Reducing traffic in West Greenwich
Trial measures to reduce traffic in West Greenwich were implemented in August 2020. Residents living to the west of Greenwich Park, had raised concerns about excessive traffic and dangerous driving in the area. Narrow residential streets that were not designed to accommodate the current high volumes of traffic, along with vehicles driving on footpaths compelled us to take action. The trial was done using an Experimental Traffic Order, which meant public consultation happened once the trial was in place. This allows people to provide feedback based on their actual experiences of the changes.
Now the consultation has closed we are currently analysing the responses, petitions and data to create a report that will recommend if the measures should be made permanent, amended or removed. As well as people’s comments we also consider:
- Traffic data
- Road safety data
- Air quality data
- Feedback from emergency services
- Equality Impact Assessments
- Collision data before and after the trial
In-line with the Council’s Constitution, the decision will be taken by the Cabinet Member for Environment, Sustainability and Transport after engagement with the directly affected ward members. The decision will be made in May 2021.
Background to the proposals
Over several years, many residents of the area to the west of Greenwich Park have contacted the council, concerned that excessive and dangerous traffic is using residential streets to avoid the A-roads bordering the area. High volumes of through-traffic are particularly concerning for an area with narrow streets and high footfall, due to Greenwich Park, two schools and other local amenities. This part of West Greenwich is one of the last remaining neighbourhoods in the area without robust traffic reduction measures.
The narrow residential streets in the area were not designed to accommodate the current volume of traffic. There have been numerous documented incidences of vehicles driving on footpaths which is a frequent occurrence and verbal abuse is common. The Metropolitan Police recently wrote to the Council raising safety concerns and suggesting action needs to be taken.
The current situation cannot continue, especially with the risk that traffic volumes increase as commuters switch from public transport to cars due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Transport for London data indicates this could lead to a 40 to 50% increase in car usage compared with pre-COVID levels if no action is taken. However, the same data shows there is an opportunity to increase walking and cycling journeys in Greenwich by 70 to 80% if we make our streets safer, quieter and more appealing.
Proposals to reduce traffic
In 2018, we consulted on proposals to reduce traffic on Burney Street and the feedback we received was that an area-wide approach to traffic reduction was needed. Between November and December 2019 we engaged with the public for their views on two potential options to reduce traffic in West Greenwich. The survey was not a referendum but was used to shape the trial option. We would like to thank everyone who provided feedback. Read a report that analyses the responses to the public engagement.
The council has amended its proposals based on the feedback we received and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and we will now implement these amended measures on a trial basis.
The Google map shows the final proposals using green lines to show modal filters and a blue arrow to show a one way street. You can also download a detailed technical drawing of the proposals.
Key feedback we received and incorporated in the measures proposed include:
a timed arrangement would not sufficiently address local traffic issues as problems also occur off-peak and at the weekends so any measures should be implemented as a fixed arrangement
measures which prevent vehicles travelling through the area should be located as far north as possible to increase the number of residents who can access the A2 directly
the petition from Maidenstone Hill residents who felt the proposed trial options could increase traffic on their narrow street and requested traffic reduction measures also be implemented on their street
the Metropolitan Police service has written to us regarding road safety issues at the northern end of Crooms Hill caused by traffic
the Avenue in Greenwich Park has been closed since the COVID-19 lockdown and Royal Parks is now operating a six-month trial prohibiting vehicular access through the park at all times.
What happens next?
The trial measures shown in the map were implemented on 20 August 2020. For the first two weeks, the measures may be amended if significant operational issues arise.
After that, a six-month public consultation period on the Experimental Traffic Regulation Order will begin, allowing feedback to be provided based on people’s actual experiences of the trial.
The trial measures will:
- enable safe walking and cycling for people of all ages by reducing traffic and reliance on private cars
- address safety issues caused by large volumes of vehicles using the narrow streets in the area
- support public health, improve local air quality, and reduce noise pollution
- maintain servicing access to the businesses on Royal Hill.
During this six-month period the measures will also be reviewed based on surveys and site observation monitoring by the council. The consultation responses and council review will then be evaluated as the basis for a decision report on whether the measures should be made permanent, amended or removed.
Allowing for the decision-making process and the anticipated ongoing importance of providing safe and convenient alternatives to public transport and private cars, the trial is likely to last for up to twelve months in total.
The Royal Borough will consider any petitions presented to the Council during the six-month period within this analysis, so that it can be considered alongside other local feedback received, in line with statutory processes.
We ask residents to be patient while drivers get used to the new trial measures. There are often ‘teething difficulties’ with schemes like this, so it's helpful to see how the scheme operates over the first few months before commenting.
You can also read the FAQs about this project.