The Trial Goes On
You will notice electronic signs in the tunnel asking cyclists either not to cycle or to behave considerately. This is part of a trial of a system that will allow slow cycling through the tunnel.
For now, the system is only being technically tried
We expect the trial to go live in early 2017
This is because Byelaw changes take a long time and the current byelaws do not allow cycling at all.
Use the tunnel considerately whether you are a cyclist, pedestrian or have a scooter or skate-board and please be patient for the rest of 2016.
After all, we have waited 115 years to be allowed to cycle in this foot tunnel.
We welcome new projects and a new Honorary President for 2016
At its second AGM on 25 January, held in the Town Hall, fogwoft welcomed the anticipated completion of improvements to both tunnels.
These cover the long awaited “App” giving alerts of lift status, and a planned new sign in Cutty Sark Gardens interpreting the Greenwich Foot Tunnel. The Borough is leading an ambitious scheme to better manage movements in both tunnels. Some may remember that this stalled in 2014, due to lack of Transport for London funding, but is back on track to be completed this spring.
Long term fogwoft priorities include better signs, especially at Woolwich, and a better recognition of that tunnel’s location when the surrounding area is redeveloped.
Finally fogwoft honoured the designer of the Greenwich Tunnel and great Victorian engineer, Sir Alexander Binnie, by electing his great grandson, Chris Binnie, as Honorary President.
28 January 2016
New tunnel movement management project comes alive again
Fogwoft and others were briefed about the proposed “movement management system” for both tunnels at a meeting at the Woolwich Centre on 18 November. The new system will be trialled first in Woolwich tunnel, hopefully by Christmas, before being installed in the much more used Greenwich tunnel in the new year.
The system is experimental and could be a model for other short routes where pedestrians and cyclists share limited space. The design appears simple and would appear not to overload users with too much information. It’s best to see the concept as traffic lights that will reinforce when cyclists must dismount and walk because of heavy tunnel use.
Fogwoft is a partner to this project, funded mainly by Transport for London, as are the Boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Newham. The project, when coupled with behavioural change management measures and perhaps random enforcement, could both enhance the capacity of the tunnels and reduce the friction between tunnel users.
We are certain that the system will not please everyone. There will however be a carefully-designed “satisfaction study” after it goes live. Only new purpose-built pedestrian and cycling tunnels, like that in Newcastle, would satisfy the demand for truly sustainable river crossings.
We will post more detailed news on this very welcome project when further briefed.
22 November 2015
Recent data from the Royal Borough and comment from us can be viewed here : Foot Tunnel Lift Performance 2014-15
Fogwoft talks to the Royal Borough again
Fogwoft members, Mary Mills, Ian Blore and John Philips met with Tim Jackson and Mark Hodgson of Greenwich to discuss tunnel management. This followed a hiatus after the failed bid to TfL to install an experimental cycling management system in both tunnels.
The meeting ranged over reports on traffic counts and lift performance (which we will soon post on this site) to the proposed remote lift alert system and tunnel maintenance and signs.
The new remote lift status alert system should be active in 2 months. It will consist of a simple webpage available on any internet device, plus a twitter feed which will alert followers of any change in lift status. We hope to be involved in the trials, and whole-heartedly welcome the initiative. It will, at least, save some wasted journeys for tunnel users.
We agreed that the benches in the Greenwich tunnel, continually vandalised, not be replaced but asked for better masking of the scored graffiti on the wood panelling of those lifts.
A new sign outside entrances, perhaps to both tunnels, was discussed which may help tourists distinguish them from public toilets, and would contain heritage information. Another sign on the bomb damage part of the Greenwich tunnel was raised. There was agreement however to keep the space uncluttered as far as possible.
Fogwoft have heard that discussions between the Borough and Transport for London, to fund an experimental system to manage the increasing traffic in the tunnel, have been successful. The scheme will be fleshed out in consultation with us. It will however try to control cycling when many are using the tunnel but allow it when there are few users. We’ll keep you posted about this on this site and on twitter. We have agreed to be partners in the experiment. If you have strong feelings please send us an email.
Ian Blore, 1 June 2015
Woolwich south lift down for 8 days in August
The south lift of the Woolwich tunnel was out of action for 8 days (8 to 14 August) due to serious vandalism of its doors. We have called on Greenwich Council again to warn us early of serious outages for whatever reason. We have also asked for serious discussions about the use of the revamped CCTV systems in both tunnels. Could we also ask the public to either tweet or let us know about lift breakdown?
The serious outage at Woolwich marred a good month for all tunnel lifts as the most recent report of the Council shows.
Ian Blore, 2 September 2014
Both lifts working at Woolwich
On Saturday, 31st May, a group travelled through the Woolwich Foot Tunnel using the new lifts. They then took the Woolwich Ferry to admire the refurbished roofs and the lack of hoardings and scaffolding. New lights now need to be installed and the tunnel deep-cleaned. But everyone was relieved that, after nearly 5 years, the tunnel is working again.
Ian Blore, 5th June 2014
End of refurbishment works in sight
The scaffolding is now coming down at the Woolwich Tunnel and both sites are starting to be cleared. The Woolwich North lift went into service at the end of last week without incident, and the South lift there should be operating next week.
The green of the pre-patinated copper roof may look a little too green, but it’s as agreed as part of the listed building consent and the roofing contractor assures us that it will tone down a bit over the next few months.
At Greenwich the lamps in all the emergency lights (the ones with a little green LED in them) need to be replaced by warm lights. There are about sixty to do. The mix may look a little odd to start with but after a year should be getting close to a uniform light colour.
Static signage is going up at both sites except the lift status indicators, and a tunnel wash is scheduled in the Greenwich tunnel for next week. There has been some slippage in timing, of about 4 weeks in total. With the exception of the lighting at Woolwich (which has only just started) the works are coming to an end. We can all breathe a sigh of relief and move onto the next issues, which are those of considerate use and the visual enhancement of the tunnels.
Ian Blore, 24th May 2014
New lights are now being installed in the Greenwich Tunnel
The lights are being completed in sections from the north to south and will limit traffic through the work areas to single file during the works. The first section of new lights are bright white lights; the second section lights will be softer.
Could you comment which you prefer? We are in dialogue with the Borough Council about possible adjustment if the new lights are considered too bright or harsh. First, though we’d like your views. Post them on the blog or send us an email.
Ian Blore, Sec., Fogwoft
Stairwells Closed at Greenwich Tunnel
Both north and south stairwells will be closed for about 2 weeks between 8am and 3.30pm on weekdays. This is to allow the painting of the stairwells with least disruption.
Let us hope the lifts do not fail during this time.
14th March 2014
Tunnel Refurbishment Works Programme
(January- April 2014)
In outline, this is the programme the Royal Borough provided us with and is working to. It would be helpful if users could send fogwoft details if the programme appears to be behind schedule.
Woolwich – lifts
‘First fix’ complete by 2nd working week in January – final works / testing & commissioning to follow completion of roof installation (so lifts will appear to be installed but not working for two months or so)
Woolwich – roofs
Installation to start as soon as possible after Christmas. 12 week programme for each
Greenwich North – rotunda roof
To start immediately after Christmas. Basic 5/6 week installation period
Tunnel lighting improvements
Final programme to be agreed; works can be done without closing tunnels (pedestrians and bikes will need to be in single file past rolling secured works area), complete by April over about a 5 week period
Other Mechanical & Electrical Works
To be undertaken without tunnel closures
There are two areas remaining for instructions – one is remedial painting to Greenwich shafts and the other is around the final form of the remote alerts / info system for the lifts.