new crossing. I’m guessing he has little idea of the wider area and approaches either side.

Area has not been cleaned for perhaps years

Both sides have atrocious public realm – and there’s no firm plan to improve that from Greenwich Council or TfL to encourage anyone to use the bridge.

Pedestrian friendly?

The road surface is broken, paving is too, flooding occurs regularly and everything is coated in fine dust and ingrained rubbish.

You can however see the mysterious portal of Greenwich.

Maybe the local street cleaner got locked in and never escaped

Crossover and you’re on Boord Street to the west of the A102. It’s no better.

This is Greenwich borough, so park where you like including on paving is not uncommon.

Flytipping. Lots of that too.

Clutter and obstacles blocking paths?  We’ll have some of that.

The junction with Millennium Way is little better.

More concrete blocks

Guardrailing of course is everywhere. Vehicles first.

Clutter everywhere

To the rear in the above image is St Mary Magdalene school which has 1,600 pupils. Beside that is a site where work on hundreds of homes has just commenced.

Now underway

Again, not a penny of income given to Greenwich Council has been used by the authority to improve pedestrian and cycling connections to the bridge – either the existing or newly installed.

Transport for London pledged a small amount of mitigation funding for Greenwich borough due to the impact of Silvertown tunnel.

Don’t be in a wheelchair here

The total is small at below £1 million given its a £2.2 bn project. Previous announcements of funding did not mention approaches to the bridge.

A Travelodge hotel was approved in 2018 near the site and Greenwich planners allocated a small amount to Boord Street, but the hotel has never progressed.

Taken last week

Aside from that, a multitude of other developments have come and gone. No funds allocated to improve.

In the past some have said there’s an alternative. This is the alternative.

Link from site to east Greenwich shops, buses and rail station

Not only is it less convenient than the bridge for some (if it was in anyway appealing to use) but it too is far from pedestrian and cyclist friendly.

So TfL may try to spin the new bridge as a benefit for pedestrians and cyclists, but the real reason it’s there is to accommodate a large road building project below whilst the bridge is no more usable or welcoming that the existing crossing given an abject failure to invest funds into both approaches.

Alternative to footbridge isn’t fit for purpose

A classic bit of greenwash in other words.

Ditch the car and walk. There’s a Transport Strategy now don’t you know?

Until Transport for London firmly commit funding to mitigate Silvertown including this area and Greenwich contribute using income from a vast number of new developments in the area, it’s little more than a PR job.





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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.

One thought on “New Greenwich bridge installed: Approaches remain neglected and filthy

  • Fabulous expose John, are councillors representing these areas getting this message and acting? I’m sure they all read this blog, so come on guys please act! Fromthemurkydepths is about the only way of getting local info to expose problems here (853 doesn’t allow comments). The taxpayer funded paper we all get is all positive propaganda, no reality ever, may as well be in Putin’s Russia, perish the thought.


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