A flagship new Greenwich Council cycle route between Shooters Hill Road and Greenwich Park may not be completed until next spring – if at all, as funding is not in place to finish it, 853 has discovered.
Work is complete on the first phase of the route along the main A207, between Baker Road and Weyman Road in Kidbrooke, with segregated cycle lanes on each side of Shooters Hill Road, with final checks being carried out.
But that isolated 860-metre stretch will be all that is built for a while – despite the route’s aim to making cycling easier for children to reach local schools while capacity on public transport is restricted.
Despite Greenwich Council trumpeting a “strategic cycle route through the centre of Royal Greenwich [sic]” in a press release last month, it is yet to obtain funding to finish the second, more complicated stretch, which will run along Old Dover Road and St John’s Park, before following a dog-leg up Vanbrugh Terrace to Maze Hill to reach Greenwich Park and John Roan School.
If the council is successful in obtaining the money, the route is likely to have to be in place by the spring as a condition of the funding.
The existing route runs close to two secondary schools: Greenwich Free School and Halley Academy. The next phase would take it past two more – Leigh Academy Blackheath and John Roan.
The news may come as a surprise to local councillors, with one, Conservative Geoff Brighty, asking in a council meeting last month about the status of a possible bus gate on Old Dover Road – the possibility of which has worried some residents and businesses, with fears that it could lead to rat-running on nearby roads and disrupt access to shops. He was not given an answer by transport cabinet member Sizwe James, who said he would write to him.
A Greenwich Council spokesperson told 853: “The first phase of the Greenwich Park – Shooters Hill temporary cycleway is now complete, subject to final checks. The council has submitted a bid for the second phase of the route, heading west from the junction of Weyman Road and Shooters Hill Road to the Vanbrugh Gate entrance of Greenwich Park.
“Funding is subject to the Department for Transport awarding the council the second tranche of Emergency Active Travel Fund funding, which was submitted to the Department for Transport by Transport for London, as part of a pan-London application. It will also be conditional on the council satisfying Transport for London’s sponsor review, to ensure the second phase delivers both a safe and convenient route for cyclists.
“Any proposals for a bus gate along Old Dover Road are subject to approval from Transport for London Network Performance and London Buses through the sponsor review process. If funding is secured, it is expected that local authorities across London will have until spring 2021 to deliver the schemes.”
The route was originally meant to begin at Constitution Rise, close to Shooters Hill Sixth Form College, but was cut back to Baker Road. Plans to make back streets off the route safer for cyclists evaporated after TfL only gave Greenwich £1.26m of the £3.6m it asked for in funding for “streetspace” schemes.
A further route, from Eltham to Greenwich Park, could be in place by April if it gets funding, councillors heard last month.
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