“For one night only”? – the Royal Standard one-way system gets resurfaced overnight

Royal Standard roadworksI had a look at the Royal Standard earlier this evening (June 10th) as the roads were being closed for resurfacing work: overnight, much of the one-way system here is being resurfaced, completing a programme of improvements that began in March with a safer pedestrian crossing at the junction of Charlton Road and Westcombe Hill, and new paving on both roads.  This was followed by work nearby to make it safer for merging traffic on the westbound stretch of Charlton Road.

This busy one-way system, with Batley Park and its fine trees at its centre, is much cherished by the community. It is a sort of Clapham Junction of local bus routes (served by eight of them – the 53, 54, 108, 202, 286, 380, 386 and 422) and as a result the police would not agree to a daytime closure of the roads, or a nighttime closure on a Friday or Saturday night, for the resurfacing work.

So a Monday-night road closure was the least worst option – much less disruptive than a daytime closure – and the council’s highways staff I spoke to today were confident the work will be finished overnight. Apologies to anyone who was disturbed by the inevitable noise, but hopefully the hassle will be worth it in terms of reduced potholes and a safe environment for pedestrians as well as motorists.

Things are looking bright for the Standard. A new traders and businesses group, set up in 2012, is increasingly active, the shops have so far survived the economic downturn, and new ones have opened including Blackheath Cooks, the Mocha Cafe and a new funeral directors on Stratheden Parade.

The council has frozen shop rents on Old Dover Road since 2008 to help them survive, and trees that had been planted there in 2000 have in some cases been replanted recently to replace a few that have died. The library on Old Dover Road, which was refurbished in 2010 and had its opening hours extended from five days a week to six, is flourishing. The Royal Standard is very unusual in that it still has a high street consisting mostly of family-run businesses including a butchers and greengrocers – and long may they continue to thrive.

A few years ago the council floated ambitious plans for a more radical overhaul of the Standard, making Charlton Road two-way and completely reworking the one-way system. This project failed to win the funding required from TFL, so we have had to settle for more modest  improvements to make the roads easier to cross and to slow traffic down.

Please let me know what you think, and if you have suggestions for how we can make this vital local centre better to live in, work in, or visit.

June 14th update: Work on Charlton Road and Westcombe Hill was completed overnight as promised, with no second night needed. I am now asking if the road surface by Stratheden Parade, where there are still potholes, can also be replaced.

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12 Responses to “For one night only”? – the Royal Standard one-way system gets resurfaced overnight

  1. Ned says:

    The new road layout by the bus stand isn’t working. It seems that insufficient thought was given to how the 108 and 286 could continue to serve the important bus stop on Charlton Road. I have already witnessed two near misses as buses make the difficult turn outside the Newbridge Club.

  2. Alex Grant says:

    Thanks for your comment, Ned. I will reply to you by email in more detail, but I have raised this with the council’s highways dept. They say that the new place for the buses to turn the corner is being trailed for three months and wil be reviewed later this summer, and a decision then taken on whether the buses are best turning outside the Newbridge Club or at the previous place.I would welcome more feedback so they can make an informed decision.

    • orangeblimp says:

      Hi, I disagree…

      The new merge for the 108 and 286 is much safer.. Providing that drivers take it wide enough, it may be made slightly clearly by inserting new markings with cross hatchings to define a wider turn and to stop smaller vehicles from misunderstanding what the bus is doing and overtaking.

      The main reason for this new route is for buses to be in the correct lane to serve the stop in question as cutting across on old route has always been far too dangerous even before calming measures were introduced.

      I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all concerned as this whole area is so much safer now. I use this as a pedestrian, motorist and a public transport user plus I overlook the whole of Batley Park and have witnessed so many accidents (Probably as many as one a day!) this is no longer the case as traffic is merging much safer and now the system has been is place for a few weeks, most drivers have got used to it and out of the bad habit of presuming they have right of way to be in which ever lane they want (From Charlton towards Blackheath traffic) and no more using the right hand lane just to over take at speed!!!!

      Also, resurfacing was loud but totally worth it as not the road noise has been very much reduced!

      Last point… The bus stop BB on Charlton Rd, definitely needs looking at as completely unsafe!!! Always been an issue. Next project guys!

      • Alex Grant says:

        Thanks for the feedback. There are clearly differing views of the changes, but most of the feedback I have heard is positive so far. as I have said, the changes will be reviewed later this summer and I will pass on all views I receive to the Highways dept.at Greenwich Council.

        Can you let me know more about your concerns about the BB bus stop (the one on Charlton Road where the 202 bus terminates). Its location is not ideal, but TFL have told me it is the only place for the 202 to set down passengers safely at the Royal Standard (the traffic island where the bus parks is considered less safe).

      • orangeblimp says:

        Hi yes,

        Stop BB has over the years been down graded to an alighting point only due to it being unsafe to pick up passengers hence now mainly only serving as a drop off for the 202 but the issues are that the pavement is very norriw there including being at varied levels due the dropped kerbs plus street furniture. There are only two areas that are in the guide lines that are high enough (even when the bus kneels) but one is only two or three feet long with a hedge, resident bins and the bus stop pole… The other is still only a a couple of feet long with a bollard so which ever the doors are lined up to.. There are issues!

        The stop has also recently become a tail stop but this clearly doesn’t work either as the drivers have time and time again said that it is often impossible to judge where to stop and if there is another bus occupying it the even more of a problem. TFL’s answer has been to now tell their drivers to make sure that any wheel chair user or buggy user to alight at the previous stop which is ludicrous as that is way back in Vanbrugh park rd by the school so a long way if you’re hoping to connect.

        Also, have witnessed several incidents where cars are having to cut in if they are going towards Charlton and no able to see the zebra cross till the last minute. The stop could really do with either being moved back or moved to the stand and putting a refuge in the middle parking bay as only two buses can ever us the stand in any case even though there are three lanes! That way passengers are nearer the Zebra and pelican crossing for skiing routes… Most people always run for the 54 by using the road to over take slower pedestrians. The whole saga has been raised many many times with TFL regarding this and was noted that the new works were happening but have been also told that TFL are unwilling to give up the stop due to its historic use! Times change and the roads are clearly busier.
        Hope this help and have a lot of correspondence if you ever need to view.

  3. orangeblimp says:

    Sorry about the typos! Hope previous reply makes some sort of sense! Warm and late!

  4. Neil Clasper says:

    There seems to be a problem sometimes when cars park on the single yellow lines outside the flats next to the Newbridge club, which means that buses have to do a reversing manoeuvre to get round the corner when using the ‘new’ route. This then jams the traffic up, and doesn’t seem very safe.

    • orangeblimp says:

      Agree, although the reversing manuvre is usually due to the buses not taking the turn wide enough although this seems to have been addressed with some new road markings… As for cars parking there.. Maybe a double yellow may do the trick.

      • Alex Grant says:

        I have passed all these comments on to TFL and the council’s Highways dept. I think getting TFL to move the stop for the 202 may be tricky, as there does not appear to be an easy alternative location, but I hope we can address the other problems.

        Alex Grant

      • orangeblimp says:

        Glad to see that the Standard is still working well and the latest edition of works has gone well… So efficient!!!

        The way the traffic was diverted was seem less although some drivers though it would be good to drive the wrong way down Charlton rd towards Westcombe hill?!

        One point though…

        At the new traffic island crossing on the corner of W’ Hill and Charlton Rd… Although it’s much safer, wouldn’t it be even safer to be a 3 way zebra? It’s just that whenever there are vehicles parked, it’s near on the verge of suicide to cross into the middle, especially if your pushing a buggy. The Hill bound traffic pelt do past and swerve into the left left making it a real problem… Not sure if this could be implemented… Surely at little cost and as a frequent user, It certainly wouldn’t cause undue traffic problems, just an instant fix.

        I know several people have had quite near misses and I don’t think there is anti-skid there either.

        Just a thought!

        >

  5. Pingback: All change! Kidbrooke Park Road traffic experiment begins – and more roadworks at the Royal Standard | Blackheath Westcombe Labour

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