Going underground, and other stories

A few things from there and there I haven’t got around to mentioning…

Greenwich Foot Tunnel – It looks as if Greenwich foot tunnel will be closed for refurbishment in a few months, although the details seem pretty hazy. The story emerged on Andrew Gilligan’s blog on greenwich.co.uk, with Gilligan claiming “I am getting sick, sick, sick of councils and other public busybodies interfering with our town and our lives for their pointless vanity projects”. Greenwich Council, as ever, did its bit for democracy for refusing to confirm or deny the story, although its website does promise a refurbishment for it and its sister tunnel at Woolwich.

I asked around myself, and hit similar brick walls with the council, although it seems the whole tunnel will be closed, but not before the end of September so a “bike friendly” crossing can be set up. The problem, I am told, lies with the control gear in the lifts, which are less than two decades old. The council is now running out of parts, so new lifts need to be installed. There is no word on the length of any possible closure, or how people will be expected to cross the Thames when the Docklands Light Railway isn’t running. While Gilligan doesn’t help himself with his usual hyperbole, it’s yet another sad tale of how Greenwich Council is so hopeless at communicating with the people who pay for its services.

– Posters for this have appeared around east Greenwich, but, guess what, not Charlton. So here’s a plug for an intriguing-looking project: NOW HEAR THIS is a new radio programme that is wanting to hear from you now! If you live or work in East Greenwich, Greenwich Peninsula or Charlton then please get in touch to be part of this programme. We want to hear your opinion on whatever you think is the most important local issue of the moment. Call our local number, leaving your short ‘despatch’ about your issue. Deadline for despatches is Friday 22nd May 2009.” More on its website.

– I’ve stupidly managed to neglect this, but The Greenwich Phantom has been doing sterling work in alerting people to the new “consultation” over the plans to redevelop Greenwich Market.

– Interested in Gilberts Pit in Charlton? This is a site in Maryon Park of special scientific interest – “it is the best and most complete exposure in the world of the series of rocks deposited here between 60 and 55 million years ago from the Lower Tertiary period”. There’s a talk on this held by the Greenwich Industrial History Society at the Old Bakehouse in Blackheath Village (behind the Age Exchange centre) on 12 May at 7.30pm.

– And if you like the old Bakehouse a lot, you can go there the following night to see real, live politics happening with a European elections hustings, held by Blackheath and Greenwich United Nations Association. Current Green MEP Jean Lambert will be there along with representatives from the other parties. Same place, 7pm, this time on 13 May.