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.

    The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7. Help us by telling us your stories – or buy the author a coffee.

    Got an old cycle to sell? Try Thorntree school’s bike market

    A message from Paul Chapman of The Friends of Thorntree Association:

    Thorntree Primary School will be hosting a pop-up bike market on Wednesday 16th March between 3pm and 5pm, and Charlton residents are welcome. Run by Peddle My Wheels, the bike market is focussed on recycling unwanted or unused bikes, and at getting people enjoying cycling and the health benefits that comes with it.

    So if you have a bike gathering rust in your shed or garage, or you are fed up with buying brand new bikes for your kids that they grow out of within the year, or both, then why not come along.

    The Peddle My Wheels website explains how it all works:

    08:00-09:30 – Adults drop off bikes for selling (bring photo ID please!) and we tag them with their details. These are added to the selection of bikes we bring.

    09:30-15:00 – A mechanic checks every bike and makes minor repairs where necessary and then sellers contacted with valuation.

    15:00-17:00  – The market opens for people to buy bikes. We accept credit cards and cash (we will stay an extra hour upon request to accommodate working parents with children in after school club).

    Next day – sellers notified of sales. Payments will be made within 2 working days of sale via bank or PayPal transfer.

    Unsold bikes can be collected anytime on the day or we take them and sell at other markets (25% commission charge in these instances). The bike can be dropped off, and bought, in the lower playground, at the junction of Pound Park Road and Thorntree Road (just opposite the deer enclosure at Maryon Wilson Park).

    Co-ordinated by the Friends of Thorntree Association, the bike market is not a fund-raising event but a few parents have already indicated they will make a donation if their bike sells. FOTA is raising funds for new school equipment so if anyone else who sells a bike wishes to make a donation it will be gratefully received. And thanks are due to Thorntree Head Ms Fenwick for letting FOTA and Peddle My Wheels commandeer a section of the Lower Playground for the day!

    This video gives a good overview of how the markets work and the benefits involved:

    Hope to see you, and plenty of bikes, tomorrow!