Published: 14th FEBRUARY 2020

Sustrans response to Transport for London's proposed Greenwich to Woolwich Cycleway

We support the aims of the scheme to help make it easier and safer for people, including children, to walk and cycle. Introducing schemes to meet these aims are vital for London in reducing collisions, improving air quality, reducing congestion, improving health and tackling climate change.

Scheme Aims

We support the aims of the scheme to:

  • Reduce road danger and help eliminate Killed and Seriously Injured (KSI) collisions
  • Help make it easier and safer for people, including children, to walk and cycle, thereby enhancing community connection
  • Reduce hostile environments at junctions making them more welcoming and less vehicle dominated.

Introducing schemes to meet these aims are vital for London in reducing collisions, improving air quality, reducing congestion, improving health and tackling climate change.

Scheme design


The scheme proposes to improve walking, cycling and public transport along the section of the A206 from Anchor and Hope Lane to the Woolwich Ferry roundabout. The scheme has been divided into four segments along this section of the A206, each with a different Healthy Streets score. Proposals along the route include:

  • New two-way, segregated Cycleway along the south side of the A206
  • New bus lanes along much of the A206
  • Measures at side roads to slow traffic and help pedestrians cross

General Comments

This scheme is proposed along a heavily trafficked dual-carriageway with a mix of industrial, retail and residential land uses in the surrounding area. Segment 1 starts 900 metres west of Angerstein junction, and segment 4 terminates in a connection to the busy Woolwich Ferry Terminal. The area north of the A206 is predominantly industrial and retail, while the south side is residential. Four daytime buses and 1-night bus travel bi-directionally on the A206 Woolwich Road. Although achieving overall adequate scores on the Healthy Streets design check, it is worth noting that current land-use arrangements on either side of the A206 would require significant redesign beyond the current proposal to meet the Mayor’s Transport Strategy and the London Plan sustainable travel and good growth goals.

According to the Healthy Streets Check completed by TfL, there are no zero scores indicating known road danger issues. However, Sustrans has identified recurring issues for each segment in the following areas:

  • Traffic noise based on peak hour motorized traffic volumes
  • Noise from large vehicles
  • Mid-link crossings not all meeting pedestrian desire lines
  • Walking distance between resting points and between sheltered areas protected from rain

Overall, Sustrans supports the proposed two-way segregated Cycleway along the southside of the A206 Woolwich Road in line with LCDS design requirements for cycle infrastructure on arterial roads. However, this proposal does present a challenge with maintaining connectivity to the industrial and commercial zones north of the A206 and the predominately residential zone to the south. We suggest another two-way track should be provided along the north side of Woolwich Road with junction treatments similar to the ones applied on Lea Bridge Road junction with Lammas Road to improve safety. Alternatively, signalised crossings should provide a safe connection between the proposed cycleway and the accesses on the north.

Lack of continuous and consistent connectivity across Woolwich Road will encourage cyclists to cross at informal locations, increasing the risk for collision.

We recommend the introduction of additional pedestrian crossings and raised tables at junctions making it easy and safe for pedestrians and cyclists to cross, as well as creating continuous connectivity for the community and businesses. Additionally, provision should be made for the introduction of continuous footway and cycleway treatments across the mouth of the side roads to convey further priority for pedestrians and cyclists. Turning vehicles would need to negotiate a change in level, entering and passing through a zone that looks and feels different and where there is a strong indication they should cede priority to other users.

Sustrans supports the proposal for replacement of vehicle traffic lanes for bus lanes. We recommend checking bus bypass capacity and considering stronger horizontal deflection on the cycle track crossings, as well as ensuring all of these are zebra crossings as per TfL guidance to ensure cyclist speeds reduction and increased safety, particularly for users with visual and mobility impairments.

Detailed Comments

Segment 1

Section 1 – Woolwich Road / Anchor and Hope Lane

We strongly support the provision of new signalized crossings at all arms of the junction. However, in most cases the crossings are not continuous, thus causing delays for cyclists and pedestrians. We oppose the design of a three-stage crossing on the eastern and northern arms of the junction and urge reconsideration of a more direct alignment. Not providing a consistent and direct crossing on any arm of the junction will discourage people from walking and will encourage non-compliance, with the associated risk of collisions. The cycle track is in conflict with the pedestrian footway access on both corners.

Section 2 – Woolwich Road / Gallon Close

Sustrans does not support the use of a roundabout at the junction of Gallon Close and A206 Woolwich Road. The volumes from north and south arms do not justify having a roundabout here as the arms connect to self-contained roads (a car park and a close). The controlled crossings proposed east and west of the roundabout are displaced far from the junction, making it inconvenient for pedestrians and cyclists to cross.

For all of the above, we propose a tight signalized junction with straight crossings on all four arms. By doing this, more of the carriageway space could be used towards building cycling and walking infrastructure including straight one-phase crossings and a closer crossing to bus stop (D), thus increasing the level of service for all pedestrians and cyclists.

Section 3 - Woolwich Road / Charlton Lane

In section 3, access to Westmoor Street from A206 Woolwich Road is hindered as no crossing for pedestrians or cyclists is proposed at the existing roundabout. We recommend an additional controlled crossing on the east and north arms, as well as aligning the proposed crossing with Charlton Lane east footpath, and to include a fourth crossing west of bus stop B.

We support the no entry guidance proposals along Charlton Lane except for emergency services and cycles. This measure will significantly decrease motorized traffic volume, which brings the opportunity to provide a continuous footway instead of a raised table as currently proposed.

Segment 2

Section 4 – Woolwich Road / Eastmoor Street

Sustrans supports the proposed crossing upgrade to wider and more direct pedestrian and cycle facilities. We also welcome the widening and greening of the footway next to Royal Greenwich Trust School.

As per previous sections, we welcome the proposed raised table at Clevely Close but consider it is a missed opportunity for a continuous footway.

Section 5 – Woolwich Road / Warspite Road

Sustrans supports the proposal to build out the kerb at the Warspite Road and Ruston Road arms of the junction. Extending the kerb in these locations will tighten the turning radius thus slowing vehicle traffic and reducing crossing distance. The new pedestrian and cycle crossing west of the roundabout meet Healthy Streets best practice, making it safe and easy for all users to cross. However, the proposed staggered junction to the east of the roundabout should also be straight and direct. The opportunities for urban realm enhancements should be taken advantage of by installing sustainable urban drainage features, places to sit and rest, and shade and shelter – Healthy Streets criteria that are currently lacking on this section of road.

The TfL proposal states that reducing the size of the roundabout to accommodate for the new cycle track will also reduce vehicle speeds, however, the evidence for this is lacking. Maintaining two lanes along the A206 in each direction linking onto this two-lane roundabout makes it an intimidating and hostile junction for pedestrians.

The proposed arrangement on floating bus stop U is conflictive as the remaining footway behind the cycle track is too narrow. The cycle track should be brought back next to the carriageway once the bus stop finishes, with strong deflection and a zebra crossing to enable safe use by everyone.

Segment 3

Section 6 – Woolwich Church Street / Prospect Vale

The proposed removal of one westbound traffic lane to provide a segregated two-way cycle track is supported. While we support a new north-south crossing to access Pett Street, we suggest that direct crossing rather than staggered. The potential for cyclist and pedestrian conflict is high at the Pett Street and Woolwich Church Street junction as the footpath and cycle track switch positions relative to the road. These should be made consistent by applying the changes suggested in Section 5.

We support the no entry vehicle regulations on Prospect Vale. Prospect Vale is a narrow road and could be repurposed as a route for cyclists and buses only. Though the proposal calls for a crossing at Pett Street, there are long distances between controlled crossings as per the Healthy Streets check #9 – no main pedestrian desire lines are provided with pedestrian crossings. Commercial activity north of Woolwich Church Street in this area should be acknowledged, suggesting the need for safe and efficient pedestrian and cycle access.

Section 7 – Woolwich Church Street / Frances Street

The large and imposing junction at Woolwich Church Street and Frances Street is in need of the proposed signalization to make it safe for pedestrians and cyclists to cross. Complementing this should be clear cycle indications for two-stage turns. Sustrans supports the proposed access to Cycleway 14 (Thames Path), creating coherence and connectivity to the larger cycle network.

Sustrans does not support the reduction of the footway on the northside of Woolwich Church Street to accommodate the segregated cycle track. Rather than limiting the footway, the cycle track should utilize space from the carriageway.

Segment 4

Section 8 – Woolwich Church Street / Kingsman Street

Sustrans supports banning right turns for traffic from the A206 Woolwich Church Street to Kingsman Street, and from Kingsman Street to the A206, to reduce rat-running traffic. Given these right turn bans, the junction could be tightened further to make it protected for cyclists and pedestrians. A similar design should be utilized at the Church Hill junction, tightening the distance for pedestrians and cyclists to cross.

The proposed alignment is inconvenient for vulnerable pedestrians as they have to cross over the cycle lane at multiple locations.

We support the new controlled pedestrian and cycle crossing to access Mast Quay. However, other than this there are no controlled crossings for a large distance. There appears to be an uncontrolled crossing west of Kingsman Street, however, this alignment is not on pedestrian desire lines – it is not close to the bus stop or to the junction at Kingsman Street. We strongly suggest replacing this existing uncontrolled crossing with a one-stage controlled crossing closer to Kingsman Street.

Section 9 – Woolwich Church Street / New Ferry Approach

The current proposal prioritises cars over cyclists and pedestrians to reach the Woolwich Ferry, which is the only river crossing infrastructure in the area for any means of transport.

Sustrans supports the physically separated circular cycle track running outside of the main carriageway, however, we suggest that it should be continuous around the entire roundabout. This gives cycles the right of way over drivers entering or exiting.

The parallel signalized pedestrian and cycle crossings replacing zebra crossings at the John Wilson Street and Woolwich Church Street arm of the junction should be moved closer (within 5 m) to the roundabout to maintain desire lines and reduce delays. A track separated by 5 m allows space for a single car to stop without blocking the passage of bikes.

The large roundabout and other buildouts provide an opportunity to implement sustainable urban drainage.

If you require any clarifications or further information on our response, please email Policy Officer, London at Sustrans.

Share this page