A new Greenwich pedestrianisation meeting

Apologies for the short notice, but Deptford Dame puts it better than me – there’s a public meeting tomorrow (Monday) abut the council’s plans to pedestrianise part of Greenwich town centre:

The benefits of making Greenwich town centre easier to navigate for pedestrians seemed to be outweighed by intention to create a much larger gyratory which would affect bus routes and make certain journeys much longer for local motorists.

Not only does it seem that Greenwich Council and its transport advisers are out of step with the general trend to remove gyratories (New Cross is a perfect example of many in London which are being restored to their two-way road systems), but recent research by the council has also revealed that the gyratory would increase traffic levels on other streets such as Circus Street and Burney Street (although equally it would reduce traffic levels on other streets).

Many cyclists are concerned about the negative impact it will have on cycling in the area; higher traffic speeds and a reduction of freedom of movement for cyclists. Deptfordians who cycle from here to Greenwich also fear that Norman Road will become a huge barrier to travel.

It’s also likely to screw up bus routes, too – notably the 199 from Lewisham to Deptford and Surrey Quays. It’s being held at the Prince of Greenwich pub (the old Prince Albert) in Royal Hill at 8pm, and is organised by the West Greenwich Conservation Area Residents Association – a title you wouldn’t to try to say after a few drinks in said boozer…

Two local councillors and two officers are due to attend, after the council’s almost complete no-show at a meeting in July.

I’m also keeping an eye on just what’s happening with the council’s consultation on this flawed scheme, after hearing reports of at least one little-publicised “public” meeting last month – especially considering the attitude of the council’s contractor, Hyder Consulting, to criticism of how it is being handled. If you know anything, please pass it on.

14 comments

  1. All for this scheme. Let’s end the near-perpetual gridlock, the noise and the fumes (especially from multiple stationary buses) around the centre and let’s get public transport travelling smoothly through.

    Yes, it’ll mean a minor change of a couple of bus routes and it’ll add 1-2 minutes to the drive for anyone living just off the contraflow.

    Disagree that this will lead to (more) high-speed rat runs. For starters, drivers will no longer be flying round College Approach and King William Walk, to try and beat the Nelson Road lights.

    However, it WILL greatly improve the traffic situation in the centre for thousands of travellers and will also remove traffic from CA and KWW (let’s get the displaced food stalls on there!).

    The needs of the many outweigh the inconvenience of the few, people!

  2. I would rather the few million this will cost be spent on East greenwich and improving Trafalgar Road. Given how little money there will be over the next 5 years spending a lot on this is silly.

    Gyratories are just urban motorways and increase traffic speeds and are horrible for pedestrians using those roads. They could slow it down I suppose with lots of obstructions, but that will inevitably mean lots of street clutter. Great in a world heritage site.

    Also Norman Road will have thousands of homes facing onto it in 5/10 years will many developments ongoing. Turning that narrow raod into the only 2 way route will mean it’s gridlocked constantly.

  3. Do we know which option they decided on in the end? The council website has a shockingly lack amount of information on the schemes

  4. Lots of complaints….but has anyone got a better idea or do people prefer that we don’t change a thing and leave it all just as it is?

  5. If they can solve/minimise the rat running problems, then it does on balance seem better than the existing mess. That’s how I feel after seeing the case against, anyway.

    I can’t help feeling that the self-appointed Greenwich Conservation Area Residents are playing into the council’s hands: nimbly, confrontational attitude – and they censor any comments on their website expressing anything other than fulsome support.

  6. Darryl: “A bewilderingly high proportion of traffic on the A206 is merely passing through…”

    Unfortunately, it’s the main feeder road between central London and all points between Greenwich and Abbey Woods.

  7. Given that it will take up the entire years budget from TfL’s grant to Greenwich council, and money in subsequent years will be non existant, I would prefer this money (the last for a while) to be spread across the borough on a big program of cycle lanes and urban realm improvements in the more deprived parts. Woolwich, Charlton, Plumstead, Abbey Wood etc would benefit a lot more despite some money being spent in those areas.

    The problem with through traffic is a massive one, and something it will take a lot of money to sort out. A new river crossing is needed, or even a tunnel across Blackheath to stop traffic all being funneled through Greenwich. Neither of which is likely soon, but that doesn’t mean this scheme is worth it as it will remove some problems but create just as many more.

  8. No Steve the scheme will lead to a huge increase in traffic on Circus Street, Royal Hill, Glouster Circus etc as people cut through to avoid the new one way system. Any time there are road works near the junction of Greenwich High Road and South Street the amount of traffic that is diverted down these narrow side steets is incredible. If they took measure to address this (as they have in the Ashburnham Triangle on each end of Egerton Drive then maybe the council would win more local backing. For a council that seems to be pretty anti car (only allowing 2 resident parking vouchers per household) they seem pretty keen to cause misery for their local tax payers to help the lives of mainly non local tax paying commuters.

  9. I was merely pointing out the contradictions of the council’s policies. I agree with the efforts to promote public transport etc.

  10. There’s more than a hint of ‘something must be done, this is something, we’ll do this’ about this proposal. I can’t believe that a gyratory, a proven failed concept, is seriously being proposed.

    Gyratories actually make life worse for pedestrians and the disruption to the 199 alone makes this a non-starter for me. Greenwich Council needs to look more widely at traffic in this part of the borough and develop a sensible solution from that rather than forcing through this undercooked ‘solution’.

  11. The 199 will do a circuit of the gyratory for westward journeys only, adding 3-5mins.

    That alone is a reason to oppose this?

    That we will remove traffic from College Approach/King William Walk is not sufficient compensation?

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