Notorious Angerstein roundabout could be ripped out, TfL says

Woolwich Road flyover
Two cyclists have died on the eastern side of the flyover since 2009

Transport for London is considering removing the notorious roundabout at Woolwich Road in east Greenwich, which was condemned as “not fit for humans” after a cyclist died there 18 months ago.

The Angerstein roundabout could go as part of plans to cut traffic on the A206 through Greenwich and Charlton, with access between the A102 and A206 restricted.

TfL released its “initial thoughts” on the junction today as part of a wider consultation into plans for a segregated cycleway between Woolwich and Charlton, which would eventually extend to Greenwich.

The mayor’s transport agency and local politicians came under enormous pressure to act on the junction after the death of 37-year-old Edgaras Cepura, who was attempting to cycle around the roundabout in May 2018 when he was hit by a lorry. In 2009, Adrianna Skrzypiec, 31, died there while trying to ride home from work. After Cepura’s death, Greenwich Council’s deputy leader David Gardner called the junction “not fit for humans”.

TfL Angerstein roundabout plans

Now TfL is considering removing the roundabout, turning it into a crossroads and removing access to the northbound A102 in an attempt to reduce traffic levels. Turning right while coming off the northbound A102 would be banned, as would turning left onto Woolwich Road from the southbound A102 and Peartree Way, except for buses. The public realm beneath the flyover would receive its first improvements since it opened in 1969. Along with the segregated cycle lane, new pedestrian crossings would also be installed. More on the rest of the consultation, about a cycle route from Charlton to Woolwich, here.

The changes would hark back a little to the junction’s original design, which also did not feature a roundabout. When it was first built, traffic heading towards Charlton would turn left towards where Ikea is now before turning right and left to rejoin the Woolwich Road. The current roundabout was installed about a decade later, with further changes made 20 years ago that – the tight turns are a legacy of the original arrangement.

“We are developing a concept for changes that could be made, although we will need to refine and test these over the coming months. Given the importance of the issues at the roundabout to local people however, we wanted to explain what improvements we think might be possible, to give you opportunity to give us your feedback on our thoughts so far,” TfL says in its consultation.

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

While the changes will be welcomed by many, TfL’s ambition of reducing traffic could be a challenge considering it is also planning to build the Silvertown Tunnel, which would feed into this junction. And while restricting access from the A102 fits into wider plans to downgrade Woolwich Road, they could also result in an increase in rat-running to and from the Charlton retail park strip.

In recent years, TfL has removed one-way systems from its road network and has been removing roundabouts in other locations, such as the Elephant & Castle and Highbury Corner, with work now under way at Old Street. Across the other side of the Blackwall Tunnel, the Bow roundabout remains in place, but TfL has toyed with removing its flyover altogether – something which doesn’t feature in its plans for Woolwich Road.

To see more about the plans and respond to TfL’s wider cycleway consultation, visit TfL’s website.

  • See also: Charlton to Woolwich cycleway plans finally revealed
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    Find out more about plans for the Charlton Park Meadow

    The field at the back of Charlton Park will be transformed into a meadow

    Last summer, we reported on plans to turn part of Charlton Park into a wildflower meadow. Things have come on in leaps and bounds since then, and now it’s your chance to find out more and have your say. The plans focus on disused football pitches at the Cemetery Lane end of the park (not the ones currently in use), and are being paid for by money from Greenwich Council’s ward budget scheme.

    According to the Friends of Charlton Park:

    Homes for Hedgehogs would turn the disused football pitches into an ecological hub with wild natural grasses, a central pond feature and mown walkways, which park users could use to walk dogs or simply marvel at the increased biodiversity – a 2016 report by Natural England argues that connecting with nature can help to reduce levels of anxiety, stress and depression. Creating such an area of wild planting would help to replace crucial lost habitat and in turn attract create suitable habitats for birds and small mammals, including hedgehogs, helping ecosystems to recover and promoting biodiversity.

    Annie Keys, the Friends group’s chair, says: “This is a once in a generation chance to have a major impact as local people on our local park. It would be great to for our children to play alongside and just get used to seeing field mice, birds of prey and solitary bees in real life, not just in pages of children’s books or when they go on a day trip. Let’s grab the chance to make the sounds of hedgehogs snuffling a real part of our daily lives. It’s great that our three local councillors have backed this project and are helping to make it happen.”

    Joe Beale, from the Greenwich Wildlife Advisory Group, adds: “This corner of Charlton Park, previously just closely mown lawn, will soon act as an important link in the ecological chain from Woolwich Common to Charlton Cemetery’s conservation area and Maryon/Maryon Wilson Parks, allowing wildlife to move between these places. Our wildlife is being lost and this is our chance to help ensure future generations can experience the colours and sounds of all sorts of beautiful creatures – from butterflies and moths, to hoverflies and hedgehogs – in their local park.”

    The people behind the scheme will be at The Old Cottage Cafe in Charlton Park on Saturday 11 January from 4pm to 5pm to outline their ideas and hear what you have to say. There are more details, and a contact address if you can’t make it, on the Friends website.


    PLEASE SUPPORT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION

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    Appeal to help Charlton family in swimming pool tragedy raises £10,000

    Gabriel Diya and his daughter, Comfort, died on Christmas Eve (photo: Facebook)

    An appeal to help the family of Gabriel Diya, the Charlton pastor who died with two of his children in a hotel swimming pool on Christmas Eve, has raised £10,000.

    The JustGiving appeal aims to raise money to support his wife, Olubumni Diya, and her daughter Favour after the tragedy on the Costa Del Sol.

    Gabriel Diya was the pastor of Open Heavens church, which meets at St Richard’s church hall on Swallowfield Road. The 52-year-old died with his son Praise-Emmanuel, 16, while they tried to help his nine-year-old daughter, Comfort, after she got into difficulties in the pool at the Club La Costa World, near Fuengirola.

    “This fundraiser has been setup to support Bunmi and her daughter Favour and ensure finance is not an additional concern for them in this extremely difficult time. Regardless of whether or not you are able to donate, please remember Bunmi and her family in your prayers, this is certainly something she will appreciate the most,” the fundraising page says.

    Spanish police have described the incident as a freak accident and have indicated the case can be closed, however, Olubumni Diya is insistent that her husband and children could swim and wants investigations to continue.

    To support the appeal, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/support-bunmi-family.