TfL ‘monitoring’ effects of widened bus lanes through Charlton

Woolwich Road
Transport for London says the widened lane improves safety for cyclists

Transport for London says it is monitoring the effects of widened bus lanes between Charlton and Woolwich after over 2,000 people signed a petition calling for them to be removed.

The lanes have been widened between Anchor and Hope Lane and the Woolwich Ferry to assist buses and improve safety for cyclists, cutting the ordinary traffic lanes down to one in each direction.

In January TfL consulted on plans to build a segregated cycleway between Charlton and Woolwich, which would have had a similar effect, but after the coronavirus pandemic the route between Greenwich and Charlton was prioritised instead. Eventually TfL hopes there will be a continuous cycle route between Tower Bridge and Woolwich.

Bus lanes were widened as an interim measure – and introduced to Woolwich Church Street for the first time – to speed up services and to add some extra safety for cyclists. However, they have been blamed for increased congestion on Woolwich Road and Woolwich Church Street.

A petition created three weeks ago by Gagandeep Singh says there are “vehicles queuing up all day and evening”. By Thursday evening it had gained 2,359 names. One signatory claims it took them 90 minutes to travel between Woolwich and Charlton; another said: “It’s impossible to get out of the roundabout at Warspite Rd. Traffic jams are terrible all day long.”

While there has been a huge jump in traffic since the end of the first coronavirus lockdown, there has been congestion where drivers attempt to filter from two lanes to one at the junction with Anchor and Hope Lane. While the wider bus lanes – which replace narrow cycle lanes on Woolwich Road – allow cyclists to overtake buses at stops, they are not continuous. This means riders still have to take their chances with HGVs and other fast-moving traffic at roundabouts – despite the introduction of a 20mph speed limit on the route.

Woolwich Road
Two lanes merge into one at Anchor and Hope Lane

A Transport for London spokesperson told The Charlton Champion the widened lane had been introduced as part of its Streetspace programme “to create more space for people to safely walk and cycle”.

He added: “The bus lanes push general traffic and HGVs further away from cyclists; making this corridor a much more pleasant and less intimidating route, and provide a link from Woolwich into the Cycleway that is currently being built between Greenwich town centre and charlton. These lanes are an interim measure while we work on the permanent scheme that was consulted on earlier in 2020, and which would provide a two way segregated cycle lane taking people from Woolwich all the way into Greenwich, and eventually into central London.

“Bus lanes protect buses from congestion and ensure journey times and intervals between buses are more reliable. Bus lanes will help guard against a damaging car-led recovery by improving bus journey times and safety for Londoners making journeys by public transport and the increasing proportion travelling by bike.

“Changes made as part of the Streetspace programme are being introduced on a temporary basis under temporary traffic orders, and will be monitored after implementation to ensure they deliver the expected benefits. Monitoring along the A206 corridor will include reviewing cycle flows, perception of safety, collision rates, general traffic flows and bus journey times.”

Woolwich Road
The widened lanes do not run across junctions

He continued: “We are reviewing the operation of the bus lanes with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, and the data we are collecting is helping to inform these ongoing discussions. Where appropriate, adjustments to the scheme will be made if they aren’t performing how we expected. The new measures will be in place for up to 18 months, after which the monitoring strategy will form a key part of discussions between TfL and the council as to whether the scheme should be removed or made permanent.”


CYCLEWAY 4 PROGRESS

Woolwich Ferry to Anchor and Hope Lane, Charlton: Bus lanes as interim measure, funding for cycle route not yet certain

Anchor and Hope Lane to Farmdale Road, Greenwich: Work yet to start

Farmdale Road to Old Woolwich Road: Due to open early December

Old Woolwich Road to Old Royal Naval College: Uses existing routes

Old Royal Naval College to Norway Street, Greenwich: Awaiting funding application

Norway Street to Rotherhithe Tunnel: TfL in discussions with local councils, plans due in coming months

Rotherhithe Tunnel to Tower Bridge Road: Complete


Work is continuing on the cycleway between Old Woolwich Road and Farmdale Road, which will see a safer crossing put in place for riders at the Angerstein roundabout. It is due to open in early December – about two months later than planned.

The TfL spokesperson said: “This is later than originally anticipated for a number of reasons, including delays in our supply chain for temporary materials, issues with ducting identified when on site and a recent design change to Vanburgh Hill bus stops to assist bus operations.

“We are currently finalising plans for the section of cycleway between Charlton and Anchor and Hope Lane and will announce our proposals and construction timescales shortly.”

A small section of Cycleway 4 is already open between Tower Bridge and Rotherhithe Tunnel; TfL said this week that plans for the section through Deptford would be announced “in the coming months”.


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Greenwich Council has updated its local heritage list: What’s been added in Charlton?

Rose of Denmark pub Woolwich Road Charlton
The Angerstein branch rail bridge over Woolwich Road has been added to Greenwich Council’s Local Heritage List. Will Network Rail give it a lick of paint to celebrate?

Last October BECKY HOLMES kindly wrote for us about Greenwich Council’s consultation on additions to its local heritage list. Now the consultation’s over we’re grateful to Becky for following up with a summary of the Charlton locations added to the list:

The updated Greenwich Local Heritage List has been published – with 45 new nominations added as local heritage assets. Public nominations were allowed for the first time, a big thank you to everyone who took the time to nominate and comment. To qualify, buildings and structures needed to meet requirements in one or more of the following areas: Historical, Architectural or Technological interest – or Environmental significance.

Of the 10 nominations made in my local area of SE7, five landmarks made it through to the updated heritage list. Interestingly, three relate to the fascinating railway heritage in the area – which is all still in use today and definitely worth exploring. I’m really pleased that the Rose of Denmark was also selected because it is such an iconic local building, and this listing could be important when our local pubs feel so at risk. Details of each nomination are in the full document, but here’s a quick snapshot:

Angerstein Freight Railway pedestrian crossing & arched walkway “Rare survival of a historic pedestrian route over a freight railway, still in regular use by residents for its original purpose…and for transport of aggregates around London.”

Angerstein Freight Railway bridge, Woolwich Road “Rare example of a private individual obtaining Act of Parliament for railway construction due to the bridge. Carries a purpose-built freight line serving the Thames which is still in use, a rare survival.”

Railway Electric substation, Troughton Road “Unusual structure within a residential street with features designed on a monumental scale, of historic interest recording technological changes to the railway industry.”

Rose of Denmark public house, 296 Woolwich Road “Local landmark with strong communal value, displaying red of nearby Charlton Athletic FC – time-honoured locally valued feature.”

Rathmore Community Centre & Rathmore Benches (Former Good Shepherd Mission Hall) “Striking, high quality late C20th exterior artwork with strong social, artistic and townscape value. Intact and evocative, unique.” (An appeal has been launched to restore the mosaic benches).

The following SE7 nominations could not be considered at this point in time since they are the subject of current or recent planning applications. Nominations were put on hold until the application is determined, including any appeal:

The full report and results of the consultation can be found here.


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Be quick, save The Pickwick: Campaign launched to save Charlton pub


Campaign against the demolition of the Pickwick PUb on Woolwich Road, Charlton

Following the news of a planning application to demolish the Pickwick pub on Woolwich Road in Charlton and replace it with a new pub, 14 flats, and six houses, campaigners are asking residents to raise objections to the developer’s plans.

Citing the “historical, architectural and environmental” significance of the pub, the Save the Pickwick campaign is calling on the developer to retain and reopen the pub in consultation with local residents, rather than demolish it and replace it with a ‘bland pub’.

The deadline for comments on the Pickwick planning application is Monday 24 September. To see the full application and make comments, visit planning.royalgreenwich.gov.uk and enter reference 18/2976/O. Comments on the application can also be sent to Peninsula ward councillors.

To get involved or contact the campaign, email savethepickwick [at] gmail.com.

The White Horse Pub Woolwich Road Charlton
The White Horse pub on Woolwich Road, Charlton

Plans to demolish another historic Charlton pub, The White Horse , were refused on appeal by a planning inspector in 2015. Now a developer is trying to build an extension and convert its hotel accommodation into bedsits. To comment on this, visit planning.royalgreenwich.gov.uk and enter reference 18/2735/F – the deadline for that is Wednesday 26 September. Comments can also be sent to Woolwich Riverside councillors.

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