Greenwich plans
A view from the gates of the Old Royal Naval College looking down College Approach

Greenwich town centre could lose its one-way system under radical new plans being outlined by Greenwich Council.

College Approach and the northern half of King William Walk, on the north and east side of Greenwich Market, would be reserved for pedestrians along with a dedicated cycle track. Nelson Road and Greenwich Church Street, the streets to the south and west of the market, would become two-way streets if the scheme, backed by City Hall, goes ahead, with pavements widened to accommodate more pedestrians.

Greenwich Council is asking for public feedback on the proposals on a dedicated website:

Attempts to part-pedestrianise the town centre before the 2012 Olympics failed after Transport for London refused to approve the idea of replacing the current one-way system with a new gyratory using Norman Road, to the west of the town centre.

This latest proposal junks the idea of a gyratory completely, and follows similar schemes at Elephant & Castle and Archway where parts of one-way systems have been removed and replaced with public spaces. The Greenwich scheme would be similar, connecting the market to the river.

Greenwich’s current arrangement dates back to the 1970s, when traffic and visitor numbers were so low, zebra crossings were placed on the junction. Now the area’s residents and nine million visitors are hemmed in by railings and pedestrian crossings.

Highly unusually – and refreshingly – for a Greenwich Council consultation, this programme admits past mistakes – even linking to an eight-year-old complaint from local councillors about the pre-Olympics proposals – and asks for residents’ views before detailed proposals are drawn up. “You know your area better than we could,” the consultation says, a phrase that will come as a jolt to many who have dealt with the council over the past decade.

The cycle route aims to connect to the proposed Cycle Superhighway 4, which ends at Deptford Creek Bridge, and to a direct route to Woolwich. There is currently no detail on where buses would stop or terminate or on how deliveries would be made – a further consultation will be held towards the end of the year.

6pm update: There are also four consultation events being held in the Mews School Room at the Old Royal Naval College.

– 4-6.30pm, Thursday 17 January
– 4-6.30pm, Tuesday 22 January
– 4-6.30pm, Thursday 24 January
– 4-6.30pm, Tuesday 29 January

853 produces public interest journalism for Greenwich and SE London and is part-funded by its readers. If you would like to contribute to keeping the site running, please…
– join well over 100 monthly patrons at
– switch power supplier! Low-cost renewable Bulb energy will pay you and this site £50 each if you switch
– buy the author a coffee at
– make a one-off contribution at