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Congestion fears in Greenwich ahead of Olympics
Congestion fears are building as Greenwich prepares for around 23,000 Olympic spectators a day with road closures and parking restrictions.
Hoards of visitors expected to attend the horse-riding events at Greenwich Park have led London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and Greenwich Council to agree on the traffic plans.
Disruption to traffic will include closed-off roads, increased traffic light times, and a one-way system round the town centre.
Chair of civic group Greenwich Society Richard Baglin said: “We are worried about disruption to traffic in the town centre.
“It looks quite a tall order to move that number of people through.”
The plan forecasts tailbacks along Creek Road to Deptford Church, road closures at Charlton Way, Blackheath Avenue and The Avenue and constraints at Prince Charles Road roundabout and Maze Hill.
Residents group the Westcombe Society voiced concerns about the “significant impact” of these measures and said there were “unacceptable levels” of congestion during an Olympic test run.
The council is urging residents to avoid driving as much as possible and to use public transport only when necessary.
Lead member for Games Time Traffic and Transport Councillor Dick Quibell said: “The message is ‘Don’t travel unless you have to’.
“If everyone disregarded our advice, people would be stuck for hours.”
Cllr Quibell moved to reassure residents saying there would be fewer vehicles in the town centre because cars would be filtered in gradually.
He said one way the traffic would be managed would be longer red light timings at traffic lights.
Parking restrictions for any area within a 30 minute walk from the Olympic venue will also come into effect in a bid to “protect residents”, according to the council.
Parking permits will apply from 8.30am to 7pm every day and will be specific for the area in which people live.
Tokens will be issued for residents to give to visitors and licence plates will be checked by official vehicles to ensure local people are receiving their usual spaces near their homes.
Traffic disruption can be expected from July 7 when Greenwich Park closes along with Charlton Way, Blackheath Avenue and The Avenue.
The plans were approved at a planning committee on Thursday.