Cyclists will have to negotiate four sets of traffic lights to safely cross the Woolwich Road roundabout under plans for the new east Greenwich cycleway, 853 can reveal.
Detailed maps will be sent to residents from Monday outlining changes to the A206 through the area to accommodate a two-way cycle track, segregated with wands, to the north of the road. They include moving bus stops and making some turns illegal – such as turning right from Trafalgar Road to Vanbrugh Hill.
One busy bus stop on Trafalgar Road will be removed as part of the Transport for London scheme, while others will have “bypasses” installed around them so they sit in between the cycleway and the main carriageway.
Part of the scheme aims to address the dangerous Woolwich Road roundabout, which has claimed two cyclists’ lives in the past 12 years. Outside the former East Greenwich Library, the cycleway will move to the centre of the carriageway at a toucan crossing. It will then cross the western side of the roundabout at another toucan crossing, wriggle under the flyover, and emerge at a third crossing before running down the centre of the carriageway. Finally, outside The Mirror Shop, a fourth crossing will usher cyclists to the north side of the road once again.
However, current plans show the cycleway ending suddenly at the railway bridge which divides Greenwich from Charlton. A TfL spokesperson told this website two weeks ago that while the first set of work would take the road up to that point, “the construction will be continuous all the way to Anchor and Hope Lane so there isn’t a pause in the build”.
The northbound slip road on to the A102 will be closed to all except emergency vehicles as part of the scheme.
While the project is being promoted as a “Greenwich to Woolwich” scheme, cyclists will have to share bus lanes on the A206 east of Anchor & Hope Lane with funding not guaranteed for a dedicated cycle lane.
The route will run from the Old Royal Naval College, but the first section will be along Old Woolwich Road, which already has filters to stop through traffic. The segregated section will start at the junction of Christchurch Way and Trafalgar Road, with entry into Christchurch Way banned for all except cyclists. A bus lane and bus stop will be removed on Trafalgar Road. Another bus stop will be removed at Calvert Road.
While the scheme is designed to allow more people to cycle and free up room on public transport during the coronavirus pandemic, the work will not be completed until early October – over six months since the crisis began. The scheme is temporary, with TfL holding an 18-month consultation on whether to make it permanent.
What is not clear yet is whether any work will be done to make the gloomy flyover a more attractive environment for people to cycle through – an attempt two decades ago to route pedestrians through the roundabout failed when walkers simply stuck to their old routes. And enforcement will be an issue – particularly on a stretch of Woolwich Road where a pizza takeaway uses the existing cycle lane to park its mopeds.
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