Plumstead Road Promotion

SYSTRA have developed an 800m long, £1.2M road improvement scheme that benefits traffic, buses, cyclists and pedestrians in north Greenwich. Plumstead Road is a major link to cater for east-west movements in the northern half of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

As well as being a key route, the road will also be a link to the new Crossrail stations at Woolwich Arsenal and Abbey Wood. It had previously been upgraded to dual carriageway in the 1980s but suffered from heavy traffic at peak hours that also delayed buses. SYSTRA’s engineering team has been involved in the development of a new scheme from consultation to the production of a full detailed design ready for construction. The team have implemented innovative solutions in a project that has merged bus priority, cycle and public realm improvements together with sustainable drainage solutions.

SYSTRA involvement included the incorporation of feedback from the public into the design, development of full 3D modelling of the road, continuous assistance to the site supervisors and liaison with the contractor on site. In addition, SYSTRA has also been Principal Designer for the scheme, ensuring the completion of the appropriate communication and paperwork required, including health and safety and risk assessments.

TfL’s feedback on the completed scheme has been positive as it meets their aim of creating a healthy street environment with interventions that balance the needs of different road users. The SYSTRA Engineering team has worked in close relationship with the Royal Borough of Greenwich Transport Planning Team and Traffic Engineering Team, as well as the Contractor to ensure successful delivery of the project.

The scheme includes the extension of an existing bus lane to create a continuous corridor aimed at improving bus reliability and quality of journeys for both road and public transport users. The westbound carriageway has been widened using the central reservation to accommodate two standard traffic lanes, the bus lane and an adjacent segregated cycle track, to ensure the safety and comfort of cyclists.

The new layout includes existing bus bays being converted to ‘floating bus stops’ with improved amenities for bus users who now have dedicated waiting areas where they will not impede other pedestrians. This is particularly important in areas where multiple shops and other businesses generate considerable volumes of pedestrians. The footway areas were also repaved to remove the previously existing inconsistent surfaces that gave an unattractive appearance to the whole area.

The cycle lane was designed to current London Cycling Design Standards, featuring 2m of width for most of its length and innovative solutions such as raised zebra style crossings for pedestrians to reach the floating bus stops.

Existing pedestrian crossings were also upgraded to allow for increased pedestrians flows and a new public realm area was created in the previously existing overgrown central reservation. The new plaza area has improved the footway areas with improved greenery and included the implementation of a sustainable drainage system beneath the tree pits. Thus, the widened impermeable carriageway area has been compensated by this new drainage system.

Along the scheme all existing side road entries were assessed and improved if necessary. A new entry treatment was implemented providing a consistent approach along the road and marking the start of the existing 20mph zone in the residential areas south of Plumstead Road. Tactile paving was also provided at all crossing points as a further improvement for pedestrians. To raise awareness of the presence of cyclists, green surface treatment was laid at all minor junctions as well as poles with reflective strips at the start of the segregated cycle tracks.