Earlier this week we celebrated the completion of a longstanding “missing link” on National Cycle Network Route 1 on the Thames Path in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
The fantastic new connection involved building an impressive cantilever structure alongside the Thames which takes people who are walking and cycling away from the busy Woolwich Road/A206 and onto the new path along the Thames. Journey times for people walking and cycling are cut too.
Our iconic National Cycle Network Route 1 is a long distance cycling route from Dover to the Shetland Islands going through the Royal Borough of Greenwich, often using the Thames Path. This section mostly runs alongside the river and is traffic-free for large parts.
There were small sections at Charlton where the path had to divert inland, known locally as the 'Missing Link'.
The technically challenging improvements were funded by the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Transport for London (TfL) as part of their Quietways project, and involved blasting though a wall to open access to an industrial estate, negotiating permissions with landlords, and creating the new cantilever bridge alongside the Thames.
The new link, which is open from dawn to dusk, will form part of TfL’s Quietway 14 route (Q14) which will eventually run from Greenwich to Bexley.
New bridge over the Thames River Wall
The work involved building an elevated structure that sits atop the River Wall (and cantilevers over the river) linking King Henry's Wharf to Warspite Road, providing a connection where there was previously none.
Opening up access
Improvements also involved securing and upgrading a safe route through the Westminster Industrial Estate (off Warspite Road) and the construction of a ramp from the estate into the Thames Barrier site.
Matt Winfield, London Director said:
“This year Sustrans are reviewing the National Cycle Network across the UK, so we’re delighted that this long-standing “missing link” in our iconic Route 1 is now complete, thanks to Quietways programme funding from Transport for London and investment from the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
All the fantastic work done here makes this important route better for everyone. From local people to long distance cyclists, the Thames riverside route is deservedly popular, passing some of London's key landmarks including the Thames Barrier and the O2 Dome."
Sizwe James, Cabinet Member for Transport, Economy and Smart Cities, said:
"We have the longest and, I think, the most beautiful waterfront of any of the London boroughs. And we are investing and working towards the time when walkers and cyclists will be able to travel from one end of the Borough to the other on the Thames Path without any in-land detour."
The Thames path in Greenwich runs eight miles along the Thames, stretching from the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, past The O2 Arena, through employment heartlands and the Thames Barrier to the metropolitan centre of Woolwich and out to Thamesmead.
Sustrans is TfL’s delivery agent for Quietways, working with boroughs across London, including the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Transport for London on the Quietways programme, as part of the Mayor’s vision to transform London.