Road through Greenwich Park closed for two months

Greenwich-Park-Map.mediumthumb.pdfDespite all the furore over TFL’s new proposals for river crossings (which I will be posting about soon), a more immediate change to local roads is upon us.

With very little notice, the road through Greenwich Park, which opens during rush hours to spread the load of car-borne commuter traffic, is now closed for two months until March 28th.

This is to allow for resurfacing of the road, and the completion of the new Blackheath Gates at the southern end of the Park. Although the council had known there was going to be some disruption around the completion of the new Gates, and the resurfacing work may well be necessary, we had no word of a two-month closure until the first week of January.

The Royal Parks (whose road it is – the Avenue is not a public highway technically) originally wanted to start the closure on January 14th, but this was then delayed until January 28th after the council made a fuss, to allow some notice to be given to residents of Maze Hill and other local roads – see letter below. But more than four days’ notice would have been preferable. Whatever disruption the Olympics caused in 2012, at least there was plenty of notice.

A traffic-free Park  may be great for park users, but it will just shift a lot of traffic onto Crooms Hill, Maze Hill and other roads. I have a lot of time for Graham Dear and the rest of the staff at Greenwich Park, who despite the sniping  have done a good job in reopening the park and restoring it well after the Olympic events last year. 2013 was expected to be a year that Greenwich Park would return to normal. So it is a pity that on this occasion the Royal Parks has not consulted or informed the community, or the council, properly.

Here is the full text of that letter, which should have been delivered to roads near the Park late last week:

“24 January 2013

Dear Resident,

Re: Restoring Greenwich Park following the London 2012 Games

I am writing to provide an update about the reinstatement work in Greenwich Park following the London 2012 events that were hosted here during the summer and to let you know about plans, detailed on our website, to repair a number of paths and roads within the park. Unfortunately, in order to carry out these repairs, it will be necessary to close The Avenue between 28th January and 28th March 2013 and this route will therefore not be available for through traffic.  The Royal Borough of Greenwich is implementing a diversion route along Shooters Hill Road, Greenwich South Street and Greenwich High Road to minimise the impact of displaced traffic on local roads, although increased traffic could be experienced on the roads either side of the park.

Work to restore Greenwich Park started in August 2012 and by October over three quarters of the park became accessible to visitors. The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) removed the last of the temporary venue structures at the end of November and the final stage of reinstatement work, to turf Queen’s Field, began. Half of Queen’s Field, site of the main arena, has now been turfed and despite the poor weather good progress is being made. In spring 2013, weather permitting, the park will be returned to its pre-Games condition, if not better.

In addition to this, a package of work to repair the paths and roads in the park will take place. The Royal Parks assessed the roads and paths in Greenwich Park before the London 2012 events and during December 2012, after the temporary venue structures were removed. This determined that the condition of some roads and paths had deteriorated during the Games. In addition to this, the initial assessment in early 2012 identified that routine repair works were required in some areas; however it was practical to wait until after the Games to complete this work. LOCOG and The Royal Parks are now working together to fund a programme of repair works to fix the paths and roads affected by the Games and to improve the condition of the paths and roads that were in need of general repair. This work will be completed by 28th March 2013.

 

Vehicle and cycle access: Between 28th January and 28th March the park will be closed to through vehicles and cyclists. Car parking will be available on Blackheath Avenue throughout; however as a result of improvement works to Blackheath Gate which are set to start on 4th February, temporary traffic lights will be installed and a one way system will operate.

Pedestrian access: Some paths in the park will be repaired between now and 28th March, however pedestrian access will be maintained wherever possible. For example, when The Avenue (between St. Mary’s Gate and The Royal Observatory) closes to vehicles for repair, pedestrian access will be maintained along the footpaths.

 

For further information about access in Greenwich Park please visit the London 2012 section of The Royal Parks’ website www.royalparks.org.uk, which provides details and is updated on a regular basis or contact the Park Office on 0300 061 2381.

We hope that this does not cause too much inconvenience and we apologise for the short notice of this letter. We would also like to thank the Royal Borough of Greenwich for issuing this letter on our behalf. This repair work will be completed as quickly as possible and we would like to reassure you that the paths and roads in the park will be improved beyond their pre-Games condition.

Yours sincerely,

Graham Dear

Park Manager of Greenwich Park

The Royal Parks”

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One Response to Road through Greenwich Park closed for two months

  1. Pingback: Coalition consequences: soon Greenwich Park visitors will have to pay to use the loo | Blackheath Westcombe Labour

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