New Greenwich bridge now open: Are the approaches any better?

A new footbridge installed in Greenwich to allow further road lanes to be built for the Silvertown tunnel has now opened.

The main span is open as is one ramp to the south. Steps and a permanent ramp on the north side are not yet open, with a temporary structure in place.

Temporary ramp

The main span isn’t bad at all. Objections to earlier proposals managed to reduce the amount of mesh entirely surrounding the walkway and so the roof is now open.

These photos are also on a beautiful summer’s day with barely a cloud in the sky, so perhaps it won’t always feel so pleasant.

Mesh proposed on roof dropped in design revision

But then again old bridge itself was fine once across the span on a nice day, and that isn’t really the main issue in the area connecting east Greenwich with Greenwich peninsula.

What is a major problem is that both approaches on foot are generally awful, and something few will want to use if given a choice.

Former bridge ramp

On that front it’s still a grim experience. Perhaps not as bad as when covered before, but a lot is left to be desired.

Slightly improved from earlier visit

Rubbish is still everywhere and area appears to have not been cleaned for months. Basic maintenance is not happening.

It’s obvious given the weathered look of endless detritus all along Tunnel Avenue. Roads still have years of baked in mud along kerbs which floods easily. That shows no sign of being cleaned.

Even after relatively little rain for some time Tunnel Avenue sees much mud along kerbs and crossings – and floods easily

Street furniture is broken and seemingly not replaced for years.

Broken street furniture

And on that note, there’s simply way too much clutter denoting how this is not a pedestrian or cyclist friendly area.

Greenwich peninsula streets can be great but it all falls apart as soon as leaving to reach areas such as east Greenwich and Charlton.

Greenwich leisure centre including swimming pool, library and shops a short distance from Greenwich peninsula

And who’d want to, eh? They only have many shops, bus routes, railway stations, GP surgeries, a leisure centre and much more.

Bridge approach from peninsula

Approaching the bridge from new housing on Greenwich peninsula does actually presents a nice dedicated path and cycleway:

Which suddenly ends in a sea of clutter at Millennium Way revealing the insular nature of the peninsula’s general design and failure to integrate with nearby areas.

Road dominates. Clutter and obstacles are everywhere on bridge approach

This was outdated when built in the late 1990s. To do nothing to improve these streets after 25 years and thousands more homes built either side of the A102 road is baffling.

Cross Millennium Way dual carriageway and it’s onto Boord Street towards the new bridge.

Remnants of the old bridge remain visible to the north.

Approach ramp of former bridge

After crossing we’re onto Tunnel Avenue.

It’s not well maintained.

Tunnel Avenue remains a mess and hostile for active travel use

For all the PR put out by Transport for London about this bridge (and often disguising why it’s there to begin with, which is adding extra road lanes below) and by Greenwich Council on encouraging active travel, this area shows the stark reality.

There’s tons much rubbish along the road until reaching the junction with Blackwall Lane.

Some say this is a better place for pedestrians and cyclists to connect between east Greenwich and the peninsula.

Other option

If so, it shows how bad the other options still are.

Despite a new footbridge, almost all links to the peninsula from east Greenwich remain very poor 25 years after work on the Millennium Dome begun and housing development begun.

Other options

There’s now thousands built. Many thousands more coming.

Yet Greenwich Council don’t appear in a rush to improve, with an estimated 2037 date for areas under their control near here. TfL have no plans for their area of control.


Twenty five years of new development across Greenwich hasn’t seen improvements implemented in the area

And so pedestrian and cycling routes remain far from good to use – new bridge or no new bridge.



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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 now open: Are the approaches any better?

  • Have you contacted Ward Councillors?
    I’m sure they can help with the maintenance issues at least.


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