Proposed new pedestrian crossing at Blackheath Hill’s junction with Blackheath Road, Lewisham Road and Greenwich South Street

Closed 30 Aug 2018

Opened 19 Jul 2018

Overview

Blackheath Hill and Blackheath Road connect Greenwich’s main tourist attractions to Deptford and New Cross in Lewisham, and are heavily used by people who walk, cycle and drive. In order to make this route safer, we are proposing a staggered pedestrian crossing at the junction with Greenwich South Street and Lewisham Road, and improve Blackheath Road for those cycling and driving. The formal crossing would make the junction safer for pedestrians, and the relocation of a number of loading bays would improve general traffic flow on the A2.

Blackheath Road and Blackheath Hill form part of the A2, a busy arterial route that carries tens of thousands of vehicles every day. The removal / extension of loading bays and the relocation of a bus stop are likely to have a positive impact on the traffic flow in the area.

What are we proposing?

These are the improvements we are proposing:

  • Installing a new staggered pedestrian crossing on Blackheath Hill, at its junction with Greenwich South Street, Lewisham Road and Blackheath Road. The crossing, which will feature a countdown timer and rotating cones (vibrating aids to assist visually impaired and blind people cross the road), will allow pedestrians to cross Blackheath Hill in two stages, linking the footway near the George & Dragon public house with the triangular traffic island leading to Greenwich South Street, as shown in the drawing below. The crossing will include upgraded paving to help visually impaired and blind people, improving conditions for vulnerable users. People will have between 6 to 23 seconds to cross the road (depending on which half of the staggered crossing they are using), followed by an additional eight seconds from when the green man disappears until the traffic is given a green light. There will also be Pedestrian Countdown to tell people how long they have to start to cross.
  • Raising the carriageway floor to slow turning motor traffic on the left turn slip from Greenwich Street to Blackheath Hill, making crossing easier for pedestrians. As currently, there would be an informal crossing between this traffic island and the footway outside Geepharm Chemists.
  • Making the loading bays in the area representative of their actual usage which has been carefully monitored by us, by:
    • Extending the loading bay on Blackheath Road towards Deptford, in front of Wickes, from 15m to 28 meters. This loading bay will be all inset, taking no road space and therefore, not impacting traffic.
    • Removing three loading bays from Blackheath Road, in front of Wickes, towards Greenwich, to improve traffic capacity on the stretch between Egerton Drive and the junction. The change will free up both lanes for traffic at all times, including during the waiting time for the lights ahead. This will improve the traffic flow and bus journey time reliability as well reducing the conflict between two wheeled vehicles and parked vehicles. The new extended bay bears the same current enforcement controls: loading for twenty minutes or 3 hours for disabled parking.
  • Relocating bus stop N, Egerton Drive, to prior to the pedestrian crossing on Blackheath Road towards Deptford, around 150m away from the junction - near Wickes - to improve traffic flow towards Deptford. This bus stop will be partially inset, improving traffic flow towards Deptford as buses will not use the road when picking up passengers.

Why we are proposing this?

Over 1,200 pedestrians cross Blackheath Hill every day. We have looked at this junction at numerous times over the years, trying to find the best place for a pedestrian crossing. Over the last six years, 52 collisions were registered in the vicinity. 26 of these occurred in the last three years. Three of these recent collisions were serious, and five involving pedestrians. In early 2012, minor improvements to pedestrian facilities were made: the central pedestrian waiting areas were widened, kerbs were dropped and the correct tactile paving was provided. Although welcomed, regular customer and stakeholder correspondence made clear that further action is required to improve safety at the location.

In addition to this, we identified a few measures to improve traffic flow - and therefore bus journey time reliability – on the stretch of Blackheath Road between Egerton Drive and the junction with Greenwich South Road and Lewisham Road. The changes include removing / relocating loading bays and relocating a bus stop. The removal of these bays also represents an improvement for cyclists, which will be able to continue their journeys through the edge of the carriageway, rather than having to deviate around parked vehicles.

Impact on bus passengers & general traffic

According to our modelling analysis, the changes will result in a loss of 16 seconds of traffic green time across the junction. This is because, in order to safely allow pedestrians to cross at the new signalized crossing, the traffic at Blackheath Road towards Greenwich must come to a stop. At the same time, a green arrow will indicate that vehicles wishing to proceed towards Greenwich South Street are able to do so, through the lane on the right. Traffic signals will operate on an adaptive technology called Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique (SCOOT), which allows green time at each arm at that junction and nearby according to the levels of traffic demand on each arm, and will help to minimize delays.

The pedestrian crossing will only become active when its button is pressed or the junction detects vehicles wishing to make the right turn from Blackheath Hill to Greenwich South Street. When not required, the junction will operate as it does currently. Therefore, the predicted delay to traffic on Blackheath Road and Blackheath Hill is during peak hours only.

Other options considered but not taken forward

We have looked at other options, which included banning turns in order to allow signalised crossings on other arms of the junction. This wasn’t deemed desirable due to the potential for traffic reassignment in the wider area and the changes that would be required to bus routes. The only other way to safely signalise crossing across other arms would be to have an all-round green man stage, stopping all traffic. This would lead to a considerable amount of waiting time for general traffic, increasing queues on all arms and delaying buses considerably.

The staggered crossing is possible because it is combined with a right turn arrow stage. Whilst the facility could have been placed on another arm it was clear that Blackheath Hill is the approach that benefits most from the combination of pedestrian crossing and right turn indicative arrow.

We would look to start the works in winter 2019.

See the drawings below for more detail

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Have your say

We would like to know what you think about our proposals.

Please give us your views by completing the online survey below by 30 August 2018.

Alternatively, you can:

You can also request paper copies of all the consultation materials and a response form by emailing consultations@tfl.gov.uk, or writing to FREEPOST TFL CONSULTATIONS.

Areas

  • Greenwich

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Roads