Transport for London is considering removing the notorious roundabout at Woolwich Road in east Greenwich, which was condemned as “not fit for humans” after a cyclist died there 18 months ago.
The Angerstein roundabout could go as part of plans to cut traffic on the A206 through Greenwich and Charlton, with access between the A102 and A206 restricted.
TfL released its “initial thoughts” on the junction today as part of a wider consultation into plans for a segregated cycleway between Woolwich and Charlton, which would eventually extend to Greenwich.
The mayor’s transport agency and local politicians came under enormous pressure to act on the junction after the death of 37-year-old Edgaras Cepura, who was attempting to cycle around the roundabout in May 2018 when he was hit by a lorry. In 2009, Adrianna Skrzypiec, 31, died there while trying to ride home from work. After Cepura’s death, Greenwich Council’s deputy leader David Gardner called the junction “not fit for humans”.
Now TfL is considering removing the roundabout, turning it into a crossroads and removing access to the northbound A102 in an attempt to reduce traffic levels. Turning right while coming off the northbound A102 would be banned, as would turning left onto Woolwich Road from the southbound A102 and Peartree Way, except for buses. The public realm beneath the flyover would receive its first improvements since it opened in 1969. Along with the segregated cycle lane, new pedestrian crossings would also be installed. More on the rest of the consultation, about a cycle route from Charlton to Woolwich, here.
The changes would hark back a little to the junction’s original design, which also did not feature a roundabout. When it was first built, traffic heading towards Charlton would turn left towards where Ikea is now before turning right and left to rejoin the Woolwich Road. The current roundabout was installed about a decade later, with further changes made 20 years ago that – the tight turns are a legacy of the original arrangement.
“We are developing a concept for changes that could be made, although we will need to refine and test these over the coming months. Given the importance of the issues at the roundabout to local people however, we wanted to explain what improvements we think might be possible, to give you opportunity to give us your feedback on our thoughts so far,” TfL says in its consultation.
While the changes will be welcomed by many, TfL’s ambition of reducing traffic could be a challenge considering it is also planning to build the Silvertown Tunnel, which would feed into this junction. And while restricting access from the A102 fits into wider plans to downgrade Woolwich Road, they could also result in an increase in rat-running to and from the Charlton retail park strip.
In recent years, TfL has removed one-way systems from its road network and has been removing roundabouts in other locations, such as the Elephant & Castle and Highbury Corner, with work now under way at Old Street. Across the other side of the Blackwall Tunnel, the Bow roundabout remains in place, but TfL has toyed with removing its flyover altogether – something which doesn’t feature in its plans for Woolwich Road.
To see more about the plans and respond to TfL’s wider cycleway consultation, visit TfL’s website.
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