With the news that the Royal Observatory is going to start charging visitors £10 to access the Meridian Line in its courtyard, I started to wonder if alternative markings of the line may start to become popular with tourists. Did you know that the Meridian Line is marked in the tennis courts at Greenwich Park, just a stone's throw from the Observatory?
Accessing parts of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park will cost visitors £10 from March, it has emerged.
The new charge is being introduced from March 8th this year and applies to Flamsteed House and the Meridian Line. Adults will pay £10 and those that qualify for a concession will pay £7.50. Once paid, the pass will enable free returns for 12 months. Children aged 15 and under will continue to get free access.
The Astronomy Centre with its three interactive galleries will remain free.
Charging was abolished at the museum in 2001, when free entry was introduced at national museums in England, Scotland and Wales, but a spokesperson for the National Maritime Museum says it "needs to look at generating more of its own revenue" after a "a prolonged period of limited investment".
Lord Sterling, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Maritime Museum said, “After thorough deliberation, Trustees have taken the decision that the only responsible and practical course of action we can adopt is to return to charging for the Meridian Line and Flamsteed House at the Royal Observatory.”
When asked if the Royal Observatory would be considering discounted entry for holders of the council's "Greenwich Card" scheme, the NMM spokesperson commented, "It is something we are looking into."
Developers have been given the go-ahead to build 170 new homes in Norman Road, Greenwich.
The Council's Planning Board unanimously backed two neighbouring planning applications for developments consisting of 85 apartments each at their meeting on December 21st.
35% of the homes will be affordable housing in both developments, although this figure is dependent on grant funding being secured.
Both the Hilton's Wharf and 30-52 Norman Road developments can now proceed although councillors have laid down several provisos, including the provision of car club parking spaces, a designated children's play space maintained in perpetuity and the possibility of more affordable homes if the market improves. Residents of the new properties will not be able to apply for street parking permits.
A King's of Leon concert scheduled for tonight at the O2 arena has been postponed after a fire on a tour bus.
The London Fire Brigade were called out to the O2 this morning after a fire broke out on one of the double decker tour buses belonging to the band who are famous for the number one hit, "Sex on Fire".
Sixty firefighters and twelve fire engines attended the scene and had the blaze under control by 11.33
Sally Cartwright, from the London Fire Brigade, said: “One double decker tour bus within a loading bay was badly damaged by the fire. It was quite a large incident and we had around 60 firefighters there at the height of the blaze. Firefighters arrived on the scene quickly and were met by extremely hot and smoky conditions. "
She added, "Our crews should be extremely proud of themselves - they did a fantastic job today and managed to prevent the fire from spreading. We are now working closely with staff from the O2 to ensure that a normal service is restored as quickly as possible.”
Tonight's gig was immediately thrown into doubt by the blaze and it was confirmed by the O2 this afternoon that the concert would have to be postponed. A statement said:
Whilst a lot of people have been working very hard and every attempt was made to go ahead with tonight’s show, thorough assessments had to be carried out as a matter of procedure before any decision could be made as to whether the show could go ahead. Unfortunately, once the assessments were completed in full, there was not enough time to set up the show for tonight’s performance.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
Greenwich Foot Tunnel will close on Christmas Eve and not reopen until Boxing Day, it has been revealed.
With the stairs at both ends of the tunnel closed for refurbishment, a decision has been taken not to provide staff to operate the lift on Christmas Day.
Southeastern trains, the DLR, London Underground and London Buses will also not be running on Christmas Day.
The £11.5m refurbishment of both Greenwich and Woolwich foot tunnels started in April of this year. The Woolwich Foot Tunnel is expected to remain completely closed until March 2011.
Breakdowns and disruption "regretted"
At last night's full council meeting, Cllr Denise Hyland, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills, expressed her regret at recent "breakdowns and consequent disruption" in the foot tunnel.
In a written answer to a member of the public, she revealed there had been six unplanned closures of the tunnel, totalling 9hr50, during November due to the lift breaking down.
She added that the council has managed to reduce the lift contractor's call out time to 1 hour and that the council's Twitter service notifying the public of unplanned tunnel closures is "being revised to include references to the alternate crossings."
Unplanned foot tunnel closures in November
3 Nov 17.20 - 20.00
5 Nov 16.30 - 17.00
17 Nov 16.00 - 16.45
24 Nov 17.45 - 19.00
27 Nov 13.55 - 16.15
28 Nov 13.55 - 16.15
Greenwich Council is to consult West Greenwich residents over concerns about "rat running" in the area.
In a written response to Conservative Group Leader, Spencer Drury, at last night's full council meeting, Cllr Denise Hyland (Cabinet member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills) explained that the ongoing consultation into town centre pedestrianisation and a gyratory scheme had resulted in the issue of rat running being raised by West Greenwich residents.
She said that the rat running was an "issue of concern regardless of whether or not the pedestrianisation proposals proceed."
She added, "We are seeking to bring this work forward and will commence consultation on these proposals imminently."
Separately, some residents have been informed by email that letters about the consultation on traffic calming measures will be distributed to homes from next week.
The consultation will run until January 31st, and council officers will be be putting on a technical exhibition too although details of when and where it will take place have not yet been publicised.
Students from Ravensbourne College are planning a special market in December to showcase their creative talent.
Penrose Market will feature a range of products designed by the students at the college, which recently moved to its impressive new building next to the O2 arena.
The market will include bespoke jewellery, chess piece cruet sets, vintage clothing, hand crafted cards, flat packed 3D decoration sets and plenty more one-off Christmas gift ideas you won't find elsewhere.
Penrose Market will be held inside and outside of the Ravensbourne building in Penrose Way at the Greenwich Peninsula on December 15th from 2pm until 6:30pm, and the organisers that if the event goes well, this could be the first of a number of market events put on by the students.
Twitter users can keep up to to date by following @penrosemarket.