Woolwich town centre upgrade on Powis Street edges forward

Work to alter the face of Powis Street in Woolwich is continuing west as a new “road” surface is laid.

It’s part of a multi-million pound project funded by the Future High Streets project which also includes Beresford Square, the outdoor market and the Royal Arsenal Gatehouse.

Tarmac is temporary

And before we head any further, no this is not the final layout. The tarmac is temporary.

Trees will remain either side though much else will go. New paving surfaces and planting will be installed.

CGI of Powis Street once work complete

Now long term readers will know I’m wary of Greenwich Council’s ability to look after this. They’ve failed to do so for many years both after previous Woolwich upgrades and across the borough – cuts or no cuts.

What doesn’t help now is that the council are proposing altering the street cleaning service with a possible reduction in staffing across the borough.

Powis Street beside new paving

For all their “late” events (which mostly ended at 8pm) funded by the Mayor the town is extremely quiet after 6pm. There seems no improvement in a night time economy.

One thing about the proposed design is it precludes outside seating in the future beside many units due to extensive street furniture.

Most times I’ve visited to take pics of the upgrade there’s either been cars parked all over the place and/or rubbish strewn about – and that’s before any staffing reduction.

Powis Street

This time was no different. The above rubbish is exactly where the landscaping can be seen in the previous render.

Whether it was a fox that ripped the bag open or the man who kept pestering me and was hitting/kicking things in the street while I was there (I must have that effect on people), things happen and regular cleaning will be needed.

Greenwich Council have slapped tarmac down shortly after Abbey Wood upgrade

It’s imperative whenever major changes are proposed that an authority thinks of the long term when planning public realm upgrades. Greenwich Council rarely do. At Abbey Wood tarmac has appeared and the light-coloured paving used requires constant cleaning.

Greenwich bought street cleaning equipment, then mothballed it shortly after before bringing it back last year. New proposed cuts could see it go once again.

Work at western end

Not that it really matters. Days after use the paving chosen looks scruffy in Abbey Wood.

Whether Woolwich goes the same way remains to be seen. So much potential exists.

Tree from 1990s upgrade. Lighting was installed around base back then. Removed after short period as not maintained.



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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.

6 thoughts on “Woolwich town centre upgrade on Powis Street edges forward

  • I was in Powis Street only last Friday and noticed the resurfacing works. Let’s hope the permanent layer will be in place before the local anti-social element destroys the tarmac.

  • I know not the subject of this article, but I really am starting to lose patience with Greenwich Council. To even entertain the idea of reducing street cleaning from weekly to monthly, when there’s already a litter and fly tipping issue across the borough is scandalous. There has to be a minimum service level our ever increasing tax provides for and this is not it.

    • I agree Michael, reducing street cleaning is totally unacceptable and is scandalous with out a doubt. Woolwich has a big rat problem. This is set to get worse not only in Woolwich but around the Borough along with rubbish not being cleared and
      flytipping across the Borough.
      This is a service we pay for in our Council Tax every year which has also seen an increase last year.
      This Labour Council waste so much money on on consultations etc which they very rarely act upon.
      If the Council needs to save money abolish the loss making GLLaB which is constantly being bailed our financially.
      It really is time for change at Greenwich Council Labour have had their day in charge of Greenwich Council and need to stop cutting essential services and services paid for by the Council Tax payer like street cleaning.

    • @Michael G: Lewisham also wants to reduce street cleaning. The streets are barely clean before a new mound of detritus appears. If a rat outbreak if what these councils want, they are going the right about it.

  • This scheme should have included Hare Street in Woolwich which is looking really run down at the moment and in need of improvements.

  • Improving the look of the town must be accompanied by maintaining the area afterwards though regular street cleaning and removal of rubbish .
    Appreciate the doing up the town is the interesting bit and keeping it clean is not so interesting but it is important for the people who live in and visit Woolwich and want to spend money in the shops.
    See the council won an award for excellence in enforcement last year – how about living up to it ?
    Keeping streets clean is a basic council service ,not a luxury.
    Would be good to see a recognition of that from cllrs and officers.


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