Just when you thought it was safe to go walking or cycling by the river…
Part of the Thames Path has been closed again, with little warning, until September, locals discovered on Tuesday. The latest closure stretches from Banning Street to Bay Wharf, meaning the path is now inaccessible between the Cutty Sark pub and the Blackwall Tunnel. It follows last year’s eight-month closure of the same section of path, and the destruction of an adjacent section around Lovell’s Wharf by developer London & Regional Properties.
A Greenwich Council closure notice dated 26 May says the closure, for works by the Environment Agency, is because of “danger to the public caused by the deterioration of the flood defence wall at Morden Wharf” – which suggests the site of the old Tunnel Refineries plant, the demolition of which resulted in last year’s closure.
Aside from some vague signs on an open section at Bay Wharf warning of a closure from 1 June, the path was closed with little warning. The public notice appears in this week’s edition of Greenwich Council’s weekly newspaper Greenwich Time, for those with sharp enough eyes, but the council chose not to cover it as a story. A neighbour told me the barriers went up on Monday evening.
Walkers and cyclists are now being directed via Banning Street, Christchurch Way, Mauritius Road and Tunnel Avenue, and a frequently-blocked cycle path…
It is not clear whether the food defence damage was caused by the demolition of the Tunnel Refineries plant. Last year’s closure was meant to last 12 weeks, but lasted 8 months because of similar damage at Delta Wharf, the result of warehouse demolition in the area.
It looks like a lot of work has gone into planning this closure – so why couldn’t Greenwich Council tell us in advance we’d lose our path for a second summer in a row?