Although the author was unfortunately unable to attend the meeting of the local GMCPZ forum held on September 16th, 1998, the Westcombe Society Environment Committee member, Roger Marshall, has provided a briefing on the discussions. All attendees at previous meetings had been copied a Revised Draft Scheme for the Parking Zone. This was put together taking into account 640 responses received in a recent public consultation exercise including the four public exhibitions held in July. The key points are;
78% of responses were broadly in favour of the Parking Zone proposals, 22% were against.
11% considered the proposals to be not restrictive enough, 16% considered them too restrictive.
5% were concerned about enforcement, 13% about future charges for permits.
The Scheme now involves;
1. General limited waiting – two hours (no return within three hours) in all on-street parking places, with standard exemptions for permit holders, the disabled, etc.
2. Controlled hours to be 10.00am – 9.00pm throughout the Zone (i.e. free after 7.00pm)
3. 3 sub-zones to operate with no cross-zone permissions to prevent cross-zone car-commuting.
4. One residents’ permit per owner/driver to be issued free of charge. Additional permits to be made available at a cost of £105 each. Free visitors’ vouchers to be a maximum of 100 all-day vouchers/ household/annum, issued quarterly on application (25 on first issue), monitored to ensure abuse does not occur. Additional vouchers to be sold to residential premises, on request, at a cost of £3.00 for four-hour and £6.00 for all-day vouchers. All additions at Council’s discretion.
5. Up to ten business permits to be made available to registered business premises inside the GMCPZ at a cost of £105 each (for all permits). These permits will be either ‘sub-zone specific’ or ‘vehicle specific’ (but non-sub-zone specific). Similar sub-zone specific visitors vouchers to residents.
6. Traders permits to be made available to builders, etc. at a cost of £10 for a two week period and £10 per week thereafter.
10. Penalty charge request lodged with the Parking Committee for London to approve rate of £80/£40 PCN (as recently approved in Westminster).
11. Greenwich District Hospital requirements to be met through a hospital voucher scheme with special all-day vouchers available to staff and visitors at a cost of £2.00 each.
12. Any further cases for ‘special consideration’ to be referred to the Council’s Planning & Development Committee.
A proposal to revise the previously announced boundary to exclude Delafield Road and Maze Hill south of Westcombe Park Road as well as the ‘Charlton Commercial Area’ (Bugsby’s Way – Thames Barrier) was the main item that came under discussion as well as further discussions on ‘special case provision’ for churches. Attendees were concerned at the plans for Maze Hill, especially considering the moves by Lewisham Council to impose additional restrictions on parking in roads on the Heath under their jurisdiction. The Forum Chair, Cllr. Alex Grant, was asked to call for a vote on the issue which went in favour of the continued inclusion of these roads in the parking scheme.
Revised Bus Routes
As part of the improved transport infrastructure being put in place for the Millennium Experience and the new North Greenwich Underground station, the London Transport Board have announced the second stage of their consultations on changes to the existing bus routes in the area. As far as the immediate Westcombe Park area is concerned it is interesting to note that a number of relevant local routes don’t even deserve a mention in the proposals, including the 202, 286 and 386. Quite why this is the case when others, such as the 53 and 54 are referenced, but are not subject to any current proposed changes is currently the subject of some confusion. A public meeting on the proposals with the Council and LTB was held on October 7th 1998 at Christchurch Forum. Unfortunately this clashed with the monthly meeting of the Westcombe Society Environment Committee, but the Society was able to communicate its views in writing.
The main changes proposed for local routes are;
Route 108: Stratford Station – Lewisham Station.
Route to be diverted to include North Greenwich Station, returning to original routing in both directions. This service will also be upgraded to 6 buses/hour each way and 5 off-peak and at weekends. There is also a request with LTB to consider returning the route to run along Prince of Wales Road and Stratheden Road instead of the present Prince Charles Road and Charlton Way.
Route 422: Bexleyheath – Woolwich via Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Route to be extended from Woolwich Town Centre to run along Charlton Road to Blackheath Standard, Westcombe Hill, Woolwich Road, and Blackwall Lane terminating at North Greenwich Station. Greenwich Council have proposed that instead of adding to the total bus loading on Blackwall Lane, this route run along New Horn Lane (thus servicing the planned Sainsbury’s supermarket) and Bugsby’s Way to the station. A downside of this particular proposal is that it will operate with double-deck buses, something Westcombe Hill residents only currently have to suffer on railway maintenance weekends… can the trees cope?! It will also require a buses-only right turn provision at Combedale Road outside the Angerstein Arms*.
There are currently no plans to run any completely new services apart from the special rapid-transit links from Charlton Station and Greenwich Town Centre to the MEX. Greenwich Council are, however, keen to obtain better services from the Blackheath and Eltham direction and will continue to press for these.
New Sainsbury’s Store Update
Various ‘reserved matters’ relating to the ‘Food and Non-Food Retailing Development’ on Greenwich Peninsula came before a Special Planning & Development Committee Meeting of Greenwich Council in early October. The Council approved the general siting, design, external appearance and landscaping of the buildings, but did not approve the current plans for access, servicing arrangements and car-parking.
The original proposal called for a total of 1,450 parking spaces, but this was to be inclusive of those required for the as yet undetermined ‘leisure’ uses at the northern end of the site. As no firm plans are yet available for this part of the development, the Council have insisted that permission, at this point in time at least, be given for only 960 spaces, 470 for the Sainsbury’s ‘food’ store, and 490 spaces for the three premises planned for the ‘non-food’ component, including a new Sainsbury’s Homebase (DIY) store.
The Sainsbury’s food store will provide an in-store bakery and delicatessen, coffee shop and restaurant, customer toilets, including facilities for the disabled and baby-changing facilities, and will provide 400 full and part-time jobs. Access will be via Bugsby’s Way and the new, re-aligned, New Horn Lane, but details of bus routes and Millennium Transit links (Dome-North Greenwich Station to Charlton Station) to the site have yet to be determined with L.T. and hence could not be agreed by the Council at the meeting.
Web’d by David Riddle – then Chair of the Westcombe Society Environment Committee