Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bellfield Close - the Movie

In a filmed report on the campaign by the Ramblers Association (with the support of Mayor Boris Johnson) to get Inner London Boroughs to produce a definitive map of all foot and cycle paths in their area, the BBC showed the rights of way between Old Dover and Charlton Roads, as an example of the consequences of the lack of such a map. Transport for London is willing to contribute to the cost of producing definitive maps.

Although the Council has repeatedly confirmed that rights of way exist on these paths, the comment of the Council on the report was that it was impossible to prove that a right of way existed on the route. Proof of the existence of such rights of way is indeed impossible without a definitive footpath map – which unlike every other borough in England and Wales outside Inner London, Greenwich has failed to produce. So the Thames Path and the Green Chain Walk are also unprotected in Greenwich.

The creation of a map would not in itself make the paths a right of way. Those who want them would have to make a case, and it would be possible for what the Council has described as the ‘illegally obstructed’ foot and cycle paths to be diverted to an alternative route quite separate from the estates, provided it was convenient and safe - for example for pupils of Invicta Primary school walking and cycling to school in accordance with Council policy; at present they are encouraged by the Council to go round the Standard Gyratory – where someone was tragically killed only last week. One possible route that has been proposed is a path cantilevered over the top of the A102M embankment. These foot and cycle rights of way have been described as 'a pivotal link' between several routes, which link the Olympic venues in Greenwich Park, Woolwich and the Dome/O2/North Greenwich Arena (as it is variously known).

London 2012 is promoting walking and cycling as key parts of its sustainable transport strategy. Encouraging and enabling spectators and workforce to walk or cycle to certain events for some or all of their trip will help to reduce the carbon impact of transport provision; provide a healthy journey option; create an additional sustainability experience for Games visitors; and assist in reducing demand for public transport in peak periods. The Olympic Delivery Authority is making investment in walking and cycling infrastructure to promote these transport modes for the Games.

What better candidate than filling the missing gap in the network between Old Dover and Charlton roads? The provision of an alternative to using the Standard gyratory would be a worthy legacy, and compensation for the problems the Olympics will bring to Blackheath.


M81162 said...

Quote [the BBC showed the rights of way between Old Dover and Charlton Roads]

That should read "Disputed rights of way" between Old Dover Road and Charlton Road.

Teri said...

I'd like a brick wall built on the path outside my flat... let's have brick walls built across all paths in the borough..

M81162 said...

The brick walls were not built across paths. They were built along a boundary which some people used to nip across as a short cut to the shops.

If you listen to the bully boy bicycle brigade, they seem to think that they can ride rough-shot over anyone's space so I don't think a couple of walls should be a problem to them.

Vanbrugh said...

The Council has stated that the rights of way are 'illegally obstructed" by the walls

M81162 said...

The council has since stated that they DO NOT recognise a right of way through Bellfield Close and there is NO illegal obstruction. As far as they are concerened that is the end of the matter.

Anonymous said...

Power to the people!!

Let's show these NIMBYs who's boss!!

Reclaim the streets!!!!


Anonymous said...

Vanbrugh can I kindly ask that you respect the Council's decision and the wishes of the residents of the area and leaves us all alone. This particular brand of bullying has gone too far and shame on you for using the lady who recently died as part of your warped arguments.

Vanbrugh said...

Neither I nor the Westcombe Society has taken a position on the route of the rights of way. As Anonymous knows, the Westcombe Society is discussing with the Olympic Authorities the possibility of diverting the rights of way so that they bypass the estates altogether, thus indeed leaving the residents alone.

I make no apology for trying to protect infants walking and cycling to Invicta Primary School from having to use the very dangerous Standard gyratory - the alternative route proposed by the Council but rejected by the residents of the area.

M81162 said...

Vanbrugh, what you are saying is not true.
The local cyclist groups along with the Westcombe Society and ramblers association have joined forces to wage an aggressive campaign against local residents in Bellfield Close, Dornberg Close and surrounding areas.
Vanbrugh, you consistently mislead readers of this site by stating things which you know to be false. For instance, constantly stating that the walls are an "illegal obstruction" when the council have since passed a vote that the walls are not illegal. Stating the same thing over and ober again does not make your statement true.
The Westcombe Society has had meetings with local cyclists and ramblers groups to discuss their plan of action but has so far failed to involve any of the affected residents in any of these discussions.
Does the Westcombe Society wish to take into account the wishes of local residents or is it only interested in serving the wants of it's members? After all it is a private members club.

Perhaps the Westcombe Society should make it's position clear and then stick to it!

Eeyore said...

Regardless of the rest of this thread, I'm really not sure where the concept of the Westcombe Society being a 'private member's club' comes from.

Membership of both the Executive Committee and the Environment & Planning Sub-Committee, of which I am a past Chair, are open to all residents of the Westcombe Park area via the public AGM held every year in the early summer.

I am also not aware of any private members clubs whose members organise, unpaid, at least one or two events every month of the year, nor who publish and deliver, free of charge, an award-winning monthly news broadsheet.