Abbey Wood station’s new public space somehow getting worse

Bexley Council’s car park on Felixstowe Road near Abbey Wood station has reopened today (see yesterday’s post) as building work in the area completes.

However, while Bexley Council found £250,000 for that it’s a different story nearby as a multi-million pound street upgrade funded by Transport for London falls apart as maintenance appears non-existent.

At the completion of public realm work for the rebuilt station serving the Elizabeth line, concrete blocks were dumped down balanced precariously above broken bits of paving. Half have now fallen over

Borough boundary runs down middle of road.

Conway carried out work which cost £8.7 million.

Presumably these blocks are a security measure someone forgot about until the last minute. Some stations have better protection than others. Woolwich, for example, is befitting for a project that was supposed to improve towns.

Substantial silver bollards surround Woolwich station

I’ve yet to see a station look as bad as Abbey Wood so soon after millions spent.

Cycle parking in the area is also still closed to the public years after installation.

Cycle stands installed years ago as part of project yet never opened

While cycle stands are fenced off, homeless people moved in below the flyover. Ironically the newly reopened car park sitting next to the homeless site was designated as housing, but Bexley Council have decided a car park is a better use for their land.

Newly rebuilt car park beside flyover which was supposed to be housing – and where homeless people set up camp

Surfaces such as paving and setts across the area are grotty already as unsuitable materials were chosen. They don’t match what was shown or stated before work begun around five years ago.

Public realm upgrade

Bus users and pedestrians also see the aftermath of locating a bus stop at a narrow piece of pavement rather than a wider stretch a few metres away as was the case before works undertaken.

Busy bus stops outside station located on pinch point

Numerous design issues were raised before the project begun yet were brushed over by external consultations and boroughs. It was a warning sign when the agency behind the work stated the area was in a place called “Bexley Heath”.

Wrong town, wrong spelling and not even the correct name of the borough.

Felixstowe Road render before work undertaken. Final result much different. Half the trees are missing and materials chosen not suitable for high traffic area

Half the landscaping shown didn’t appear. What did appear was never maintained, became strewn with rubbish and was all removed in recent weeks.

No attention paid to area by Bexley Council

The borough boundary between Bexley and Greenwich councils runs directly through both the station and public space either side.

Various area sof paving and road surfaces have seen patches of tarmac appear rather than reinstatement of materials. Happy to take the millions but do little to ever maintain it.

“Temporary” fencing has long blocked cycle parking

It appears Bexley have been given control of parts of Greenwich borough to the north of the station where they manage much of Felixstowe Road beside the station despite business and residents facing here paying tax to Greenwich.

Borough boundary runs down the middle of road.

To the south, control runs down the middle of a shopping parade. Recently Greenwich placed more tarmac down here on the shopping parade on Wilton Road.

Greenwich Council placed tarmac down on their patch

Trees shown on renders closer to the station before work begun never materialised. It was later stated that service below ground prevented trees, and planters may be looked at. They’ve never arrived.

Greenery on renders never appeared

The reality is an occasional parking free for all sometimes holding up buses.

Abbey Wood Wilton Road beside station

Ultimately a year after the new Elizabeth line opened here, drivers have a newly revamped car park on land designated as housing. Yet if you’re on foot, a bus user, a resident in the area or a cyclist then you’ve been pretty much ignored as public spaces continue to decline.




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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 “Abbey Wood station’s new public space somehow getting worse

  • Its so disappointing that such a large transport development has turned out so badly and local councillors have done nothing to challenge this.
    The bus stops are also so dangerous being at the narrowest point of the bridge. I cannot believe a designer thought this would be a good idea. It is often hard to get to the buses without walking in the road and I worry that someone will fall into the road with people rushing for buses.


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