The snap general election could delay a consultation on a new Greenwich to Woolwich cycle route – including plans to revamp the lethal Woolwich Road roundabout.
Work is already well under way on Cycleway 4, which will link Tower Bridge with Deptford Creek Bridge by providing a safer, segregated cycle route. The route had initially been due to continue through Greenwich and Charlton to Woolwich, but had been cut back to stop just short of Greenwich town centre.
A new route linking Greenwich with Woolwich, connecting with Cycleway 4, is being planned by TfL, which plans to improve the notorious junction between the A206 and A102 in east Greenwich. Edgaras Cepura was killed while trying to cycle around the junction in May 2018, nine years after fashion website supervisor Adrianna Skrzypiec died at the same spot. Greenwich Council’s deputy leader, David Gardner, has branded the junction as “not fit for humans”.
Last year, 853 revealed that work is not scheduled to be completed at the roundabout until late 2023.
Plans for the route between Greenwich and Woolwich had been due to be released to the public for a consultation beginning on November 21, but after MPs voted to call a general election for December 12, the timetable is now in doubt.
Local government bodies – including Transport for London – are restricted in what they can say during election periods to prevent the perception of bias towards one party or policy.
Greenwich Council leader Danny Thorpe told Wednesday’s council meeting about the possible delay to the consultation. “What we were due to launch on 21 November was the public consultation on the Greenwich to Woolwich cycleway, and we’ve had to ask whether that will be suspended due to purdah.”
A TfL spokesperson confirmed to 853 that it was reviewing its consultations in light of the coming election.
The disclosure of a possible delay at Woolwich Road followed the death of a cyclist at another notorious stretch of south-east London road, when a man was killed early on Tuesday morning on the South Circular Road outside Catford station.
Stuart Reid, TfL’s director of Vision Zero, its road safety programme, said: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the person who tragically died after a collision while cycling in Catford. Any death or serious injury is totally unacceptable and through our Vision Zero approach we’re committed to eliminating all death or serious injuries from London’s roads. This includes transforming dangerous junctions across the capital and removing the most dangerous lorries from London’s roads through our world-leading Direct Vision Standard.”
TfL said it was investigating plans to revamp the South Circular through Catford, andproposals could include straight across pedestrian crossings, segregated cycle lanes, realignment of the South Circular and a possible full or partial removal of the one-way system. It said it hoped to consult on the scheme in summer 2020 and begin work in 2022. A petition has been launched to demand that the work is carried out more quickly.
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