Secure cycle parking coming to two Charlton streets

Cycle hangar in Combedale Road
A cycle hangar in Combedale Road, Greenwich

Residents in Eastcombe Avenue and Sandtoft Road are to get secure cycle parking spaces after residents asked Greenwich Council to install them.

The town hall is putting the lockable cycle hangars in place after it won £120,000 in funding from Transport for London last year. In total, 13 different locations around the borough – mostly in Greenwich itself – will get the hangars, while new cycle racks will be installed in Greenwich South Street in place of car parking.

Nine residents wrote to Greenwich Council to complain about the proposal, stating that neither they nor their neighbours cycled. Other residents complained about a lack of car parking space in general. However, the council received 28 separate requests for secure cycle parking in the area.

The hangars will take up the space of half a parking bay.

"I have just received notice of your intention to provide cycle hangers in Eastcombe Avenue, Sandtoft Road and Bramshot Avenue. I have to inform you that this is an area of terraced houses with no offstreet parking. It is sufficiently close to Westcombe Park railway station and the shops at the Royal Standard, and has no parking restrictions. This ensures that locals have increasing difficulty finding anywhere to park as any vacant spaces are quickly taken by shoppers and commuters. Many of our residents have more than one car and a lot seem daft enough to lease enormous SUVs. I am 70 and drive a tiny low emission citroen c1. If I want to go shopping, I have apoplexy every time I return and am unable to park my tiny car among the chancers who have taken spaces for their Porsche SUVs, Land Rovers and other imitation tank-like vehicles. This is the most foolish idea anyone has come up with. It reeks of neo-nazi exercise fanatics in their prime. Will these cyclists give up their leasehold SUVs in order to free up the space needed. This is a supreme example of councillors having no idea about the area they represent and being committed to politically correct trendyism and head in the clouds strategic psychosis. I insist that you scrap this silly idea immediately."
Some residents were not keen (click to expand)

The wider area may soon see more changes to car parking as the council is assessing responses to a consultation into whether parking permits should be introduced.

Work on the hangars will start as soon as possible, the council says in documents published on its website.

Residents who would like secure cycle parking on their street should contact Greenwich Council – its officers usually act when three separate households have asked for a hangar.

Another cycle hangar
Another cycle hangar in Coleraine Road, Blackheath, close to Westcombe Park station

Meanwhile, residents are still waiting to see what action Greenwich Council will take to make cycling and walking easier during the coronavirus crisis. At the weekend, council leader Danny Thorpe insisted that plans were in hand to open up streets to people on two wheels and two feet and close roads to rat-runners – however, it remains to be seen whether any of the schemes will tackle notorious trouble spots in Charlton such as Eastcombe Avenue and Victoria Way.

In addition, work on a 20mph zone through Charlton Village had begun at the start of the crisis, but stoped a few days into the lockdown.


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Charlton to Woolwich cycleway plans finally revealed

Anchor & Hope Lane junction
Charlton’s notorious “junction of death” would see new crossings

Transport for London has revealed the first phase of its plans to create a segregated cycleway along the Woolwich Road – but only on the dual carriageway between Charlton and Woolwich.

Greenwich, Charlton and Woolwich were due to be linked by Cycleway 4 when proposals were first unveiled under the mayoralty of Boris Johnson. However, those plans were later dropped and the route shortened to run only as far a Deptford Creek Bridge. A very short section of Cycleway 4 has already opened at Tooley Street, Bermondsey, with more opening later this year.

The dangerous conditions for cyclists along the A206 meant TfL and local politicians came under huge pressure after the deaths of two riders in the space of two weeks in May 2018, including one man under the Woolwich Road flyover, where another cyclist was also killed in 2009.

Now TfL is asking the public for views on the first phase of its plans to revamp the road to create a segregated cycle lane – but this first phase only covers the section from Anchor & Hope Lane in Charlton to the Woolwich Ferry roundabout, where a wide dual carriageway means there should be plenty of room for a cycle route. Initial plans to remove the roundabout underneath the Woolwich Road flyover have also been released.

TfL says it is waiting for Greenwich Council’s plans for Greenwich town centre before coming up with plans for the rest of the route.

With no firm plans yet for the area west of Anchor and Hope Lane, the segregated route from Woolwich may struggle to attract cyclists if they know they will simply be dumped into normal traffic heading west through Charlton and into east Greenwich.

Trafalgar Road
No plans for Trafalgar Road as yet

What’s in the proposals?

The main proposal is to put in place a two-way cycleway on the south side of Woolwich Road and Woolwich Church Street, keeping riders out of normal traffic and enabling them to easily get around the three roundabouts on the route.

One lane of general traffic in each direction would also be removed and turned into a bus lane – however, and rather oddly considering the huge weekend retail park traffic, the bus lane would only run from 7am to 7pm on Mondays to Saturdays.

Six new pedestrian crossings would be put in place, including outside the Stone Lake retail park and at the Warspite Road roundabout. A series of “raised tables” would be fitted at road junctions to slow traffic down and make it easier for pedestrians to cross.

The huge road junction at Anchor and Hope Lane – built when the eastern end of Woolwich Road was converted into a dual carriageway in the early 1990s – would gain a pedestrian crossing on its eastern side. The poor facilities for pedestrians at this junction, an important spot for bus users heading to North Greenwich, have led to it being locally nicknamed the “junction of death”.

Just as in the original Cycleway 4 proposals, this route ends at Woolwich Ferry roundabout. However, this does leave a gap through Woolwich town centre before short stretches of segregated cycle lane – installed by Greenwich Council in the past three years – resume again to Plumstead station.

Frances Street plans
TfL’s plans for the junction with Frances Street

What about the rest of it?

Proposals for the Woolwich Road/ Angerstein roundabout may be the eagerly-anticipated part of the consultation – but TfL has only released a set of early ideas. It is considering removing the roundabout, and cutting traffic access between the A102 and the Woolwich Road to reduce the number of vehicles. More on those proposals here.

Creating a segregated route along the rest of Woolwich Road and Trafalgar Road will be significantly more challenging – the road is narrower and is frequently congested, seven days a week, with the growth in retail barns in the area adding to traffic levels.

Greenwich Council consulted last year on early plans to pedestrianise part of Greenwich town centre, with the next stage of consultation due in the spring. Plans for the rest of the route through Charlton and Greenwich will wait until these are finalised.

This consultation was delayed by the general election, and it is possible that the next stage of the Greenwich town centre consultation will also have to wait for another election to be over – this time the mayoral election on May 7.

A TfL spokesperson told The Charlton Champion: “We are not consulting yet on the section of Cycleway between Greenwich Town Centre and Charlton because Greenwich Council’s Liveable Neighbourhood scheme, which we are funding for Greenwich Town Centre will impact traffic in the area and we need to understand that before modelling any cycleway designs as traffic modelling needs to be included in any consultation.

“Greenwich are due to consult on their Liveable Neighbourhood scheme in the spring and we’re committed to working with them on reducing road danger in the area in the interim.”

To take part in the consultation, visit: consultations.tfl.gov.uk/cycling/greenwich-to-woolwich/

  • See also: Notorious Angerstein roundabout could be ripped out, TfL says

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    Charlton and Woolwich’s Thames Path Missing Link finally due to open

    Thames Path missing link
    It’s coming… thanks to Paul Stollery for the photo

    After years as a council pipedream, then a much-delayed period of planning and construction, the Thames Path’s “missing link” between the Thames Barrier in Charlton and King Henry’s Wharf in Woolwich will finally open next week.

    Greenwich Council cabinet member Denise Scott-McDonald and City Hall walking and cycling commissioner Will Norman will open a link between the two sections of path on Wednesday 20 June at 3.30pm. (Want to go? Sign up here, and thanks to Greenwich Council for letting us know.)

    Missing Link invite

    The pathway – which includes a ramp from the Thames Barrier site into the adjacent industrial estate, and an elevated path at Warspite Road on the Woolwich side – will end years of aggravation for walkers and cyclists who have had to divert onto the unpleasant Woolwich Road when travelling along the Thames.

    It also removes one of the few significant blockages of south-east London’s stretch of Thames Path – including an almost-interrupted riverside pathway (save for one or two blocks) through Greenwich borough from Deptford Green to Thamesmead – and makes it easier for people to cycle from riverside parts of Woolwich and Thamesmead to North Greenwich station.

    However, signs on the route indicate it will only be available from 6am to 9pm. Signs also eventually indicate it will be added to Quietway 14, a cycling route from Blackfriars Road to Canada Water station.

    Although someone may need to change the spelling mistake on the signs before it opens…

    While the route will be welcomed by cyclists, last week saw a “die-in” at Woolwich Town Hall protesting after three riders were killed in separate collisions in Greenwich and Deptford, including two on the A206 through Greenwich, one at the notorious Woolwich Road roundabout.

    Organisers demanded the reinstatement of the full Cycle Superhighway 4 scheme between London Bridge and Woolwich, which was shortened to run between Tower Bridge and Deptford Creek Bridge by mayor Sadiq Khan.

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