Crooms Hill
Crooms Hill could be closed to through traffic (Photo: Google)

Drivers could be blocked from travelling down some of Greenwich’s most affluent streets as part of a council plan to combat rat-running in the roads close to Greenwich Park.

Roads including Crooms Hill and Hyde Vale could be blocked to through traffic to stop motorists using the quiet streets as a cut-through between the A2 on Blackheath and the A200 through Deptford.

The council launched a consultation into the scheme last Friday, offering residents a choice of two options. Both include placing a “modal filter” on Crooms Hill – using bollards or planters to block the street to all except pedestrians and cyclists.

The “Hills and Vales” scheme stretches from the leafy streets close to Greenwich town centre through to council estates by Greenwich High Road and the congested Blackheath Hill.

What’s in the plans?

One set of proposals sees Crooms Hill blocked south of King George Street; Royal Hill blocked outside the Borough Halls; the blocking of Hyde Vale and West Grove at the edge of Blackheath; and another modal filter at the junction of Lindsell Street and Greenwich South Street.

The other, less strict set of proposals sees Crooms Hill blocked where it meets General Wolfe Road close to Rangers House; a rush-hour only block on Hyde Vale; another modal filter at the junction of Lindsell Street and Greenwich South Street; and turning Burney Street into a westbound one-way street.

Both schemes also include turning “little” Royal Hill – the smaller section of road that branches off from Blissett Street – into a one-way street, and bollards on Maidenstone Hill to deter HGVs.

Greenwich Park worries

A scheme to stop rat-running through Crooms Hill could remove one of the main objections to closing Greenwich Park to through traffic. Queues of drivers leave their vehicles idling in Greenwich town centre each weekday afternoon in anticipation of the gates opening to them at 4pm; but the park’s neighbours have feared that motorists will just switch to Crooms Hill instead. Royal Parks recently consulted on a “movement strategy” for all its open spaces, stating that it would start to “discourage the through-movement of motor vehicles within our parks”.

Seeing west Greenwich given relief from rat-running is also likely to spark calls for curbs against drivers using back roads and minor roads in other parts of the borough, such as the streets east of Greenwich Park, and in Charlton, where residents have complained about traffic heading to and from the retail parks.

Any proposals would be implemented on an experimental basis for at least six months to allow the results to be evaluated. Residents can see more details and comment on the plans on the Greenwich Council website.

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