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Published: Friday, 29th May 2020

Despite some of the environmental benefits we’ve seen as a result of the lockdown, we know this isn't the long-term answer to addressing the climate emergency. But maybe we can take something from it.

Our efforts to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030 have not stopped and in some ways have accelerated as we start to realise that a “new normal” is on the horizon.  

Before the pandemic, we were getting stuck in to developing our carbon neutral plan, and we asked you to tell us what you thought our priorities should be when doing so. Over 220 residents and local businesses responded and we’re working through the results. Take a look at everything we’ve done so far and what we’ve got planned to make sure we reach our net zero target – and sign up to our Climate Emergency Network to get involved. 

Cycling for everyone 

Many people have discovered or reignited a passion for cycling in recent weeks, and it’s clear that this will be a huge part of how we get around in the future.  

We love cycling at Royal Greenwich and we’re working hard to install on-street cycle hangars at 21 different locations around the borough, plus an extra 10 hangars on housing estates, making a total of over 180 secure spaces to keep your bike. Preparations to install public bike racks, known as Sheffield stands, in town centres and high streets are also progressing well.  

Our streetspace plans also include working to bring forward plans for the Greenwich to Woolwich cycle route, and we're working with TfL to deliver a temporary cycleway between Greenwich and Woolwich along the A206. Most of our residents don’t own a car so it’s crucial that while public transport capacity is greatly reduced everyone has good alternative travel options. 

This week, a new shelter and scooter rack was installed at Fossdene Primary School – with more to follow at other schools soon. Maria Hill, Executive Headteacher at Fossdene said,  

“We are delighted with our new cycle and scooter rack, so many children have expressed an interest in cycling to school and this is going to open the door to them having an exciting new way of tavelling and fits in with our healthy school agenda.” 

Walking everywhere 

Walking, both for exercise and for commuting has increased, and to accommodate this we’ve already installed temporary measures to ensure that residents can stay 2 metres apart.  

We’ve installed barriers to widen the footpaths in Greenwich Town Centre and we’ll be making changes in Eltham Town Centre and Woolwich Town Centre very soon. The work will see footpaths widened and pinch points tackled to limit the spread of the virus and give residents the confidence to use local amenities and support local businesses once again. 

When the lockdown was introduced, we suspended planned highway work except for essential safety maintenance. Much of this activity included work to enable and encourage greener, healthier and safer ways of moving around the borough, so it’s not just in response to the pandemic that we’re creating a Greener Greenwich, we’ve got established plans in place to create a healthier place to live and work for all. 

With a new Cabinet in place, why not take the opportunity to tell councillors what you think their priorities should be in terms of climate change, or anything! We’re running four #AskGreenwich sessions starting in June – find out more and get involved in the conversation