Can you help make Woolwich Road safer?

Greenwich Council is currently consulting on plans to make some changes to part of the Charlton stretch of Woolwich Road – between Felltram Way and Charlton Church Lane – following a number of accidents over the years.

They also take into account changes that’ll need to be made for the proposed new Sainsbury’s/M&S store is built on the corner of Gallions Road.

Well, I say it’s consulting, but there’s nothing on its website and there’s no mention of this in Greenwich Time. Indeed, only a handful of households, either on or immediately adjacent to Woolwich Road, have been invited to take part.

However, the Charlton Champion has been passed the documents, so you too can see what’s planned and respond. See if you can spot the glaring error in one of them.

Woolwich Road Consultation Document (PDF)
Woolwich Road Consultation Questionnaire (PDF)

The council’s desire to involve as few people as possible in its decisions aside, what’s planned includes:

– A central refuge on the Victoria Way zebra crossing
– Installing a pedestrian refuge near to Ramac Way
– Widening the markings in the middle of the road to separate traffic flows
– Renewing anti-skid surfaces
– Moving the zebra crossing and bus stop at Victoria Way (part of the Sainsbury’s scheme)

Of course, the biggest thing that could be done on that stretch of road would be to reduce the amount of traffic, particularly HGVs, on the Woolwich Road. This would require Woolwich-bound traffic at the Blackwall Tunnel to be funnelled towards Bugsby’s Way, rather than the A206 as now. Unfortunately, there’s nothing in that document proposing this quick win, neither is there a proposal to deal with the “dance of death” at the foot of Charlton Church Lane.

But there’s nothing stopping you suggesting those, or anything else. As ever with these consultations, there isn’t long to respond, and it’s by post only, to get to the council by 5 October – that’s a week on Friday. Tell ’em we sent you.

17 thoughts on “Can you help make Woolwich Road safer?

  1. Simon September 25, 2012 / 07:59

    As Chair of the Charlton Riverside Action Group I was extremely surprised to receive this unannounced through my door – particularly as I have been in contact with the Council about road improvements for Woolwich Road during the last few weeks, and there has been no mention of this.
    What a shame that the consultation is so badly publicised and apparently so limited. I do encourage as many people as possible to respond, however.
    Personally traffic calming of the sort mentioned is only the bare minimum – and everything from a bus “lip” by the fire station to slow traffic that often enters the wrong side of the road between Dupree and Hardman Roads, to speed indicators or cameras could help.
    Additionally it would be really useful to see something to tackle the nightmare of the Victoria Way junction – where traffic will increase even more with more homes being built there and with the Travelodge, Sainsbury’s and M&S development. Sadly lights are not an option (but would be safest) so a mini roundabout would work the next best and mean that cars would not have to risk the turn right at speed as currently – with the knock-on risk that they fail to see pedestrians on the crossing. I use the crossing often and have come within centimetres of being knocked down on more than a dozen occasions!
    Other ideas welcome too – please pass them on to the Council.

    • Simon September 25, 2012 / 14:27

      I understand from Cllr Mary Mills that she did in fact try to send the consultation details to CRAG, although we didn’t receive the email. Thanks Mary for your support.

  2. Mary September 25, 2012 / 09:35

    -….. and please copy your comment to your local councillors (,,
    At the Highways Committee last week we were introduced to several new staff in the Transportation Department who all seemed keen and full of new ideas. They have already put forward a scheme for buses and the lights outside the Odeon in Bugsbys Way – and I think they should get encouragement and support.

    • Syreeta September 25, 2012 / 11:07

      I think it’s right to highlight the junction issue at Victoria Way, traffic does not slow down and I have been on the crossing with a pushchair and still cars don’t stop. It is a safety risk to pedestrians and needs to be considered. I would also like to know why more traffic can’t be diverted to Bugsby’s Way which is less residential. Pity this consultation seems so limited in taking on the community view.

  3. Steve September 25, 2012 / 10:33

    Simon, why are traffic lights not an option? I have lost count of the number of times that cars and lorries have failed to stop on that pedestrian crossing. Really dangerous.

    • Simon September 25, 2012 / 14:30

      I agree they should be an option. However the Council have told me that the Mayor (Boris) has issued a “no more traffic lights” decree – and therefore they would not agree to them. A mini-roundabout plus other calming measures would help – along with better signage directing traffic to Bugsby’s Way.

  4. therealdecoy September 25, 2012 / 13:53

    Apparently the Sainsbury’s scheme – ref. 12/0825 on the Greenwich Planning site – is still waiting for a planning decision even though massive demolition has already gone ahead. Will it go to local committee for consideration? Perhaps the council are waiting for the outcome of this traffic consultation so as to make an informed decision?

    • therealdecoy September 25, 2012 / 13:54

      Whoops, that should be ref. 12/0835 – sorry!

    • Simon September 25, 2012 / 14:30

      I understand it is going to October committee – though I don’t know the date.

  5. Chris September 25, 2012 / 19:05

    The zebra crossing by Victoria is a fatal accident waiting to happen. I, too have witnessed many near misses when waiting to turn right into Victoria Way. This evening I saw a car going west skid right through the crossing (the road was wet) after he braked way too late. The pedestrian was obviously a regular as she stopped, knowing the car was going to go across, and gave him the tosser sign as he whizzed through (and then hared off). Atta girl, but not everyone is as aware as she was.

    For some reason drivers going both ways just don’t seem to see it.

  6. alanpalme September 25, 2012 / 20:25

    From the questionnaire: “The information you provide will be treated confidentially and will be used solely by the London Borough of Brent”

    • Simon September 26, 2012 / 22:21

      To be fair to the Council this was only on the pdf that we got from Cllr Mills – an early copy that she was kind enough to pass on. For the one we (residents) got through the door they have corrected this mistake. Personally I don’t mind if the “Royal Borough” want to copy good practice elsewhere – wheel invention is not an option these days. Can I urge people to send views please? Given we can’t have lights to help with the Victoria Way junction (tonight I was almost knocked down again but I am wise to the stupidity of some drivers) please can people ask for a mini roundabout? I actually think the Council really want to help us … so tell them what you would like.

  7. IG September 30, 2012 / 16:12

    I too have also had near death experiences on the Victoria Way Zebra crossing. Here’s my thoughts on what should (but evidently won’t) be done:

    Create a new Pelican crossing further to the right of Victoria Way to align with the new shopping development – The people traffic crossing the Woolich Rd will increase immensely with this new development and as motorist and cyclist too, I would prefer a lighted crossing as the road is both poorly lit and curved as you approach from the west making spotting pedestrians waiting at the Zebra crossing sometimes difficult (esp when you’ve got your eye on cars cutting in from Victoria Way).

    Assuming the above Pelican crossing idea gets turned into a Zebra crossing:

    – Make the crossing humped so that cars approaching have to slow down
    -Better light the waiting area on either side of Woolich road so that people waiting can be spotted better
    -Add ‘Slow’ signs to the road on approach to the Zebra crossing, ideally making the road section a traffic calmed 20mph zone
    -Ideally, add a 2nd Zebra crossing to the West of Victoria Way to account for those people leaving Asda etc that don’t want to have to walk East down Woolich Rd when they live to the West.

    Note to Greenwich Council – Don’t listen to Boris, nobody did before he got elected so he’s quite used to it and won’t care about a piddly little road in South-East London anyway.

  8. charles September 30, 2012 / 17:46


    A traffic light would be great. Also a 30 or 20 mph smiley faced traffic calming measure with raised road calming measures would be great.

    Railings along the pavement on both sides of the roadside would be great.

    Heavy good vehicles should be prohibited from using the road from Charlton church lane up to the flyover.

    The traffic intersection at Charlton church lane needs to be reconfigured so that heavy goods vehicles do not enter that stretch of road and also make sure that they do not use Charlton church lane in either direction. Also, traffic calming measures on Charlton church lane need to be looked at and maybe it should be a 20 mph zone.

    The consultation should involve a greater population group e.g. the residents of Charlton as a whole and not just the residents in one road.

    Oh by the way, surely the consultation should explain what future plans and intentions there are regarding a new tunnel bridge across the river in this area.

    Lastly let me say that i would prefer a market economy rather that a market society.
    So that.s what i need our councillors to fight for.


  9. Simon January 8, 2013 / 22:55

    Please note everyone work now is underway – moving the zebra crossing 2 metres to the east. Well that really is going to help. Not even a raised crossing, no lights. I have asked the Council what is happening and have received no response as yet – will update if I know. Please contact Mary and the other Councillors locally if you are as disappointed as I am.

  10. Darryl C January 15, 2013 / 13:40

    Darn, only just seen this thread, months too late of course, but here’s my tuppence worth…

    To me, the radical answer is to close Woolwich Road west of the Victoria way junction to all except bikes, buses & emergency vehicles. So any traffic coming down Victoria Way turns right (any buses heading east would have to give way), and all westbound traffic from Woolwich direction would have to divert around via Busby’s Way to get to the A102. The short section of Woolwich Road between the underpass and the Victoria Way junction would still be accessible but would effectively be a dead-end to cars heading eastbound. This would…
    1) Allow a much more usable pedestrian crossing on Woolwich Road to the west of the Victoria Way junction – the only vehicles to watch out for using the road on a regular basis being buses.
    2) Considerably reduce the amount of traffic on this stretch of the Woolwich Road, facilitating the much heralded “joining-up” of Charlton residential and business areas.
    3) Allow the traffic lights at the underpass commensurately more time to allow traffic out from the Peartree Way exit, thus keeping the flow of traffic onto the A102 running more smoothly.
    4) Result in much improved air quality on that stretch of Woolwich Road.
    5) Reduce the use of Victoria Way as a rat-run for traffic
    6) Make it much more straightforward for an access road to be put in place into the new Sainsbury’s and M&S. (The greatly reduced amount of traffic heading eastbound would allow westbound traffic to turn into a car-park there much more easily).

    But then again I don’t work in traffic planning, so I’ve probably missed something obvious. And I expect it’s a pretty thankless task with all the competing lobbies…

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