Greenwich road where drivers ‘plough through’ children crossing to be changed

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

A resident has said a “nightmare” junction in her area is so bad that drivers shout “heinous” abuse at pedestrians and call 12-year-old girls “fat wh***s”.

Kate Middleton, a concerned resident in Greenwich, said the junction between Vanbrugh Hill and Trafalgar Road is “inundated” with rat run drivers.

She said the motorists have been directed to the area in recent years by sat navs, and could be “extremely abusive” to locals.

At a Greenwich council highways committee meeting yesterday, Ms Middleton said: “I heard a driver not that long ago referring to two 12-year-old girls as, ‘Get out of my way, you fat wh***s.’”

The highways committee discuss the road plans at a Greenwich council meeting on January 11 (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

The resident said the junction is often so busy that disabled pedestrians and parents with buggies can’t cross the road to get to Maze Hill railway station, with drivers “ploughing through” schoolchildren while a green man is at the crossing.

She said: “[It’s] absolutely heinous abuse. I’ve been threatened with acid, it’s horrendous. For people trying to walk around the area, it’s a nightmare.”

The resident sent a petition to Greenwich council requesting traffic safety measures be added to the area, including a new crossing and action to be taken against those who regularly drive on the wrong side of the road.

She said: “More than 300 children walk [through the junction] to school and nursery each day. Hundreds and hundreds of people walk to Maze Hill station. And yet we are prioritising 200 or so drivers who are driving through the borough.”

Labour Councillor Maisie Richards Cottell, representing the East Greenwich ward, said the pedestrian crossing at the junction was “very poor” and that the main issue in the area was that cars often drive on the wrong side of the road and overtake traffic.

Andrew Burton, head of highways for Greenwich council, said at the meeting that officers had suggested two traffic islands be added to the junction, to allow for pedestrians to cross more easily.

Council documents also said local bus routes would make it impossible to add a width restriction for heavy vehicles going through the area.

Despite the petition originally asking for a zebra crossing and restrictions on heavy vehicles at the junction, Ms Middleton said she welcomed the officer’s recommendations as a “first step” towards the issue.

The highways committee voted unanimously to approve the council officers’ recommendations to add two traffic islands to the junction at Vanbrugh Hill and Trafalgar Road and conduct a safety audit on the junction, the details of which will be decided by Greenwich council on January 25.

Pictured top: Kate Middleton, a resident of East Greenwich, shown at the junction of Vanbrugh Hill and Trafalgar Road (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

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