On the 12th of January, a stretch of the Thames Path in front of the Lovell's Wharf development was re-opened with a temporary path.
|This was the first diversion a walker hit heading downstream from Greenwich Town Centre. There are two phases to the development; the upstream one is complete and work continues downstream.
This, first picture shows the transition of the path between the completed phase and the one on which work is going on. You can just about see the temporary path heading down the left hand side of the hoarding, together with the start of a cycle lane on the new path. It's not clear whether the temporary path is intended to be shared between cyclists and pedestrians; it is about 4m wide, but joins to a much narrower (~2m) existing path.
The other thing to notice about this photo is the railings to the left; The new path does not abut the Thames wall and there is an area of immature planting between the path and the river.
Why doesn't the Thames Path go along the Thames?
The old Thames Path used to run along the river wall. The remains of this path can be seen in the image to the right
At a meeting with local historian and Greenwich Councillor Mary Mills on the 20th January 2013, I was told that the Environment Agency (EA) stipulates that the path must be separated from the river by an area of planting, hence the planting shown above.
Presumably the EA has their reasons for this, although it doesn't seem to apply in very much of the rest of the Thames Path. However, the developers seem to have taken it to an extreme. The next photo shows just how wide the plant bed is.
Yes, that's a fully-grown man in the corner of the railings. The temporary path runs about 10m from the riverside, separated from it by two sets of ugly railings.
So, we welcome the reopening of this stretch of the path, removing a bland three-sided diversion around the development, but we have the following reservations:
- Why doesn't the path run along its historic line, adjacent to the river?
- Will the permanent path past the downstream block be closer to the river than the temporary one?
- Is there really a necessity for two rows of fencing and plants separating path users from the superb views across to Docklands and the City?
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