Talk about Charlton’s rail service this Tuesday

The CCRA helped avert a cut in Charlton's Olympic train service

Charlton Rail Users Group co-convenor David Gardner has some words for you:

Come to the Charlton Rail Users’ Group Open Forum with Southeastern, Network Rail and Greenwich Council next Tuesday 3 July at Charlton Liberal Club, 59 Charlton Church Lane SE7 at 7pm for 7.30 pm.

We have begun to make a big impact but much remains to be done. Come to have your say on a new entrance, a station community garden, what train service we want from the next franchise and getting improved bus links.

And anything else you want to raise, including trains stooping up the platform.

Hope to see you there. It’s our station and rail service. Together, we can make our voice heard.

There’s already a consultation out on the next rail franchise for the area, which Transport for London wants to see (at least in the capital) transformed into a London Overground-style service under its control. But Tuesday’s talk will be more about the here and now issues – has anyone spotted the station canopies have been cleaned?


Olympics countdown: Don’t get the hump

Only a month to go until the Olympic Games land on our doorstep – here’s a few things you should know about trying to get around the area…

1) Kidbrooke with Hornfair councillor Hayley Fletcher has been in touch to say…

On Monday 25th, works will begin on Charlton Park Lane to remove the road humps in preparation for July 25 when the Olympic Route Network (ORN) gets up and running. Works will be done in off peak time and should be completed by the following Saturday.

As an interim measure to stop speeding and calm traffic in the area, some signs displaying the 30mph limit will be put up. The humps will be replaced after the Paralympics. This is not a permanent measure.

There should be further works in the next couple of weeks in the area and I will update you as soon as I know any further details.

Thanks to Hayley for that, and she’s happy for people to email her with questions. I wonder how many local motorists will wish the humps’ removal were permanent?

2) If you haven’t already, stick your postcode into – if you’re in SE7, you’ll need a parking permit if you don’t have one already, and existing parking zones will be enforced into the evenings and weekends (and extended into streets where permits aren’t needed). More details here.

3) Transport for London has released this leaflet detailing changes across Greenwich borough during the Games.

There are also Get Ahead of the Games roadshows over the next couple of weeks. Stops include: Sat 30 June, General Gordon Square, Woolwich (10am-6pm); Sun 1 July, Blackheath Farmers’ Market (in station car park – 10am-2pm); Sun 8 July, Cutty Sark Gardens, Greenwich (10am-4pm); Thurs 12 July, Cutty Sark DLR station, Greenwich (12noon-7pm). More details here, click on “transport changes in London boroughs”.

Incidentally, there will be three local “live sites” where you’ll be able to watch the events on a big screen – in General Gordon Square, Woolwich; on the Greenwich peninsula (on the patch of land next to the Pilot pub); and on Blackheath, by All Saints Church.

Charlton Lido: A bit of Charlton’s history is coming back

Behind all that rubble, something is stirring… but what exactly is happening with the redevelopment of Charlton Lido?

Well, the good news is that by all accounts, it’s on course to reopen next month after a number of years out of use. It’s now under the management of GLL, which runs Greenwich Council’s leisure centres and libraries, after an attempt to lease it out to a private consortium collapsed in 2010.

Full completion of the project is planned for 2013, when it’ll include a health and fitness centre and cafe, but for now, outdoor swimming during the Olympic summer will do.

The launch of the fantastic Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project website is a further reminder of what a fantastic local asset the the 73-year-old lido is, despite being neglected over recent decades.

As well as a few photos of the lido in the 1950s, the site also contains these notes about its history, alongside its surviving sister lidos at Brockwell Park, Herne Hill and Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath. Just as Brockwell Park has been central to the revival of its local area in recent years, hopefully Charlton Lido will give its own neighbourhood a boost – and be the catalyst for further improvements to Hornfair Park.

If you’ve got memories of the lido, feel free to share them here – and what do you want to see at the new-look Charlton Lido when its gates open again?

Sports day theme for Charlton’s annual Horn Fayre

Get your shorts on a week on Sunday…

After the success of 2011’s ‘holiday camp theme’ the annual Horn Fayre (whose origins date back to the middle ages) is back again to resurrect more happy memories with interactive games and social activities This summer’s event will be inspired by The Sports Day and the London Olympics. Remember the egg and spoon race, Ice cream relay, pram races and the obstacle course? The organisers of Horn Fayre 2012 also plan recreate competitions of yesteryear, including, knobbly knees and glamorous granny.
Also on stage ‘The Generation Game’. Get up, have a go and win a prize!

If you wish to participate in, Glamorous Granny, Knobbly Knees or Showcase please register your entry at Charlton House (020 8856 3951 /[at] Registration is free.

For more on the history of the Horn Fayre, read this post from Alan Palmer.

Competition hots up for Charlton’s green-fingered

Claire Williams from the Charlton Community Gardens project sends us more details for the edible window box competetion.

Charlton Community Gardens are calling all novice and experienced Charlton Gardeners to take part in an edible window box competition.

Enjoy creating sustainably planted containers while reaping the rewards of homegrown healthy and delicious plants and being in with a chance of winning generous prizes donated by local shops Ottie and the Bea, Marnells, G. G. Sparkes and Well Bean.

Ideas for edibles can include flowers such as nasturtiums, violas and lavenders, as well as the more traditional tomatoes, peppers,  herbs and many more. 

Entry is free, to both the under 16s and over 16s categories  and judging takes place in the first week of September.   For more details and an entry form, please contact Barbara by 30 June on  windoxboxcompetition[at] or call 07594 107607. 

Final open event for Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project

After months of hard work the Charlton Parks Reminiscence Project is up and running.

This is a lottery funded project that aims to archive information about Charlton’s parks including stunning photographs, historical documents and recordings of local people’s memories.

A final open event is being held on Monday 25th June to Friday 6th July 2012 at Charlton House, Grand Salon between 10am – 4pm (Thursdays 2 – 8pm).

However if you can’t wait that long then their associated website is ready now.

There you can see dozens of photos and can listen to scores of interview extracts, with local people talking about the bandstand during the war, memories of the lido, clambering around Gilbert’s Pit and much more.

The website will be hosted initially for five years and archived with the Greenwich Heritage Centre and maybe even the British Library. Discussions are underway as to how the site can be kept up to date during that time and possibly further into the future.

At the forthcoming exhibition school groups as well as the general public are welcome. There will be special activities for visiting pupils to encourage them to actively participate in exploring their local history and further interviews will also take place.

Sainsbury’s and M&S site: Should Woolwich Road be downgraded?

Simon Hall, Charlton resident and the chair of the Charlton Riverside Action Group, sends us this message.

As previously reported, the planning application for a new Sainsbury’s/M&S has been submitted. Considerable debate ensued, and CRAG organised a public meeting attended by the developer – LXB, a number of councillors, and about 25 residents.

It was really good to see such a good attendance, and great that our views were appearing to be heard. However a decision has still not been made.

The application is now likely to come before a planning committee, although to date we do not know when this will be. Many of the objections to the development centred around the fact that the application, as submitted, ran counter to the Masterplan for Charlton Riverside – adopted by the Royal Borough in April this year – which included an ambition to downgrade Woolwich Road between the A102 and Charlton Church Lane.

In order to keep up the debate until the planning committee, an e-petition has been created to gather as many signatures as possible to support our campaign.

Already, we understand, the Royal Borough have initiated further discussions with LXB to look at this specific issue! Please help us keep the pressure up for common sense to prevail. It is CRAG’s contention that by proposing an access point to a 700-space car park for the proposed new Sainsbury’s and M&S from Woolwich Road (as well as Bugsby’s Way) it will increase, not reduce, traffic in that stretch of Woolwich Road, which is meant to be a residential road with buses.

This will have a significant impact on air quality, noise, road traffic accidents and the amenity of local people in Woolwich Road and adjacent residential roads to the south.

The impact on air quality (already poor) should be considered on Woolwich Road, and the council should bear in mind its affect on neighbouring roads (which the supporting documents to the application admit could become “rat runs”) and children attending Fossdene School.

The impact on noise pollution is measured in the supporting documentation to the planning application to at least one decibel (that is 10% more). Surely a strong case to review the junction on the Woolwich Road?

Significant additional traffic will be generated by a Woolwich Road entrance/exit to/from the car park of 700 cars, and much of this will be on Woolwich Road as things are currently configured.

The road currently has no traffic calming measures on it, and is the only road signed by the Council/TfL for eastbound access from the A2/A102 to Charlton Football Club and the Woolwich Ferry, and westbound to the Blackwall Tunnel and Greenwich Town Centre.

This stretch of Woolwich Road is a Road Traffic Accident blackspot. The last fatal accident there was in December 2007.

Allowing cars to go straight ahead from Charlton Church Lane to Anchor & Hope Lane and Bugsby’s Way would make far more sense in terms of access; treating the entrance to Woolwich Road so it is earmarked for access only. Bugsby’s Way can better absorb the additional traffic than Woolwich Road; the junction of Bugsby’s Way and Gallions Road is well planned and the bus lane is to be welcomed, although there will always be an issue with the resilience of the whole road network with “exceptional” events such as the Blackwall tunnel blockage, Charlton Athletic matches, and “only one Woolwich Ferry” in operation.

The Gallions Road/Woolwich Road junction for the new development should be altered. The Council should undertake a review of the entire length of Woolwich Road between the Antigallican and the A102 to come up with a plan – potentially funded from the S106 funding that will be attracted by this application – to downgrade the road and direct through traffic along Bugsby’s Way.

We are keen that as well as disallowing this junction the Royal Borough will also look to consider traffic calming to support its Masterplan aspiration:

(a) A bus friendly road “lip” at the fire station/Hardman Road junction – thus not affecting the operation of the fire station adversely but forcing slower traffic at a bend in the road when it appears to be a regular occurrence that speeding cars veer into the wrong lane, and in the last few years a number of gardens have had their front walls rebuilt due to accidents.

(b) A mini roundabout at the Woolwich Road/Victoria Way junction – incorporating a revised exit for the Travelodge. The developers, LXB, have agreed that this would be within the scope of their plan and would have no objection to this change to their Travelodge scheme. It would be in line with TfL’s “no new traffic lights” objective, and it would also ensure slow down traffic as well as assist local traffic to turn in and out of the Victoria Way junction.

(c) New signage – directing through traffic away from the Woolwich Road and down Bugsby’s Way.

(d) A 20 mph speed limit enforced by traffic cameras and/or “watch your speed” digital signage.

(e) A review of the Charlton Church Lane junction. These traffic calming measures should be considered regardless of the Council’s planning decision in this application, but to not link these explicitly would be to deny the significant affect on traffic that this new M&S/Sainsbury’s will have in an already congested area regardless of any move to direct traffic away from Woolwich Road. As the residential link, it makes more sense to make the vehicular access to the new M&S/Sainsbury’s solely from Bugsby’s Way and to reserve Gallions Road for cyclists and emergency vehicles. This would then enable the Woolwich Road to become more pedestrian friendly, encouraging local residents to walk to the stores and being a friendly way for bus and rail passengers to enter the development. Please help by signing the e-petition (if you haven’t already).