Saturday, June 26, 2010

Greenwich nonsultation (3)

Deptford Dame asked yesterday why the cyclepath was on the wrong side of the road.  So I asked the consultant.  His response was that it was so that it joined up with the cycle network route into Lewisham, via Egerton Drive and Ditch Alley so that cyclists using the Ha'penny Hatch heading towards Lewisham or the Ashburnham triangle would not have to cross Norman Road.  Unconvincing response, really, because cyclists coming from Creek Road heading south along Norman Road will have to cross over Norman Road at a toucan crossing there anyway.

 Below is a view of the railway bridge on Norman Road, looking north, from their computerised graphics.  Although the bridge is depicted as single span, the revised plan is to use the existing northbound arch for motor traffic and the other arch for cyclists and pedestrians.  In keeping with planning practices, they still haven't put the Ha'penny Hatch in but if they had it would be where the blue line crosses the road.

I queried why they were using out of date maps.  ''All maps are out of date'' was the flippant response.  I pointed out that the detached end of Straightsmouth that was renamed Kay Way when the DLR was built was still listed as Straightsmouth.  How much out of date....?  Unbelievable that Greenwich Council who co-funded the Ha'penny Hatch and renamed the streets cannot put them onto their maps!

So, in order to pedestrianise 0.16 of a mile in central Greenwich they've come up with a 1.13 mile gyratory system that will make getting around west Greenwich a nightmare for people without extensive local knowledge.  It seems like a very small gain at a very high price, and the junction of Greenwich Church Street and Nelson Road will, I suspect, prove a major bottleneck.

As far as cycling is concerned, it appears* that commuters travelling east-west through the borough will have no access to the contraflow (yes, another cycle route that you can't cycle to!) on Creek Road because Greenwich Church Street is one way without cycle access so that instead of a 0.32 mile journey from Nelson Road to Creek Road Bridge, they'll have to add another 1/2 mile scenic detour around Norman Road to get to the bridge (0.9 miles).

Local Deptford to Greenwich journeys have not been seriously worsened.  You'll even be able to cycle along Greenwich High Road as far as South Street but not  if you want to go to Somerfields/Coop to do a bit of shopping (current distance, Hatch to Coop: 0.43 miles), or go to the police station to report some dangerous driving because that part is 2-lane one-way with no cycle contraflow.  You'd need to either divert up South Street, Circus Street and Royal Hill (Hatch to coop: 0.65 miles, approx 50% longer) or take the orange LCN route on the image above along Straightsmouth and then double back along Greenwich High Road (0.6 miles)  if you want to get there. 

All in all, let's sum it up.  Problem: there's too much motorised traffic on the roads in central Greenwich.  Solution: make alternative means of transport take longer journeys...

Incidentally, I picked up a few copies of the consultation document and questionnaires.  If anybody wants a copy, drop us an email to  Comments have to be in by 15 July.

*I say ''appears'' because the detailed image of this junction does not show a cycle lane.


  1. Actually, I'll correct myself. Cyclists commuting from east to west should be able to use the existing Greenwich Council Network Route 2, marked in blue on the top image. It's still longer but nowhere near half-a-mile longer. It does need a pretty good knowledge of the local area to know where it is though.

  2. Because I feel strongly about this issue I felt I was in danger of hijacking this blog for the purposes of cycling advocacy. So, to give you all a rest, I've continued the fight here ( ) where I've done a more detailed assessment of the proposed plan's impact on cycling.