Greenwich’s one-way system will be expanded next summer to allow thousands of spectators to reach equestrian events during this summer’s Olympics, organisers have revealed.
Cars, lorries, buses and cyclists will have to travel clockwise around Norman Road, Creek Road, College Approach, King William Walk, Nelson Road and Greenwich High Road to get around the town centre during the event, with most of Greenwich Church Street closed to all traffic.
Olympic organisers LOCOG say the restriction has to go in place because Greenwich High Road is too narrow to allow traffic and a vastly increased number of pedestrians to flow freely.
But the restriction comes just months after Transport for London objected to a similar system being installed permanently in the town centre, as part of a scheme to pedestrianise Nelson Road and Greenwich Church Street.
“The junction from Greenwich Church Street into Greenwich High Road is only one lane, and we have to get people from the station to the venue, so there is a need to make that closure,” LOCOG’s Jennifer Impett said.
LOCOG insisted that the proposed route, which affects one of the area’s busiest cycling routes, will be safe for those on two wheels. Venue director Jeremy Edwards added: “I’m a cyclist, so we’ll make sure we’ll get it right.”
Visitors to Greenwich Park from the north will be encouraged to use Greenwich station, and walk to Creek Road via Straightsmouth, from where they will walk to the Old Royal Naval College before crossing Romney Road using two footbridges to access Greenwich Park. Maze Hill station will be the access point for people coming from Kent.
Spectators coming from the south will be asked to use Blackheath station, and will be guided via Southvale Road to Tranquil Vale, and across the heath, using a footbridge over the A2. Lewisham Council is planning to put in a “live site” with a big screen next to All Saints Church, while Greenwich Council is looking for a new site for the donkey rides on the heath, as that area will be a main access point to the park.
Other plans include:
- Bus diversions, although these will not be confirmed until next year.
- Cutty Sark DLR station will be closed during peak periods, while there will be no access to Greenwich DLR station‘s southbound platform during the morning rush hour. Passengers heading to Lewisham are asked to use Deptford Bridge instead. There will be a 32% increase in the service.
- 150 marshals will be guiding visitors to Greenwich Park.
- There will be changes to controlled parking zones in both Greenwich and Lewisham boroughs during both Olympics and Paralympics to stop spectators leaving their cars in local streets, with most running from 0830-1900 every day, even in areas such as Deptford Green which only currently have token restrictions of a couple of hours each day. (In Charlton, the CPZ will run from 0830-2100 to discourage traffic from the North Greenwich Arena.)
- Some areas which do not currently have parking permits in operation will have a free permit scheme in place for the Olympics – an area from Deptford Church Street to Plumstead Common, and south to Lee High Road is included in a larger London-wide scheme of parking measures.
- Cuts to Southeastern train services at stations such as Deptford and Westcombe Park have not yet been confirmed, although restrictions will still be in place at Maze Hill.
- Measures for the North Greenwich Arena (Dome/O2) and Royal Artillery Barracks will be announced at a later date.
The maps also reveal one non-transport development, with LOCOG planning to build a cable across the Thames from Millwall Park on the Isle of Dogs to the General Wolfe statue to allow for TV cameras to film shots swooping across the park. Another cable camera will run west-east from the tennis courts to John Roan School on Maze Hill.
Further details – including more about how the Olympic Route Network (see above for a portion of it on Shooters Hill Road) will work – is available at the Devonport House Hotel in King William Walk today until 7pm, Friday from 9am-6pm and on Saturday from 9am-5pm.