Plans to partially pedestrianise Greenwich town centre will not be going ahead, Greenwich.co.uk can reveal.
The proposal, which included pedestrianising College Approach and King William Walk while creating a new gyratory system around Norman Road, Creek Road, Greenwich Church Street, Greenwich High Road, has been put on hold indefinitely.
News of the decision to halt the project, which was put forward by the council after consultations held in 2009 and 2010, was revealed through an exchange of letters between Council Leader, Chris Roberts, and local ward councillors Matthew Pennycook, Maureen O’Mara and David Grant.
The Greenwich West trio, who have undertaken their own consultation, say that the scheme should be “suspended for the foreseeable future”.
“We feel that our focus at the present time should be on introducing measures to address the existing traffic/rat running problems in residential streets in West Greenwich and … any temporary traffic management that may be required to facilitate pedestrian access through the town centre during the Olympic Games”, their letter adds.
In his reply, Chris Roberts agrees "that we should suspend work on our own proposals and focus at this time on what traffic management measures might reasonably be implemented to address concerns about rat running, as well as facilitating the operational needs up to and during the Olympic Games.”
He also says in his letter that TFL have raised with him a desire to "engage in public consultation later in the year" on traffic proposals that will "directly affect areas of the borough to the east of the Town Centre."
The decision to suspend the scheme, which the council still describes on its website as one that would “address the needs of local residents and visitors whether on foot, on bicycle, or on public transport”, is a victory for residents concerned that the gyratory would increase rat running in the area – concerns which led to separate traffic calming measures in West Greenwich being proposed.
Greenwich Council appointed highways and traffic consultants, Hyder Consulting, to work on the project in May 2009 but declined to answer a Freedom of Information request last year from local journalist, Darryl Chamberlain, asking how much the company had been paid for their work on the scheme.