Five-year wait for safety improvements at Greenwich’s lethal Woolwich Road roundabout

Woolwich Road flyover
The Woolwich Road roundabout will not be improved until late 2023, according to a document issued by London mayor and TfL chair Sadiq Khan

853 exclusive: Walkers and cyclists will have to wait five years for much-needed safety improvements to be made at Greenwich’s Woolwich Road roundabout, a document released by London mayor Sadiq Khan has revealed.

Last month, Khan agreed to send London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon a list of dates for when 33 of London’s most dangerous junctions – including the A206/A102 interchange – would see work done to make them safer.

Now 853 has seen the list – and it reveals that work is not scheduled to be complete until late 2023, a delay the Liberal Democrat politician has branded “insulting to residents”.

Edgaras Cepura was killed while trying to cycle around the junction in May, nine years after fashion website supervisor Adrianna Skrzypiec died at the same spot.

Woolwich Road flyover
Edgaras Cepura was killed at the A206/A102 junction in May 2018

In 2014, it was included in a TfL list of 33 locations for “substantial cycle infrastructure improvements” – the Better Junctions scheme. But nothing has happened, and the roundabout was not included on a successor scheme introduced by Khan, called Safer Junctions.

Pidgeon had asked Khan about the progress of those original 33 junctions. 12 of the 33 projects have been completed, while two – Highbury Corner and Stratford Gyratory – are under construction. Three are uncertain because of problems with Westminster City Council, another at St Paul’s is awaiting plans from the City of London.

Of the others, Woolwich Road has the latest completion date – “late 2023”, to be delivered as part of “a future cycle route between Greenwich and Woolwich”.

‘Crossing of death’

“There are very good reasons why the Greenwich A102 junction is now known by local residents as the ‘crossing of death’,” Pidgeon told 853.

“Waiting another five years for this junction to be made safer for both cyclists and pedestrians is totally unacceptable. The proposed timescale is deeply insulting to local residents and the many cyclists who wish to travel through this junction.

“Sadiq Khan needs to go back and carefully examine the pledges he made about addressing London’s most dangerous junctions, especially to the London Cycling Campaign, when he was seeking votes to become Mayor of London.

“If he is serious about making London a safer place for pedestrians and cyclists he needs to ensure that far more rapid progress is made in addressing some of the dangerous junctions in London.”

Woolwich Road roundabout in 2009
Nothing has been done at Woolwich Road roundabout since Adrianna Skrzypiec’s death in 2009

The junction had been due to be part of Cycle Superhighway 4, which was originally due to run from London Bridge to Woolwich. But it has now been shortened to run between Tower Bridge and Deptford Creek Bridge, with an estimated completion date of December 2020.

This includes work at the Rotherhithe Tunnel roundabout and at Surrey Quays station. An 82-year-old man was killed riding around the one-way system at Bestwood Road, Deptford, close to Surrey Quays station, on Saturday morning – the 10th cyclist to die on London’s roads this year.

The full list (see full details)

Schemes with completion dates: Borough High Street/Tooley Street (Spring 2019); Bow Roundabout (March 2023); Chiswick Roundabout/ Kew Bridge (February 2021); Hammersmith Broadway (August 2020); Highbury Corner (January 2020); King’s Cross (September 2022); Lambeth Bridge North/South (November 2021); Nag’s Head (Early 2021); Old Street Roundabout (January 2020); Rotherhithe Roundabout (December 2020); Stratford Gyratory (August 2019); Surrey Quays (December 2020); Vauxhall Gyratory (March 2023); Wandsworth Gyratory (October 2023); Waterloo City Hub (Late 2021); Woolwich Road/A102 (Late 2023).

Completed: Aldgate, Apex (Shoreditch), Archway Gyratory, Blackfriars, Elephant & Castle North, Lancaster Gate, Oval, Parliament Square, Spur Road, Stockwell Gyratory, Tower Gateway, Westminster Bridge South.

No date: Great Portland Street (Westminster wouldn’t agree), Marble Arch (Westminster withdrew support), St Paul’s (awaiting City of London plans).

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