Transport for London says it is working with Greenwich Council to make sure a major new cycle route in Deptford can open “as quickly and efficiently as possible” after it emerged that it may not be ready for months.
Most work on Cycleway 4, on Creek Road in Deptford, was finished in May. It is part of what TfL plans to be a safe, segregated route between Tower Bridge and Deptford Creek Bridge.
But the route has been closed with barriers for three months – forcing cyclists into the main carriageway, which has been narrowed to accommodate the route.
Last week, 853 revealed that the route was closed because of Greenwich Council works on Deptford Creek Bridge. It has since emerged that the route will not be ready for months because of delays in obtaining funding for the work from TfL, which is paying for the project.
TfL has told 853 that it is ready to fund the work once Greenwich tells it how it will deal with traffic in the area while the work is being carried out.
853 understands that the decking on the lifting bridge, which dates back to 1954, was due to be replaced at the same time as Cycleway 4 was built, but funding problems at TfL during the pandemic, which saw the organisation come close to running out of money, meant that the bridge funding was delayed.
The project is due to last 14 weeks, with six weeks of work on site, but cannot start until TfL has released the funding. With the project likely to disrupt a main artery into central London, TfL wants to see a plan for dealing with traffic before it comes up with the cash.
TfL began nine months of work this week on the second section of Cycleway 4 in Deptford – along Evelyn Street – but the first section remains closed because of the issue with the bridge. The route from Tower Bridge to Rotherhithe Tunnel has already been finished; the middle section through Rotherhithe is awaiting decisions from Southwark Council.
A TfL spokesperson told 853 earlier this week: “We’re working closely with the Royal Borough of Greenwich to agree traffic management plans for the work on Creek Road bridge, with a view to getting the work done and opening the cycle lane as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“Improvement work on the bridge is being funded by TfL. Once the borough’s traffic management plans are finalised, the funding will be released.”
Greenwich Council was asked for confirmation of the bridge plans and a comment on Monday morning. As of noon on Friday, 853 is still waiting for a response.
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