A pizza takeaway in east Greenwich has been warned to get its mopeds out of a new segregated cycle lane after months of complaints about its delivery riders blocking the road.
The route of Cycleway 4 passes Papa John’s on Woolwich Road, which had already become notorious for delivery riders blocking the path of cyclists on the existing path.
— thedogmatix (@thedogmatix) October 4, 2020
Even though the cycle path has been widened and fenced off with wands, the Papa John’s riders have continued to park their mopeds in the lane.
Now Greenwich Council has warned the takeaway’s operator that it will face further action if it continues to block the path, which will run alongside the A206 from Old Woolwich Road to Farmdale Road. Work is continuing on the cycle route, with engineers creating a route across the notorious Angerstein roundabout, where two cyclists have died since 2009. While the route is being built by TfL, enforcement will be the council’s responsibility.
Cyclists have already begun to use sections of the route, but have faced obstructions there and at other sections, with parking in the lane also common at Armitage Road. Meanwhile buses from Go-Ahead London’s Morden Wharf garage, next to the Blackwall Tunnel, often change drivers on the route, blocking the path. Transport for London has told 853 that the location for driver changeovers is under review.
The Papa John’s problem was even raised in a council planning meeting last week about a development on the other side of the borough. Discussing school-run drivers blocking a cycle lane in Bexley Road, Eltham, in a meeting about a new school there, planning chair Stephen Brain – who represents Peninsula ward – said: “In my own ward we have a particular persistent offender, and this morning they parked every single delivery motorcycle they have in the cycle lane. I think that’s called a pretty robust response.” (watch)
His fellow councillor, Chris Lloyd, said on social media that he had asked the takeaway in person to stop parking its mopeds in the lane. “They ignored me, now it’s time for enforcement,” he said.
I’ve written to the MD of @PapaJohnsUK about the Greenwich franchisee continuing to park their cars and bikes in the cycle lane in Woolwich Rd.
I’ve asked the local management in person nicely twice, they ignored me; now it’s time for enforcement. 🍕🛵😤 pic.twitter.com/x6hMHAbJ7m
— Chris Lloyd (@Chris_C_Lloyd) October 6, 2020
A spokesperson for Papa John’s told 853 that riders would stop using the lane. She said: “We were concerned to hear this and have looked into the matter. The franchisee is in discussions with the council to find a long-term solution and has in the meantime reminded all drivers of the need to comply with local bye-laws.”
A Greenwich Council spokesperson said: “The council has been in contact with Papa John’s around the illegal use of the cycle lane. The business has agreed to refrain from using the cycle lane for vehicle parking and has been given a written notice stating that enforcement action will be taken if they do not adhere to the request.
“Extra targeted parking enforcement has been arranged to monitor the situation both here and elsewhere on this cycleway.”
Cycleway 4 is eventually due to link Tower Bridge with Woolwich, with a temporary extension taking it to London Bridge. Only a three-kilometre section along Tooley Street and Jamaica Road in Bermondsey is officially open at present. However, 853 has established that there is no date for when the rest of the route through Rotherhithe and Deptford will be completed – leaving cyclists with the prospect of just two isolated sections being ready for use.
The section through east Greenwich uses the Old Royal Naval College grounds before using the existing street on Old Woolwich Road. At Christchurch Way, it switches to a segregated lane along Trafalgar Road and Woolwich Road, before ending at Farmdale Road, just before the road enters Charlton.
To the east, TfL has said that once it finishes work in east Greenwich, it will extend the cycleway to Anchor and Hope Lane in Charlton, while improved bus lanes will cover the rest of the route to Woolwich as an interim measure.
Woolwich Ferry to Anchor and Hope Lane, Charlton: Bus lanes as interim measure, funding not yet certain
Anchor and Hope Lane to Farmdale Road, Greenwich: Work yet to start
Farmdale Road to Old Woolwich Road: Construction work taking place
Old Woolwich Road to Old Royal Naval College: Existing routes
Old Royal Naval College to Norway Street, Greenwich: Awaiting funding application
Norway Street to Rotherhithe Tunnel: TfL in discussions with local councils
Rotherhithe Tunnel to Tower Bridge Road: Complete
Tower Bridge Road to London Bridge: Work due to start soon
To the west, Greenwich Council has put in a funding bid for Greenwich town centre itself, linking the route to its original planned end at Deptford Creek Bridge.
But despite appearing in City Hall and TfL publicity as long ago as May, there is still no date for completion of the route through Deptford and Rotherhithe. Five months ago, City Hall announced that construction between Tower Bridge and Depford would be “accelerated with temporary measures”, but no date for construction has been confirmed.
Some work started before the lockdown, but was never finished. Meanwhile, progress on the route through to Jamaica Road was awaiting the outcome of a Southwark Council consultation.
A TfL spokesperson told 853: “We’re working together with Lewisham and Southwark councils to accelerate the delivery of the Lower Road and Evelyn Street sections of Cycleway 4 as part of the Streetspace programme and hope to announce details of this when the plans are finalised.”
Work is also due to start soon on a temporary extension of the route along Tooley Street to London Bridge, where segregated lanes have also been installed to carry cyclists into the City.
The two isolated sections of Cycleway 4, in Greenwich and Bermondsey, can be bridged by using the Thames Cycle Route to Rotherhithe station, which is a few hundred metres from the start of the new route on Jamaica Road. Rotherhithe roundabout has been partially remodelled to accommodate cyclists.
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