Greenwich’s most pointless set of traffic lights could be finally coming down, 10 years after they started to disrupt journeys to and from North Greenwich. The maddening set of lights outside the Pilot Inn, which stop buses on the peninsula’s dedicated busway, was raised in Wednesday night’s meeting of Greenwich Council.
Kidbrooke with Hornfair councillor Graeme Coombes asked if the lights “serve any useful purpose”. “Bearing in mind the minimal amount of traffic turning into the Pilot Inn, especially during the morning rush hour, would it not be better to find an alternative traffic measure at this junction, so that buses travelling to North Greenwich aren’t left sitting at a red light, when there is, more often than not, no traffic turning into or out of the Pilot Inn,” the Conservative member added.
Replying for the council, deputy leader Peter Brooks said officials from the council and those from TfL were “reviewing the junctions within Greenwich Millennium Village as part of a safety investigation”. “This will include the Pilot Inn junction,” he continued in a written reply.
In later exchanges, Cllr Coombes called the lights “the worst example of some dodgy and ill-thought out street furniture” in the area. “I think we’re at harmony on these lights,” Labour’s Cllr Brooks said.
The lights are a legacy of the cock-up which is what used to be called the Millennium Busway and is now called the Pilot Busway – it was built for guided buses to serve the Millennium Dome (the single-deckers that used to work the 486 and its much-missed M1 predecessor). Unfortunately, the guided buses kept crashing, so the delicately-paved busway was tarmaced over and regular buses sent up and down it instead. What’s really needed is a full review of how buses go into and out of North Greenwich – they’re badly disrupted by gig traffic at the Dome, and a year doesn’t seem to go by without a temporary closure of the bus station.
(Thanks to Rob at greenwich.co.uk for letting me use his photo above.)