Greenwich and Bexley Green Party Local Green Party in South-East London. Sign up to our newsletter for local information! Sun, 03 Dec 2023 13:03:04 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Greenwich and Bexley Green Party 32 32 Green Party concerned about potential closure of valued Woolwich nursery Tue, 05 Dec 2023 20:00:00 +0000 Read More... from Green Party concerned about potential closure of valued Woolwich nursery

Greenwich Green Party has learned that the Under 1 Roof Nursery is in danger of closing down, leaving 74 kids without a place to go and parents left in the lurch during the lead up to Christmas.

Photo: Under 1 Roof premises in Royal Arsenal

From The Murky Depths was the first to report about the struggles that families and the local community are facing to try and keep the nursery open. The nursery has had only six weeks’ notice to vacate their building even though they have all the permissions they need. This sudden closure would not only be bad news for the children, but also the valued staff who might lose their jobs.

Karin Tearle, the Green Party’s candidate for Greenwich & Lewisham in the Greater London Assembly election next year, is appalled by the sudden threat to this valued community resource.

”Major development projects such as the one in Royal Arsenal should have provided sufficient space for a nursery,” she said. “ I’m appalled this nursery is under threat of eviction just before Christmas. Childcare provision affecting dozens of children and parents shouldn’t be at the whim of landlords.”

“We need to make sure that housing development also comes with funding for facilities that benefit the local people that live there. Community Infrastructure Levy is a charge made to property developers to ensure some of their profits go back to facilities for the local area, but the current level of Community Infrastructure Levy rates in Greenwich are a gift for developers. Greenwich Council has some of the lowest rates in London and a recent Council review has not recommended raising them to the level they should be at.”

Greenwich Green Party is appealing for local residents to sign the petition to help put pressure on the landlord to change tack and keep the nursery in place.

The Green Party’s support for Under 1 Roof Nursery aligns with the Greens’ broader policy on childcare. Many parents are facing an impossible situation – they can’t afford not to work, but childcare costs are so high that they can’t afford to go to work. We want to see 35 hours of free childcare for all from the age of nine months so that every child gets the care they need and every parent can go to work if they want to.

You can read more about Green Party social policy at our policy website.

Greenwich Green Party celebrates victory of Cllr. Lorna Jane Russell in Camden by-election Sat, 02 Dec 2023 08:00:00 +0000 Read More... from Greenwich Green Party celebrates victory of Cllr. Lorna Jane Russell in Camden by-election

The Green Party has clinched a remarkable victory in the Highgate ward by-election in Camden, securing our continuing representation in the north London borough council. 

Portrait of Sian Berry and Lorna Jane Russell carrying Green Party paraphernalia
Re-elected: Lorna Jane Russell (right) stands with former Green Party co-leader and Brighton Pavilion candidate Siân Berry

Lorna Jane Russell’s resounding win — with twice the votes of her nearest rival — represents a steadfast defence of the seat previously held by Sian Berry AM, who resigned after many years of service as councillor to fight next year’s general election in Brighton Pavilion. Highgate has kept Green representation in its ward since Maya de Souza first made a breakthrough in 2006.

This victory is a testament to the unwavering efforts of grassroots supporters to keep a distinctive Green voice on Camden council. With two Labour councillors and our own Cllr. Russell sharing the responsibility for the ward, voters have agreed that having Green Party representation in the governance of the community is a positive — and rejected single party dominance.

Cllr. Russell’s journey from once being a Labour councillor and deputy mayor to her current role as Green Party councillor carries an echo of our local representative’s political journey. 

Karin Tearle, Greenwich and Lewisham Green Party Candidate for the Greater London Assembly (GLA) election next year, said

“I’m absolutely delighted Lorna won in Highgate. The fact she was a Labour councillor really resonates with me because I also was once a long-time Labour supporter and voter, but like Lorna I also got increasingly frustrated with the fact that majority Labour councils just don’t listen to local concerns.”

Like Cllr. Russell, Greenwich Green Party calls for greater emphasis on consulting residents within council decision-making, and providing effective opposition to single party dominance. 

Why not follow Lorna Jane Russell and Karin Tearle on X (formerly Twitter).

Response to East Greenwich and West Greenwich neighbourhood management project — Stage 2 consultation Thu, 05 Oct 2023 20:21:36 +0000 Read More... from Response to East Greenwich and West Greenwich neighbourhood management project — Stage 2 consultation

Greenwich Green Party welcomes the bold proposals put forward by Greenwich Council in its West Greenwich and East Greenwich Neighbourhood Management Project consultation.

For both the West and East Greenwich projects we support ‘Option A’ which would limit all through-traffic to essential vehicles and resident vehicles within specified areas (all addresses would remain accessible to residents at all times).

West Greenwich ‘Option A’ to remove all through-traffic
East Greenwich ‘Option A’ to stop all through-traffic

For too long both neighbourhoods have experienced excessive traffic, dangerous air pollution, and roads that are unsafe for children walking to school. Option A is a chance to tackle this across both areas and create safer, healthier and happier neighbourhoods.

In the East Greenwich proposals, Option B risks creating a funnel of traffic on Vanbrugh Hill that risks child safety, especially during journeys to and from school.

Greenwich Green Party believes these measures are important for child safety on our roads as much as they are about curbing air pollution. We are pleased to see that Greenwich Council is prioritising safety and has engaged with schools to encourage families to switch to walking, cycling and other active travel options.

We encourage Greenwich Council and local communities to work together to ensure that:

  • The projects do not have a detrimental impact on disabled people, older adults and others with specific access needs
  • The projects are constantly monitored and adapted to address any specific challenges, such as high traffic levels in neighbouring areas

We hope all residents and businesses will get behind these proposals. This will take an exciting step to make both East Greenwich and West Greenwich better places to live.

Finally, we urge elected Councillors to show leadership and advocate for the benefits of the proposals fully and honestly. At the moment officials and campaigners experience hostility from anti-traffic reduction campaigners who are unrepresentative of the local population. Proactive leadership can stop the debate being forced onto the defensive by angry voices, which have been boosted by the Conservative government’s recent rhetoric. 

Response to Greenwich Council Community Infrastructure Levy consultation Wed, 20 Sep 2023 07:59:45 +0000 Read More... from Response to Greenwich Council Community Infrastructure Levy consultation

A Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a charge collected from property developers and landlords who create housing and commercial space, used for the benefit of the local community where the development is sited.

This is Greenwich and Bexley Green Party’s official response to Greenwich Council’s consultation upon proposed changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy.

Our Response

The suggested Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charges are too low and do not strike the right balance between viability and local infrastructure needs.

The Royal Borough has seen sustained growth in housing prices of over 25% since the last CIL Review in 2015 (see figure 2.13.1 of the council’s viability assessment).

Chart showing increase in average house prices in Greenwich increasing from around £225,000 in 2007 to around £450,000 in 2022.

Much of this increase has been driven by significant amounts of very expensive housing in riverside parts of the Borough.

The Council’s proposal recovers only 1.5% of the sale price for community investment

The viability assessment shows sales value per square foot reaching between £800 and £900 per square foot across the riverside areas of Greenwich Creekside, East Greenwich, Peninsula and Woolwich Arsenal.[^1]

Converting to square metres for convenience (1 sq. m = 10.7639 sq. ft.) this is a value of over £9000 per square metre in riverside parts of the Royal Borough. The Council’s suggested new Zone 1 Residential CIL rate of £150 per metre in these riverside areas is simply inadequate given the scale of profits that property developers are making in these places. 

Sales value per square foot in Greenwich, indicating levels between £550/sq.ft. in the eastern and southern parts, to £900 per square foot in Greenwich Peninsula.

The suggested CIL rate also underestimates the level of community need for infrastructure investment. Riverside areas have seen very high rates of development in recent years, but this has not been matched by adequate investment in the community.

Local residents have faced many years of sustained disruption and squeezed infrastructure. Parks and recreational areas have not been invested in and disability, older adults’ and youth services have been overstretched. We anticipate further strain on community infrastructure, because more developments are planned in these areas over the next five years (especially in Greenwich Creekside along Deptford Creek, Morden Wharf at East Greenwich and in Greenwich Peninsula).  

Greenwich and Bexley Green Party believe a higher rate of CIL should be instituted and collected across a wider area of the Borough:

  • We propose that a more appropriate balance between viability and community need could be struck in riverside areas by a ‘Zone 1a’ Residential CIL rate of £250 per square metre. This should apply in Greenwich Park, Greenwich Creekside, East Greenwich, Peninsula and Woolwich Arsenal wards. It would ensure a CIL rate to sales value ratio of around 1:10, which is a reasonable benchmark figure used elsewhere in London. 
  • We propose that the Charlton Village and Riverside ward be moved to Zone 1. This anticipates the scale of riverside housing growth expected there.
  • We propose that Abbey Wood be moved to Zone 1. The impact of the Elizabeth Line station and the associated housing growth needs to be taken into account in collecting CIL rates. 

The comparatively low level of CIL collected by Greenwich can be seen clearly in the following chart:

Chart displaying CIL rates collected by different London boroughs as of August 2022.

The Council has no proposal for adjusting CIL rates on other land uses

It is disappointing to see no change proposed to student accommodation, hotel supermarkets and superstores and retail warehousing CIL rates.

The value of land in Greenwich for these purposes has increased considerably since 2015 because of general housing price growth, the introduction of the Elizabeth Line and the development of the Silvertown Tunnel for HGV transportation.

CIL rates should be uplifted in these categories. This will strike a better balance between the increased profit made by these land uses and the impacts of the increased associated activity on local residents.

For example, the epidemic of new retail warehouses that are planned around Peninsula ward to take advantage of the Silvertown Tunnel will result in much more disruption for local residents: worsened air pollution, increased traffic, increased noise levels. CIL should be increased to pay for mitigation measures to address this.

  • We propose that the ‘all other uses’ CIL category be split into a ‘high impact other use’ category with increased CIL rates and a ‘low impact other use’ category with flat CIL rates. This will help promote sustainable local businesses, while ensuring that compensation is secured where land is used in ways that do not contribute to achieving the council’s own environmental transformation goals. Example of high impact uses would include large car parks, lorry parks and high-emission industrial and retail activities, including fast food takeaway businesses relying on motor vehicle transport. The ‘high impact other use’ category would also reflect the increased impact on local residents.

The Council has allowed the gap between community infrastructure and new development to become a chasm

Overall, the CIL charging review should be seen in the context of a decade when the Royal Borough has failed to review its CIL rates in a timely manner.

Failing to recover proportionate CIL has resulted in gap between new development and the necessary mitigatory infrastructure widening in communities across the Borough.

Ambitious measures must be introduced as swiftly as possible to urgently close this gap, so that residents can enjoy the health, sustainable transport, youth and green infrastructure facilities they deserve.

Local activist Karin Tearle selected as Green Party candidate for Greenwich and Lewisham in 2024 GLA selections Wed, 23 Aug 2023 07:21:49 +0000 Read More... from Local activist Karin Tearle selected as Green Party candidate for Greenwich and Lewisham in 2024 GLA selections

Karin Tearle has been selected by local Green Parties in Greenwich and Lewisham as prospective candidate for the Greenwich and Lewisham constituency in next year’s Greater London Assembly elections.

Voters will go to the polls in May 2024 to elect a new London Mayor and 25 members of the Greater London Assembly, of which 3 currently represent the Green Party.

Karin Tearle secured 38.2% of the vote when Greenwich Greens came exceptionally close to winning their first Council seat in East Greenwich in 2022. She has been an active member of the cross-party Stop The Silvertown Tunnel Coalition since 2017, a regular organiser of litter picks in Greenwich, and recently attracted London-wide media coverage for her campaign to improve Cutty Sark DLR station. She is a former owner of a small business in Greenwich Town Centre, and was photographer for the book 111 Places In Greenwich That You Shouldn’t Miss.

Karin Tearle said:

“I’m excited to be standing to represent Greenwich and Lewisham alongside so many fantastic Green Party candidates across London. We have so many ideas and so much energy about how we can make London a better place. Greenwich and Lewisham have been represented by the same Labour Assembly Member since the London Assembly was created in 2000, and it’s time for a change. Electing a Green Party London Assembly member for Greenwich and Lewisham would send a huge message that the Silvertown Tunnel should be used for sustainable travel, not increased traffic and polluting HGVs. It would also open up both Boroughs to new ideas to tackle the housing crisis, cost of living, and climate crisis locally.”

The Green Party’s candidate to be London Mayor, Zoë Garbett, said:

“I’m really excited that Karin Tearle has been selected as our Greenwich & Lewisham Constituency Candidate for the elections in May. Karin is hard-working, listens to residents and has a track record of holding the Mayor to account on the disastrous Silvertown Road Tunnel which she has opposed from the start.  Karin would make a fantastic Assembly Member and do a great job representing residents.”

Green Party Deputy Leader and London Assembly Member, Zack Polanski, said:

“This is excellent news for Londoners in Greenwich and Lewisham. Karin has been a tireless campaigner on both environmental and social justice issues – and has brilliantly opposed the Silvertown Tunnel. By voting Green in May, local residents will be backing a hard working, effective campaigner to represent them inside City Hall.”

Current Green Party London Assembly Member, Sian Berry, said:

“People in Greenwich and Lewisham need an Assembly Member who will work to speak up for them and fight to stop the damage that would be caused by opening the Silvertown Road Tunnel as a funnel for increased traffic, HGVs and pollution. I have seen the hard work and creative campaigning Karin has already put into this issue for many years, and I know she will be a fantastic candidate who deserves your vote next May.”

“Enforce the highest standards in new developments”, Greens tell Greenwich Council Fri, 14 Apr 2023 14:22:12 +0000 Read More... from “Enforce the highest standards in new developments”, Greens tell Greenwich Council


Greenwich Green Party members have challenged Greenwich Council to be more directive to developers in the Borough, and not let them get away with avoiding the highest of standards for new residential and commercial sites in the Borough.

Greenwich Council has recently finished consulting on new planning guidance (known as the ‘Urban Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)’).

In a response sent to Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Cllr Aidan Smith, and senior Greenwich planning officers, we have commended the new guidance for commitments to sustainability and appropriate development in a number of key areas, including:

  • Flood mitigation
  • Biodiversity
  • Carbon impact and climate resilience
  • Trees, vegetation and public space

However, we are concerned that language used in the document only suggests, rather than requires, developers to adhere to these principles.

Greenwich Green Party member George Edgar (Blackheath Westcombe) said,

“We believe the new planning guidance would be considerably strengthened by making these references more directive. They are mostly phrased in terms of a recommendation to consider issues, or to follow guidance “as far as practicable” or “whenever possible”. That risks allowing developers to avoid potential additional costs by arguing that following the guidelines is not practical in their case, and it is easy then for the policy to be effectively undermined. We strongly recommend that Greenwich Council take a more proactive position, for example by saying it will not approve developments that don’t commit to supporting biodiversity, improving active travel and reducing climate impact to specific high standards.”

Greenwich Green Party Coordinator John Holmes (East Greenwich) added,

​​”Greenwich faces a housing crisis where many residents, including key workers, cannot find anywhere in the Borough that they can afford to live. This new guidance touches on the question of affordable housing but is not specific. But Greenwich must be more ambitious and set strict targets for developers on the amount of affordable housing that is incorporated into both new developments and regeneration projects.”

Read the full letter below.

Greenwich Green News – Spring 2023 Thu, 06 Apr 2023 14:13:05 +0000 Read More... from Greenwich Green News – Spring 2023


Download the above two images to access the edition of Greenwich Green News delivered to households in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in Spring 2023.

Willows, revetment, waste contractor and CGI fake trees: the Thames Path in East Greenwich Thu, 16 Feb 2023 18:02:22 +0000 Read More... from Willows, revetment, waste contractor and CGI fake trees: the Thames Path in East Greenwich

by Fiona Moore

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is a-trees-1-1-1024x583.jpg

Our beloved Thames Path willows will stay – for now. The work to save them isn’t over.

A proposal to fell the graceful row of willows along the Thames Path north of Morden Wharf went to Greenwich council’s planning board last week. It formed part of a plan to redo flood defences.

After questioning from councillors and objections from EGRA, the Greenwich Society, Greenwich Greens and individuals, the board voted unanimously to send the proposal back for a two-month reworking, to explore options for saving the willows and widening the footpath.

This story started with waste company Sivyer, who rent the area behind the wall on your inland side as you pass the willows. Sivyer applied to remove public access to the big jetty and bring in barges to offload construction debris. They claim this would reduce their filthy lorry traffic, but the debris would travel on two conveyor belts over the Thames Path.

Over 140 public objections were sent in, citing danger, noise, dust and loss of trees.

The site as it is now, outlined in red:

Then it emerged that the flood defences are deteriorating. The landowners, property developers Landsec / their subsidiary U+I, need to rebuild the revetment; their plan includes felling all the trees and slightly widening the footpath. Greenwich planning officials recommended this to the board. But their paper belittles less tangible factors: the environmental and recreational value of the path, the beauty of this rare green stretch, lack of tree cover in East Greenwich, and local residents’ views. No recognition that this iconic national footpath is now much walked, cycled and photographed.

The willows are categorised as ‘low quality’, ‘unremarkable’ – an act of verbal vandalism, perhaps to make real life vandalism acceptable?

Luckily a tree expert who works with Natural England was in the room. He’d been down to have a look. Only three of the 11 willows, he said, might damage the revetment. Most looked good for some years yet. When will planners stop calling saplings ‘replacements’ for mature trees? These ‘replacements’ are a meagre row of six in boxes on the top shelf of a new, layered revetment: white and grey willow and osier, of which only white willow would grow to a substantial tree. No weeping willows whose low fronds make lovely reflections in the water. (Previous papers said boxed-in trees would be unstable and need coppicing.) Lower down the revetment, blackthorn and alder buckthorn bushes would be planted, at the mercy of Uber boats’ wash that’s ruined the reed-beds downstream.

Officials had the nerve to write: ‘the green character of the existing application site is considered to be maintained’.

Maybe they were misled by their own presentation’s CGI picture (below) of the future riverfront, showing the Sivyer site bursting with imaginary trees – that’s all the trees behind the wall. They were told off in a running gag of sarcastic questions.

As for the narrow footpath, widening would be welcome. But the plan limits itself to between wall and river, too narrow for good practice, with a dangerous 2.34m pinch point at the bend. Sivyer and various authorities would have to be consulted to move the wall inland, because their site is protected for wharfside activities. So no-one tried. Would U+I and the planners sacrifice our public realm for an easy life? (Para 13.13 of document 22/3460/F.)

East Greenwich residents say: Sivyer have already encroached beyond their back boundary so let’s take something off the front!

Council officials and U+I were visibly unhappy with the vote. To be fair, they have a difficult job satisfying everyone from Port of London Authority to Environment Agency. But that’s no excuse for a plan that treats our treasured path like an industrial back alley. Why were they so far from understanding how councillors would react?

Several councillors including Peninsula ward’s David Gardner and chair Gary DIllon asked questions that officials and developer struggled to answer. Perhaps planning officials might change behaviour if the new board, in place since May 2022, continues to show its teeth.

The planning department reportedly suffers from low morale and high turnover. How was the young official managed, who presented the plan? Did anyone coach him that the letter of planning law is not sufficient? Surely the top role of our expensive Greenwich chief executive is to lead and manage the staff. Is she value for money? Are senior Greenwich planners practising what they preach?

Anyone who’s walked the Thames Path westwards, on either bank, will know the infuriating lack of access to the riverbank – 80’s & 90’s developments with exclusive river fronts, a legacy of Thatcherism yet also of Labour councils. In Greenwich in the 2020s, public access is mostly good.

Our section is in transition from industry to national trail. The planning board postponed Sivyer’s request for jetty and conveyor belts, which depends on the riverbank repairs (and may be linked to Silvertown Tunnel waste). Councillors did mention the pitfalls: conveyor belts rattling overhead, potentially leaking poison dust or even masonry, above a path with cyclists, pedestrians, pushchairs… This already happens at the waste site downriver beyond the Yacht Club, though with lower footfall and wider path. Once there was industrial activity all round Greenwich Peninsula, some of it scary, and few path users; now, overhead conveyors look like a dangerous anomaly.

Sivyer are not popular locally. Unlike modern waste processors they work outdoors without proper precautions for potentially harmful dust, in a now densely inhabited area. They pile stuff up above the footpath wall. This may flout height limits – imposed to stop excess weight damaging the embankment!

Everyone agrees the river bank must be secured. U+I, ordered to act by the Environment Agency, said their plan would cost £3-4m. (Landsec made £875m profit before tax in 2022.)

There’s got to be a risk they will return after two (or more) months wringing their hands, claiming there’s no other viable solution. Or they offer cosmetic changes.

What could or would the planning board do then? A cynic might claim the board’s vote of resistance was for show. We and other local groups will stay with the issue. Watch this space.

Royal Borough of Greenwich Transport Strategy: Response from Greenwich Green Party Fri, 23 Sep 2022 12:15:56 +0000 Read More... from Royal Borough of Greenwich Transport Strategy: Response from Greenwich Green Party

Greenwich Green Party has submitted a full response to the Council’s Transport Strategy consultation. The response can be accessed here.

Is the era of the car over in Greenwich? Fri, 22 Jul 2022 09:38:30 +0000 Read More... from Is the era of the car over in Greenwich?

by Fiona Moore

Anyone who walked or cycled past a queue of idling vehicles in the scorching sun of Monday or Tuesday this week will have felt the extra heat they generate – even beyond that thrown up by tarmac.  

The heatwave brought home again how urgent it is that we cut carbon emissions and pollution in Greenwich.  That means making walking, cycling and public transport highly attractive options, while reducing incentives to drive.  Greenwich Council’s carbon neutral plan aims to reduce car miles driven by 45% by 2030 (from 2015 levels), and vans and lorries by 10%.  This is good, and ambitious, and fits with London-wide plans.  Also with social justice: the lower Londoners’ income, the less likely they are to own a car. And it’s deprived communities, especially communities of colour, who suffer the worst air pollution.

How to achieve the targets?  We’d rather not start from here: car ownership increased 9% in Greenwich in the decade pre-pandemic, and the number of miles driven in the borough went up around 125 million (yes, million). Silvertown Tunnel threatens to double cross-river traffic, worst of all adding big HGVs (which Blackwall Tunnel can’t take).  The bitter fight over the West Greenwich LTN shows how even modest changes can get scorched off the map by a few aggressive voices and political rivalry.  And we belong to a networked city, subject to decisions by Transport for London (TfL), whims of national policy and desire lines carved by out-of-borough drivers following satnav shortcuts.

It comes down to clear priorities, and the political will to implement them.  A 2018 study by Kings College London and others showed that the lungs of children exposed to air pollution in Greenwich and some neighbouring boroughs averaged 5% smaller than normal, leaving them vulnerable to life-long health problems.  Multiple studies worldwide show we’re in a climate emergency.  What do we care more about as a society, drivers’ convenience or the survival chances of our children?  

There’s plenty we can do.  Below are some ideas from Greenwich Greens.  We will take them to the Council.  Boroughs such as Hackey are leading the way, not to mention cities such as Paris; change is achievable, if the will is there.

1.  A massive shift in attitudes.  Driving petrol and diesel vehicles needs to be equated with smoking, so that it becomes aspirational to use clean transport, promoting clean air and cutting carbon emissions, rather than to buy a car.  The Council must lead in borough-wide education, working with schools, hospitals, businesses and community, environmental and transport groups.  This will only succeed if we implement a range of practical measures.  

2.  Road pricing.  TfL’s financial crisis is at last forcing it to look at city-wide road pricing.  Greenwich could bid for some of the potential income for local transport improvements, including much of this list.

3.  Climate safe and child safe streets across the borough: with traffic calming and reduction, road closures e.g. around schools, street planting and community spaces.  Working with communities, especially schools and parents.  To be planned borough-wide.  Those who need to drive, e.g. the elderly or disabled or tradespeople who can’t use cargo bikes, should be able to get around more easily.

4.  No bus cuts.  Public transport must be fiercely defended.  Exploit the Elizabeth Line: work with TfL and neighbouring boroughs to maximise bus links to Abbey Wood and Woolwich, to make it easier for people to get the Liz Line than drive from Kent and Outer London through Greenwich on their way into town.  

5.  Bike hire schemes – for electric bikes, cargo bikes and push-bikes – there’s huge pent-up demand.  Promote with interviews with people who use them.  Promote cargo bike deliveries with business incentives.

6.  Invest in cycling infrastructure.  More borough-wide segregated cycle lanes.  Wider pavements – for bike lanes, not parking. Cycle storage for blocks of flats to meet pent-up demand.  More bike racks in public areas, e.g. for shoppers and at transport hubs e.g. the Liz Line stations.

7.  Lobby strongly to stop the Silvertown Tunnel; and/or lobby for its change of use to public transport and all kinds of bikes.  At the moment there’s nowhere for cargo bikes to cross the river, and other cyclists depend on the foot tunnel lifts which rarely work.  

8.  A firm No to new lorry depot plans – for the Council’s planning committee.  Silvertown Tunnel is spawning these and they would fill our streets with HGVs. It’s bad enough already…

Blackwall Lane junction with Trafalgar Road this week. Photo by Laura Jane Sessions

9.  Enforce rules for vehicles that park illegally on yellow lines and cycle lanes.  (Income stream for carbon reduction measures.)  Local businesses and big companies (e.g. Amazon which is trialling e-cargo bikes in Hackney) need to get savvy.  So does the Council with joined-up thinking on the link between parking, last mile delivery and traffic reduction.   

10.  Parking fees.  Charge drivers more to park eg at Falconwood station and other hotspots where people drive in from outer boroughs.  Incentivise reporting of illegal parking.  Higher parking fees for car owners, especially SUVs, to reflect environmental impact – currently there’s no financial incentive to give up / not buy a car.  Ban concreting/tarmacing of front gardens (heat, flood and biodiversity risks; encourages more car purchases).  

11.  When air pollution is over WHO levels, the Council alongside the London Mayor needs to have an emergency plan to reduce vehicle use.   

12.  Lobby TfL for fair fares.  Greenwich residents not near the DLR or North Greenwich tube rely on national rail, paying “double fares” relative to those in better connected parts of London. 

13.  Extend the DLR to Thamesmead and Eltham. 

14.  Electric vehicles are not the solution!  Their tyres and exhaust emit particulates highly damaging to health.  Manufacture is carbon heavy and uses rare minerals often mined by workers in developing countries who face appalling labour conditions.  

15.  Plant more street trees.  They slow traffic down; they filter air pollution, reduce heat drastically and contribute to communities’ well-being.  More trees in public spaces, such as Lambarde Square and Cutty Sark, to green and cool them.  More mini-parks and trees for council estates that don’t have them, working with residents.  Biodiversity and greening of the borough is a big issue we will come back to.  

Fiona Moore, Greenwich & Bexley Green Party

Image credit Harry Farnhill Bain