- 15 Apr 15 EGRA - Report on Environmental Realm and Public Issues
- 14 Apr 15 TfL Report on the Silvertown Tunnel Consultation
- 2 Apr 15 "No to Silvertown Tunnel" latest
- 2 Apr 15 Garden Help?
- 2 Apr 15 Creative Dance Project
- 2 Apr 15 First Greenwich Book Festival
- 2 Apr 15
Message from southeastern Managing Director David Statham
- 26 Mar 15 Bandstand Concerts in Greenwich Park
- 30 Apr 15 St Alfege Recital
- 22 May 15 Greenwich Book Festival
- 27 May 15 The Edge of Eternity
- 7 Jun 15 East Greenwich Pleasaunce Summer Festival
- 13 Jun 15 Magna Carta 800th Anniversary
- 21 Jun 15 Mid-Summer Jazz Concert
- 7 Jul 15 Greenwich & Blackheath Societies' Cricket Match
- 22 Nov 15 Greenwich Society Annual Lecture
Greenwich Society Walk
Ray Smith - tour guide
On Saturday 11th April, members ofthe Society enjoyed an historical walk around London's St James and Mayfair, led by the learned Ray Smith - a member of the Executive Committee, quiz master and fount of knowledge.
The four-hour tour of some of London's more exclusive and history-filled locations took us from St James' Square along Jermyn Street, through the back streets to Green Park, across Piccadilly, into Shepherd's Market, through Mount Street Gardens (with a chance to see inside the famous Farm Street church) and around the Grosvenor and Berkeley estates before returning to St James and were regaled with historical facts, anecdotes and ribald stories!
Easter Work at London Bridge
Network Rail have released a time-lapse video to show what work they accomplished over the Easter weekend. Click on the Image below to see the video -
March/April 2015 Newsletter
The Greenwich Society newsletter for March/April 2015 has now been published and can be downloaded from our Newsletter page.
Read Matthew Pennycook's blog post on the subect of the Knight Dragon development plans for the peninsula -
The Steering Group of the Greenwich Line User Group mert with Mike Gibson from Southeastern railways and discussed overcrowding, ticketing, 12 car trains, Cannon Street, performance, Sunday services the proposed August 2016 timetable (when our trains won't stop at London Bridge for 18 months) and the possibility of restoring Charing Cross services in the future.
Read the meeting notes - here.
Thames Crossing – next step
Another month, another consultation. Or is it a another hard sell? Have your say on www.tfl.gov.uk/Silvertown-tunnel and please let us know your views so that we can formulate a Greenwich Society position by the deadline of 18 December.
To the west of London there are 23 crossings between Vauxhall and the M25; to the east between Tower Bridge and the M25 there are 3 and one is the Woolwich Ferry. The result is seen daily in the queues of traffic on the Blackwall approaches and the congestion in surrounding areas including East Greenwich and the town centre when one over-height lorry can bring the whole area to a halt. Air quality suffers and the economic cost is high.
After cancelling his predecessor's Thames bridge plans, Boris Johnson came up with a package of river crossing proposals in 2013 including a tunnel, effectively a third Blackwall following the line of the cable car from the A102 to Silvertown and with more crossings down river.
Royal Borough of Greenwich Council's enthusiastic support for the Silvertown tunnel under the slogan ‘bridge the gap’ worried many who feared for the impact of tolling the old and the new tunnels on traffic in Greenwich if drivers diverted to Rotherhithe for a free crossing and infuriated environmental campaigners who believe that new roads quickly fill up, that pollution will worsen and that public transport options are overlooked. The main opposition group's case is set out at www.silvertowntunnel.co.uk.
The new RBG Council's position is more nuanced than previously: they still support Silvertown but want to see a package of public transport improvements linked to any new crossings including Crossrail and DLR extensions, more local road measures and tolls at the Rotherhithe to protect Greenwich and the World Heritage Site from diverted traffic. Now TfL have started the next Silvertown consultation with their website showing snazzy ‘fly-through videos’, their words not mine, and two frankly inadequate public sessions at the Forum on Trafalgar Road 1pm-7pm on 14 November and 12pm-4pm on 22 November.
There is a mass of information on the website, although no air quality data yet. TfL forecast traffic in 2021 both withoutthe new tunnel and with the tolled Blackwall/Silvertown tunnels. They broadly conclude that, although car travel as a proportion of total travel is expected to fall, this will be offset by population and employment growth so without a new tunnel delays would increase by about a quarter. They expect that the new tunnel would almost eliminate delays. There are mentions of the diversionary effects on our local roads but these are confusing, even contradictory and we are promised 'a more detailed representation of traffic flows at individual junctions' with the final Transport Assessment in spring 2015.
These changes could have a huge impact on Greenwich, for better or for worse, so do please respond to the TfL request for views and let us know too. Send emails to email@example.com
The ArchesIt was confirmed at the Society's AGM that the Arches Leisure Centre was to close at the end of the year, 86 years old and is being offered for sale for redevelopment. This now shabby looking neglected building has an interesting history. It was built to the designs of Horth and Andrews, the winners of a National Architectural Competition of 1923 to replace the original 1850s building. The 1850 baths were among the first in England to be built to the recommendations of the 1848 Baths and Washhouses Act designed to give workers in the hurriedly built bathroom-less terraces a chance to wash as well as to learn to swim. This building proved inadequate for the number of men returning from the forces after WWI to take up jobs in the then flourishing Industry in Greenwich. The new Baths extend across a whole block of the Trafalgar Road. It is the largest building in this domestic shopping street.The arched design was inspired by Roman baths. It was original and symmetrical. It gives the street order and dignity, a worthy approach to the famous buildings of Wren. It has a character all its own yet fits into the modest scale of its immediate neighbours and of Hawksmoor, which it does not compete with or ape. Renamed the Arches after the slipper baths (individual private bathrooms) in the centre of the complex were replaced by a gymnasium. The Arches is a ‘Locally Listed’ building and its design has inspired many later swimming pools—Bryanston Baths, Ironmongers Row, Porchester Place, all of the 1930s, statutorily listed and in full working order.The Greenwich Society, anxious not to lose this fine, character-full building in the Trafalgar Road prepared a study in 2012 showing some of the unusual and original details of the design which won the competition in l923. The Society is pleased that after the original intention for the Arches to be sold for demolition the Council has now included the following ‘Planning Guidance’ with the advertisement for its sale:-Planning guidance was provided with the marketing particulars and this stated that as a locally listed building located on a busy road and in a conservation area, the potential for development is subject to certain constraints and that the preference would be for sympathetic conversion/extension. A change of use will require planning consent, however it is considered that the site is potentially suitable for various commercial or community uses on the ground floor and residential on higher levels to be incorporated in sympathetic extensions set back from the existing elevations.We believe this Society was responsible for the change in the policy. We will scrutinise proposals as they are received and look forward to a well integrated fully restored view of this very special building in the future.
East of Eden
Latest Ticketing News
- Jubliee Line between London Bridge and Waterloo/Southwark
- Jubilee/Bakerloo/Northern Lines between London Bridge and Charing Cross
- District/Circle Line between Cannon Street and Embankment
- Northern Line between London Bridge and Elephant & Castle
The following bus services can be used without charge through the rebuilding:
- 381/RV1 between London Bridge and Waterloo
- RV1 between London Bridge and Charing Cross (NB I presume they mean Covent Garden, as the RV1 terminates there and does not go to Charing Cross)
- 15 between Cannon Street and Charing Cross
- 35/40/133/343 between London Bridge and Elephant & Castle
The DLR can be used without charge between Greenwich and Lewisham through the rebuilding
A presentation by Network Rail and southeastern to the Greenwich Society Annual General MeetingWednesday 15 October 2014 at 7.30pmThameslink ProgrammeGiles Bayram, Project Manager (Change) – Thameslink – Network Rail, reminded the meeting of the aims of the programme – (1) to reducing overcrowding on both Thameslink and commuter services, (2) to reduce overcrowding on the underground, (3) to reduce the need for interchange between main-line and underground services and (4) to introduce new cross-London services, thereby improving public transport accessibility in the South East.
The programme is government funded with an aim of increasing capacity on commuter routes and removing bottlenecks through the redevelopment of London Bridge and the introduction of a new high frequency service through London.The Department for Transport is heading the programme, which his being managed by Network Rail (providing £4.5 billion infrastructure investment as well as signalling, track, electrification and plant), Siemens (supplying £2 billion rolling stock programme including new trains, depots and sidings, and a consortium of GTR, southeastern and southern Railways (in a major re-franchising).The infrastructure improvements are taking place at (1) Farringdon where, from 2018, Thameslink will connect with Crossrail, giving passengers direct links to three international airports and St Pancras International rail station, (2) Blackfriars, the first station to span the Thames on the world’s largest solar energy bridge, and (3) London Bridge, with its new concourse and new platforms, all with step free access.At London Bridge, a main aim was to untangle the track layout in order to provide more reliable journeys and end delays to services. When finished, the new track layout through London Bridge will remove problematic crossing and complexities to leave three main streams – the Cannon Street lines to the North, Thameslink in the centre and the Charing Cross lines to the South. A new flyover and track work will also be undertaken in Bermondsey for the necessary improvements to the Thameslink lines.The main station work began in May 2013 and platforms 12 to 15 have been rebuilt and opened to passengers. Platforms 10 and 11 are closed for their rebuilding until January 2015 and comprehensive signalling work is underway. Services ChangesMike Gibson, Public Affairs Manager, southeastern Railways, explained the specific changes that will take place during and after the redevelopment work and which will impact on the Greenwich line and the passengers who use it.Work will be completed in December of this year for the terminating platforms at London Bridge station and will move instead to the through-platforms – 1 to 6. There will, therefore, be major and unavoidable disruption both to Thameslink and southeastern services for the next three years. London Bridge station will remain open throughout the work but some service changes will be inevitable. As dedicated lines for three distinct ‘purposes’ are being created – Cannon Street, Thameslink and Charing Cross – some of the changes will be permanent.
From 5th January 2015 – new timetable
Between January 2015 and August 2016, no southeastern services to/from Charing Cross will call at London Bridge. (However, between January and May 2015 there may be some exceptions to this pattern at the end of the operating day when trains leaving Charing Cross will call at Waterloo East and London Bridge)Services to Woolwich Dockyard, Plumstead, Belvedere and Erith will also be diverted to and from Cannon Street until August 2016 – calling at London Bridge.Services to and from Westcombe Park, Maze Hill and Greenwich (as well as Deptford, New Cross and St Johns will) cease permanently to operate to and from Charing Cross via Waterloo East. Services will all run into and out of Cannon Street.
August 2016 to early 2018
Services to and from London Charing Cross will resume calling at London Bridge.Between August 2016 and the beginning of 2018, no southeastern services to/from Cannon Street will call at London Bridge.The Greenwich Line
- Services to and from Westcombe Park, Maze Hill and Greenwich will all run into and out of Cannon Street.
- Cannon Street Station – both main line and underground - will be open for longer hours and over seven days a week to accommodate the additional passenger numbers that are anticipated.
- The line will be served by longer trains to boost capacity
- There will be slightly fewer peak trains (2 fewer in the morning and 4 fewer in the evening).
- Southeastern will monitor passenger numbers over the course of the new timetable.
Assistance for PassengersIn October 2014, timetables for December 2014 and January 2015 were confirmed. Southeastern also worked with stakeholders to raise awareness of the upcoming changes and both ticketing and re-rerouting advice to passengers commenced.From November 2014 targeted information and communication to all affected passengers will be made available – including advertising at stations.
Questions & Answers
Q: Will Cannon Street tube station remain open all the time that the rail station is open and in use during the redevelopment work and service changes?
A: Yes.Q: Will there be any improvement in the opening hours for Cannon St?
A: Yes - The operating hours of Cannon Street Station will be enhanced and will be similar to those of Charing Cross - including late night and weekends.Q: Is a bus link between Cannon Street and London Bridge/Waterloo East/Charing Cross during the redevelopment work a possibility?
A: YesQ: Is there any chance of a rail shuttle between Cannon Street and Charing Cross during the redevelopment?
A: NoQ: Is there any chance of a permanent shuttle between Cannon Street and Charing Cross after the redevelopment work?
A: NoQ: While there are no direct trains from Greenwich to Charing Cross, will there be some direct services from Lewisham?
A: YesQ: Do TfL plan to improve bus links during the work?
A: Answers will be sought from TfL.Q: For those communing to Waterloo East and Charing Cross, what would be the impact on journey times?
A: Journey times may indeed be longer during the work.Q: For those communing to Waterloo East and Charing Cross, will there be any reimbursement of the additional costs of alternative travel arrangements?
A: Those involved in the project have agreed in principle that no passengers will be 'out of pocket' as a result of the work, but a final decision is awaited from Department for Transport. The Travel Demand Management Board has been working on ticketing and there may possibly be some extra bus links from some North Greenwich.Q: Can there be better signage at London Bridge for platforms? How will the changing of trains operate?
A: The interchange at London Bridge will be similar – with three separate streams of traffic (Charing Cross, Thameslink and Cannon Street) but the availability of both lifts and escalators to every platform should make it easier for everyone.Q: Greenwich line users are going to suffer for the benefit of those living outside London. Many passengers who use the Greenwich Line don't want to go to Cannon Street and these changes will detrimentally effect Greenwich line users more than anyone. Will you reconsider no direction link to Charing Cross?
A: Greenwich line doesn't operate in isolation and some sacrifice is necessary to improve the overall capacity - extra 18 trains an hour will be possible because of the project. There will be better service for the Greenwich line eventually, albeit one that necessitates an interchange at London Bridge – but a much easier interchange than there is currently.Q: What benefits will there be for Greenwich from the completion of the work in 2018 especially with so many new residents? Greenwich line seems to be outside TfL remit and those who will gain something from the redevelopment.
A: The Mayor did not get control of the rail franchises - passed to TfL - as he wanted. The official position of southeastern railways is that they would be happy whatever the ultimate management of the franchises. It is true that Kent residents were opposed to Mayor’s plans.One improvement for all passengers will be improved reliability, with an end to so much waiting outside London Bridge station. Another improvement for all passengers will be a new station at London Bridge with step free access to all platforms.Q: If you are building a flyover for the Thameslink service, why cannot there also be one for the Greenwich line? It's obvious that Thameslink priority. Why can't Greenwich to/from Charing Cross be re-instated? The industry could remodel North Kent East junction to include a junction for Greenwich line. There is some spare capacity that, with little infrastructure changes, could help.
A: The questions will be referred back to Network Rail for an answer.Q: There has been a lack of information for Greenwich Line users and a lack of transparency about any priority for Greenwich Line users. Please will you provide this in future to the Greenwich Society?
A: Yes – and also to GLUGQ: What arrangements can be made for those people who for one reason or another (such as claustrophobia) are unable to us the tube as an alternative to the train?
A: TfL, like all transport services, have special assistance arrangements for passengers requiring it. A specific answer will be checked and supplied.Q: Will there be any job creation as a result of the redevelopment work?
A: Yes – both locally and for apprenticeships. southeastern confirmed an extra 75 platform staff would be recruited. The Network Rail and Southeastern presention Rail Industry Q&A sheet Updated
Ending Traffic Domination of Greenwich
BY INTRODUCING A SHARED SPACE POLICY IN THE CENTRE
Take a look at the on-line PowerPoint Presentation: This could be a popular action for our new councillors to take; but enough said for the present. The case of Poynton in Cheshire well illustrates how we could benefit.
How?: Step 1: Control the density of vehicles in the centre.How could this apply to Greenwich?: By smart traffic lights outside the centre which only allow vehicles into the centre when the exits are clear.But, you will say: “But won’t this cause a lot of congestion?”PowerPoint Presentation: No. It just means that when the traffic is greater than the capacity of the system, then it will be held outside the centre rather than clogging up the streets in the centre.How?: Step 2: Take out all four sets of traffic lights. Establish clear ‘gateways’ where vehicles are entering shared space, with a 10 mph speed limit. Repave the streets in the centre to reflect the priority of pedestrians.
To let us know your views please contact Chris Todhunter by email. firstname.lastname@example.org:
Why I joined the Greenwich Society
...by Lesley Curwen
Before and After?Here is a comparison of the view from Greenwich Park across the river to the Isle of Dogs and Canary Wharf (before) and the same view, adding the computer generated appearance of all the high-rise towers that are proposed (after). Jonathan Chandler
Greenwich Hospital Plans in the town centre
- a presentation to the Greenwich Society AGM by Gillie Bexson (Property Portfolio Manager, Greenwich Hospital).Gillie Bexson offered her assessment of the Hospital’s plans by establishing the context of its work within its charitable objectives, describing the Greenwich estate, explaining the Hospital’s vision, how it hoped to achieve that vision and the nature of the collaboration that would be required in the process.Greenwich Hospital is an ancient Crown charity providing support (including annuities, sheltered housing and education) to serving and retired personnel of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and their dependants. It was established in 1694 for the following purpose: -“The reliefe and support of seamen serving on board the shipps or vessells belonging to the Navy Royall who by reason of Age, Wounds or other disabilities shall be uncapable of further service at sea and being unable to maintain themselves. And for the Sustentation of the Widows and the Maintenance and Education of the Children of seamen happening to be slain or disabled. Also for the further reliefe and Encouragement of seamen and Improvement of Navigation.”The Hospital supports 26,000 people through 20 charities, 3 sheltered housing schemes and a Naval Care Home. It also supports a faculty at the University of Greenwich and students at Trinity/Laban. Plans are also on-going for the establishments of apprenticeships, the retraining of injured service men and women and business start-up assistance. There is no public money involved in any of the Hospital’s investments - which are in Greenwich, the rural estates (8,000 acres in Suffolk, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear – a total of 15 farms with many residential cottages), two properties in central London and in equities.
- Conserve Greenwich’s urban village character through a proactive commitment to the protection and enhancement of its built heritage.
- Improve the appearance of the Hospital’s buildings by investing in the external fabric of the retail and residential frontages.
- Deliver buildings that respond to the character and quality of the area with a commitment to architectural excellence and the business needs of the 21st Century.
- Create prime accommodation to attract strong covenant and high quality restaurateurs and retailers.
- Continue to mix uses by taking back upper floors wherever possible and return them to residential use.
- Enhance and improve the historic market place and maintain its significance in the context of Greenwich’s history.
- Creation of an attractive destination at the heart of Greenwich town centre
- Retention of the historic character of the market
- Restoration and reuse the original structure of the market roof
- Improvement of the public realm
- Improvement of the range of potential uses – Antiques & Crafts market, food market and event space, for example
- Reconfiguration of the service areas, aiding efficiency
Greenwich Society Achievements
- Since 2001 our team of volunteers have removed more than 16,000 graffiti which disfigured the town centre, Trafalgar Road and our residential streets.
- We have helped make Greenwich a greener place by planting the now mature trees outside Greenwich Station; in front of the Arches in Trafalgar Road; in Greenwich High Road and in Crooms Hill as well as creating small gardens around the area.
- We look at every planning application and comment constructively and vigorously too when we see unsuitable development proposals.
- In the run-up to the Olympics we worked hard to ensure that the organisers and the Borough protected residents' interests during the Games.
- We have helped launch the Greenwich Line Users Group to provide a voice for passengers as the London Bridge development begins to impact on all
- The Newsletter has a great track record of keeping members informed about local affairs and events; the latest is our 173rd edition
- We are playing a part in bringing about an improvement to the town centre street scene. And the Society led the campaign against the garish neon signage on the Pier restaurants, supported by the Royal Borough and the Government Inspector.
- The Society campaigned successfully against the plan for a one-way system which would have increased rat- running
Greenwich Society Challenges
- Pressure from developers pushing the limits of the planning system to build taller apartment buildings with high densities, too few family homes and little outdoor space for recreation.
- Plans in the pipeline could produce an increase of 50,000 new residents between the Convoys Wharf towers in Deptford and the Peninsular. Will public transport, the roads and the infrastructure cope?
- How do we achieve a balance between the needs of residents and the pressures of a growing tourist industry?
- Plans for the new river crossings are supported by little evidence about the health and pollution impacts. What effect would a proposal to finance the crossings by charging tolls in the Blackwall tunnel have on the town centre?