Refurbishment Works on Schedule
Fogwoft heard of the successful start of the tunnel refurbishment works at a meeting with the Royal Borough on 9th December. Assistant Director of Transportation Tim Jackson, accompanied by cabinet member Cllr. Denise Hyland, briefed three fogwoft representatives about the first six weeks of works to complete the long-delayed renovation.
All tunnels users should be aware that:
• the works and tunnels would be inspected daily except for Christmas Day
• emergency telephone cover would continue to be provided every day of the holiday
• improved lighting (as well as other mechanical and electrical work) would begin after the Christmas break; this work would require sections of the tunnels to be constricted to one lane over 4 to 5 weeks
• the Woolwich lift gear work has begun in both North and South entrances; it is expected to be completed before further work is undertaken but the lifts will not be put into operation whilst that work continues.
Fogwoft Chair, Mary Mills, as well as John Phillips and Ian Blore welcomed the progress and especially the shorter-than-expected night time closures of the Greenwich tunnel. Work to the Greenwich tunnel stairwell is complete and north dome renovation underway. Surface cleaning of the Woolwich tunnel has been finished. Fogwoft will be consulted about future routine cleaning programmes and supported a decision to deep clean the existing tiles. The alternative is to retile or line both tunnels. Most comments on our media felt that deep cleaning should initially be tried. The results, and the effects of unflattering new stronger lighting, would be assessed in spring.
The recent outage of eleven days of the Greenwich south lift was caused by a mechanical fault (specifically a miniscule tilting of the car). Since its correction under warranty neither lift has caused problems but both continue to be monitored and the Council are developing a performance information report that could be made public in the future. The decision to install a more standard lift at Woolwich is entirely sensible given the history of the Greenwich tunnel lifts.
Completion of all but very minor works to both tunnels is expected in Spring. In the meantime a schedule of key completion dates would be provided by the Royal Borough to be publicised by fogwoft. An inspection of each tunnel would be arranged for the new year for fogwoft representatives.
Those at the meeting looked beyond the immediate refurbishment. Fogwoft would package some options for visually enhancing the tunnels. The Council welcomed suggestions from fogwoft on the best mechanism for considering the various options. These may be considered for internal or external finance. Meanwhile the Royal Borough would conduct a short usage count in January at the Greenwich tunnel distinguishing between pedestrians, walking and non-walking cyclists and baby buggies and mobility scooters. The information, although taken at a low use time of the year, would provide valuable information in discussing future considerate use policies.
[Several technical terms in the text were suggested by Tim Jackson of RBG]
Refurbishment Works on Schedule