Bye bye busway: Dual carriageway for Greenwich Millennium Village

GMV bus way

This would become a dual carriage way under TfL and Greenwich Council’s scheme

The busway that links Greenwich Millennium Village and North Greenwich station is set to be ripped out and replaced with a dual carriageway, under plans unveiled by Transport for London and Greenwich Council today.

A consultation has been launched into the scheme, which will also see new bus stops installed by the Pilot pub.

It follows a number of collisions in the area, with drivers and pedestrians confused by the unconventional layout, which has two single-carriageway roads placed next to each other; one for buses and one for general traffic.

GMV busway

Looking towards the Dome from the top of a bus – the busway is on the right

A woman died in January after being hit by a bus in the Millennium Village during a morning rush hour.

The layout is a legacy of a failed plan to have the Millennium Dome served by guided buses. The buses kept crashing while on test, so the busway was covered in tarmac and handed over for normal bus use in June 2001.

Its proposed replacement would provides one lane for buses and one lane for general traffic in each direction. Despite Transport for London recently installing a “cycle hub” (in reality, a couple of double-deck cycle racks) at North Greenwich station, there is no dedicated space for cyclists. It also appears to improve the access route into North Greenwich station, and removes the traffic lights that hold up buses outside the Pilot, replacing them with a pelican crossing.

But while the new arrangement will be less confusing, it does allow rat-running through the Millennium Village to the car parks for the O2 and at North Greenwich station, with the route through GMV bring a popular cut-through in the mornings. The construction of a dual carriageway through this area may mean one problem has been swapped for another. It seems an opportunity has been missed to keep traffic that shouldn’t be in GMV out of it.

If the Silvertown Tunnel is built, the dual carriageway past the Pilot would also be the main access route to the O2 and surrounding amenities during the construction period.

It also means the under-construction St Mary Magdalene school would be surrounded by dual carriageways on both sides.

Local councillors are pleased with what’s planned…

…but to have your say, visit Transport for London’s consultation site.

12 comments

  1. maryorelse

    Sorry Darryl to keep pursuing you on this. There was another death three or four years ago at the start of the busway at Bugsbys Way when a young woman was killed by a bus at the lights. There have been several other near misses and collisions. The system was designed for a guided bus, which never worked, and to provide emergency access to and from the Dome. Two years ago I asked TfL staff it it was ever monitored – for safety, usage and so on – and they seemed to be amazed that anyone should consider that it should be done. It is also known to have been in poor condition. It has been very common to see cars and lorries going up it in the wrong direction. The whole system needs a radical shake up and it is just a real pity that when the Jubilee Line was built that it was not extended to Charlton or Westcombe Park – the reason given at the time by TfL’s predecessors that ‘no one would ever use it’. What should happen anyway are some very severe restrictions on speed and maybe another width restriction like the one already in place at the eastern end.
    Like I said, sorry about this

  2. fromthemurkydepths

    It’s best it goes but interesting it will soon as the Greenwich Waterfront Transit looks closer to becoming reality than it has since the millennium with Charlton Riverside coming into view.

    I always go on about it but this road is only one part of the wider road layout on the Peninsula, linking ‘old’ Greenwich with the new, and the rest is a mess. Bugsby’s Way with almost no pedestrian crossings, along with Millenium Way, Peartree Way and Blackwall Lane. New schools, hotels, 21k homes all around these streets pretty much designed only for cars. Huge amounts of money there to source from section 106/278 and CiL developer contributions to improve the roads and nothing set in stone. Had more than enough time.

    And the Greenwich Council transport scrutiny panel which should be looking into these issues cancelled a meeting last week resulting in a six month gap.

  3. bdubsl

    The whole of North Greenwich transport needs improving. Not just the roads. The bus stops at the underground are terrible. Overcrowded and badly organised with buses unable to leave due to buses further up blocking the exit. More buses are needed too

  4. rewind11

    Thanks for the update Have you seen the waste of money on Denham Also as Matthew Pennycock and I have fallen out (ha ha) are there any proposals to put a camera up where people leave tunnel approach on the slip road and rejoin at the last junction by doing an illegal right? Thanks Robert

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Larry

    The first time I drove down there, I found myself driving towards an oncoming bus! It was that confusing. I am glad the counter-intuitive layout will be eradicated

  6. Matt

    I would be very interested in forming / joining a pressure group to revisit the DLR (or tram or similar) that seeks to introduce some north south linkage to north greenwich from Kidbrooke (and beyond). There is a pretty serious amount of development coming forward and without some large infrastructure plans being debating now the area will suffer. It would be great to unlock some of the local area and reduce the need to be in a car all the time

  7. maryorelse

    That would be a very good idea – and there are a number of other problems with the whole road and bus network in that area that need to be addressed, A proper north south link non-road link is crucial. Both West Parkside and Millennium Way need better speed restrictions – and the Dome needs to look at its parking policies again. The whole of the configuration of bus lanes and the queue for the tunnel in Blackwall Lane needs changing, and vehicles need to be prevented from going up and down the slips. The most efficient service in the area are the boats, and they need promoting. Then there are the buses the other side of the tunnel ……………and ……………and

  8. Matthew Woolgar

    Perhaps 853 would be kind enough to start a post on the subject? Lobbying for change works an awful lot better in numbers. Even better if interested parties are spread around the area meaning we can reach numerous cllrs

  9. Colin.

    “……..buses kept crashing while on test……..” A bit of double standards here. You’ve commented about the quality of journalism in Greenwich Council’s former rag and yet you, yourself aren’t adverse to a bit of sensationalism. The way it comes across to me is that there were multiple pile-ups. It was that simply the buses kept losing the signal and hitting the kerbs.

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