Greenwich Millennium Village marks National Walking Month

Greenwich Millennium Village, 1 May 2013
9.20am on Wednesday morning, and the residents of Greenwich Millennium Village wait in large numbers for a bus to take them one stop to North Greenwich station, to save eight minutes’ stroll through a park on a gorgeous spring day. For many, it would be quicker, or more pleasant, to walk. So why don’t they?

If you Google “Greenwich Millennium Village” and “sustainable”, you get 5,550 results. So what on earth went wrong? Are people just lazy, or is it the poor design of the streets on the messed-up Greenwich Peninsula?

Perhaps somebody should tell them it’s National Walking Month. Or maybe they’re waiting for Catch The Bus Week to finish first…


  1. Sorry “8 minute stroll“ is rubbish. Its a 15 to 20 minute “stroll” from that point, 12 minutes at a brisk walking pace. I think that partially answers your question

  2. Depends what you mean by “stroll”. My dictionary says “ to walk at a leisurely pace”. If you pause to look at the daffodils I don’t think 20 minutes is an exaggeration. How many times have you actually done this walk? I have done it several hundred and I don’t walk that slowly.

  3. I walk 15-20 minutes to my local station every morning and back again in the evening. Not the end of the world, some might even say it does me good!

  4. For info Google Maps gives 15 minutes for the walk from my postcode in the Village to North Greenwich Bus station. I am not saying people shouldn’t walk (and many people do) I am just trying to get the facts straight to help explain why many don’t.

  5. Always found this puzzling. Surely you’d take the certainty of a 15 minute walk (10 mins last time I walked past that way mid-public transport meltdown, mind) over the uncertainty and frustration of waiting for buses you may or may not get on? Granted it’s not quite like a walk through Greenwich Park in the morning, but it is at least flat.

  6. I just checked this journey on Google Maps – Millennium Village/Oval Square Bus Stop ML to North Greenwich Station is .06 of a mile: 11 minutes on foot. Quicker if you walk faster, obviously.

  7. OK, so it’s 15 minutes walk. Still perfectly doable without much in the way of physical effort!

  8. I am a big old hypocrite who used to be (I have improved) notorious for taking a bus over very short distances, and who walks very slowly, but even I have always thought this is nuts.  It’s a nice walk on a dry day & if you go slightly further you can walk along the river, which always improves your day. 
    Though to be honest I don’t really mind people waiting for the bus at GMV if I’m on the 422 or 486. What does bother me is people pushing on to those buses going in the opposite direction, insisting on staying downstairs because they’re only going one stop and making it difficult for those of us going further to get to the top deck.

  9. Agreed. But this applies equally to people coming up to North Greenwich from the South who seem incapable of using the upper deck even for a relatively long journey.

  10. PS: there was an excellent article on this problem by Amol Rajan in the Evening Standard on 4 February. It’s even more frustrating when you can’t get on the bus at all even though the top deck is half empty.

  11. There’s a similar situation at Lewisham station — people waiting at the bus stop outside the DLR station for an unconscionable time, then getting off at the bowling alley at the bottom of Belmont Hill. It’s a five-minute walk. At least all the buses are empty there, so they’re not depriving anyone of seats, but … why?

  12. It’s a shame there isn’t a bike scheme that operates specifically between the Village and North Greenwich. It’s a cycle friendly route and a scheme would tick all the sustainable/green/obesity/quick boxes.

  13. The “I’m not really lazy” debate here is almost as hilarious as the concept of “Oval Square”!

  14. to be quite frank…..why is it any concern of yours whatsoever ? its just bizarre you seem to have such a chip on your shoulder about GMV. I take the bus because I dont want to walk…..what on earth is the problem with that ? If you are the law on how I can commute can you tell me at what point I would actually be allowed to take a bus without you passing judgement ? It is also a 15 min walk from the blackwall lane stops – which is only serviced by 2 buses, compared to about 6 at GMV – why dont you ever bang on about them ?? You are just obsessed at having a pop at GMV at every opportunity – to the point where you seem to feel placed to advise me on how to commute to work. Why dont you get off the bus and get your bike out if you are that bothered by things of this nature.

  15. I wonder the same thing every morning. Especially when the bus is to full to let them on and they start getting angry. Much more chilled to walk I would have thought.

    But then I’m not them…..

  16. I used to walk down from Eversley Road to the Dome to catch the tube in the morning and me and the missus would regularly tut and roll our eyes at the amount of people waiting at that particular bus stop. Mind you, to be fair, there were always quite a few people hoofing it to the station too.

  17. Idle yes, not angry and apologies if my comment comes across as that…I am simply asking why does it bother him ? The reason people queue is because thu are lazy and – believe it or not – it is quicker. There are buses practically every 2-3mins and if one is packe u wait for the next. Any anger I have is, there are far bigger concerns in Greenwich than people queuing for the bus ? I never read about the non existent crime levels at gmv or the efforts of the residents to build a community and support local business. It is tiring to read such an irrelevant / strained article with no purpose than to encourage people to have a pop at gmv

  18. As buses are included in your Travelcard, it’s not surprising people use them I suppose. I’d like to think I’d walk to the Tube if I lived there, but I suspect I’d fail the first morning I didn’t leap out of bed. I’d think twice if I had to pay though – the answer? higher bus fares! (I haven’t thought this through have I?)

  19. Hello Hello, I’m just sticking my nose in after seeing the fun on twitter 🙂
    Jg, any evidence for Darryl’s ‘chip on his shoulder’ over GMV?

    For what it’s worth, I think more people should walk or even better cycle! Far too many angry car drivers, now I have to look out for angry bus travellers 😉

  20. ned – Before Oyster cards, of course, the buses were zoned. If the buses were returned to the old zones, then the Oval Square bus stop would be in zone 3, meaning anyone with a zone 2 travelcard for use from North Greenwich would have to pay.

  21. Actually, Ken canned bus fare zoning way before Oyster, if we want to be totally accurate…

  22. I don’t get it either and enjoy the walk – maybe some people are so scarred by the horizontal rain we face on the windy peninsula through the winter that they won’t chance it even on a lovely day!

    however as has been said it is at least an 8 minute walk and that assumes a pretty brisk pace – but by your logic would you support all bus stops being an 8-10 minute walk apart? They most certainly aren’t anywhere else and it’s up to people to decide for themselves whether or not to use a bus that they’ve paid for.

  23. I wonder if the people at the bus stop make a big deal about working out in the gym at lunchtime…

  24. It is always a good laugh to see these people in the mornings annoyed by full buses passing without stopping. I fully agree with the author that the difference between walking to the Tube station and taking a bus is minuscule. When people compare these two options, they forget to think that it also takes time to get to the bus stop. to wait for the bus, to take a ride, to get off the bus at the station and to walk into the station…

    I took out my stopwatch and checked. On the way back – from the NG tube station to GMV – the difference is not more than 6 minutes, and sometimes you have to wait for the bus longer 1 minute I assumed.

    Yes, I walk quickly, but maybe it is because I am doing for the last 6 years that I live in GMV.

    But one thing I forgot – this bus ride is included into the Travelcard! Of course then – wait people wait…

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