Boris targets Charlton in ‘lights out’ scheme

Two road junctions in Charlton have been targeted by mayor Boris Johnson as part of his scheme to make London an easier city to drive in.

A list has been released to the London Assembly of 145 sets of lights “no longer considered useful” by Transport for London. Tory Troll author Adam Bienkov has got hold of the list. Presumably this is a response to the growth of pelican/toucan crossings around London in recent years – where, granted, a few could be removed or replaced with something else. But some of these ideas seem downright dangerous.

One proposal is to remove the pelican crossing at the junction of Charlton Road and Victoria Way – mainly used for access between the shops on Charlton Road and the Cherry Orchard Estate opposite, and also to get to a bus stop. I’m not sure who drew up this idea – Charlton Road is a boy racers’ patch and has been a known accident blackspot for decades. I wonder what input Greenwich Council had in this, because it controls the road and nobody who knows the area would ever think this is a good idea. I’m certain removing this – or even downgrading this to a zebra crossing – will lead to deaths. I remember a boy being killed on this stretch of road a few years ago. This is a place where traffic needs to slow down, not speed up.

Another idea is to take lights away from the junction of Barney Close and Charlton Church Lane, by Charlton Station. It’s unclear which set of lights this is targeting, but with a pedestrian crossing close by this could be sensible. But this junction – created as a turn-around spot for Millennium Dome bus services and still used as an occasional bus terminus – needs to be looked at as a whole, especially as it’s been suggested the 472 bus could loop around here to serve Charlton station, improving the link between here and the Dome/North Greenwich.

Close by, there is a sensible proposal in Greenwich – to remove the hated lights by the Pilot pub, River Way which do nothing except slow down bus journeys. But there’s no further proposals to improve bus access to and from North Greenwich, which is a pain at the best of times. Other Greenwich borough proposals focus on Eltham, Thamesmead and Abbey Wood.

Down the road, Lewisham is blighted by two dumb proposals to remove pedestrian crossings – one to remove the lights at Morden Hill/Lewisham Road (on the borough boundary with Greenwich) which is a handy route to/from Elverson Road DLR station and Blackheath, and another on busy Lewisham Way, outside the Aladdin’s Cave junk shop, which connects Brockley and Hilly Fields with St John’s station.

The full list of crossings can be found at Tory Troll.


  1. In principle I’m all for looking for where we can get rid of unnecessary lights which can cause congestion. I can think of a few! However, I simply don’t understand the reasons behind removing those lights. Even with the lights and the crossing it’s not the safest of areas, particularly at night when motorists around there are a law unto themselves

  2. What I don’t understand about this is that he is prepared to take out that crossing on Charlton Road. But he says he can’t implement his election pledge to reinstate tidal flow in the Blackwall Tunnel for safety reasons, in case there is an accident and he gets the blame for not safeguarding people’s lives.

  3. It’s because he’ll say any old crap to please people – but then comes unstuck when he realises the consequences.

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