Greenway Closure

As many of you know, the section of the Greenway at the CS2 end has been closed for a staggering 45 week period, whilst Thames Water carry out essential repair work on the Channelsea Bridge.

The issue is not the closure, but the lack of alternative route, which is a complicated but unacceptable situation.  For once, LB Newham are not totally responsible, but they have not helped the situation.  Because the Greenway is not a Right of Way, but a Permissive Route, the regulations are different.  It seems that there is no actual obligation to provide an alternative route.  However the transport team at Newham are well aware that this is not good enough.  Part of the problem  seems to have been that the closure was only supposed to be for a month.  The change to almost a year was very last minute.

The decision not to use Canning Road (which was the route Newham Cyclists requested) as the alternative route seems to be based on 2 main issues.

1. It is a route used by emergency vehicles

2. It is not usually the done thing to put traffic lights at the bottom of a hill (!).

Some of you will have seen the very detailed piece on the route here:

The lack of signage and the difficulty of crossing Manor Road is obvious.

This morning Arnold, Bill and I met with Richard Wadey to ride through the route.   The signage should have gone up weeks ago and it seems to have fallen through the gaps for it to be checked.  Richard is pushing this forward.  It may be that some ‘guerilla signage’ is needed in the meantime!

Some of the improvements that have come out of the ‘ward audits’ we have done as a group with Richard, as well as other improvements that have already been agreed would make the route much more cycle friendly and those improvements are being pushed by Richard as well.  These include access into Leywick Street.  The bus stop opposite has approval to be moved, so that a cycle crossing can be put in – the barriers will obviously be removed.  The concrete bollards which are currently in place will be replaced with a single removable bollard.  This would mean that as you come down the Greenway ramp and use the pavement to cycle under the bridge and then the already signed shared use section, you would be able to safely cross Manor Road and enter Leywick Street.

Timing on this is unclear, but Richard is hoping to be able to report back to us before Monday’s meeting.

What none of this helps, is the fact that this alternative route is a very long way around.  We have asked Richard to further investigate the Canning Road alternative.  If anyone knows of any other locations where there are traffic lights at the bottom of a hill, let us know!