As Caroline Pidgeon has already reported here Greenwich council has an appalling record in communicating with the 1.5 million people who use the Greenwich and Woolwich foot tunnels every year.
While there was clearly an urgent need to undertake full refurbishment works Greenwich council must; learn from previous mistakes and improve the information that it gives to commuters, make sure that both projects are being adequately managed and work as quickly as possible to get both tunnels back into public use.
Both of these tunnels have now been closed or partially closed since April 2009 and local residents and commuters are rightly getting fed up of the continuing delays and campaign of miss and inaccurate information that the council is providing them with. Greenwich council has a long track record of missing deadlines, giving confusing and inaccurate information to the travelling public and not responding to information requests.
It now looks as if both these tunnels will remain either partially or fully closed for some time.
The Greenwich foot tunnel:
It now appears that the long promised completion of the Greenwich Foot Tunnel by September 2011 (as stated for a long time on Greenwich Council’s website) will now be missed. The wording on the council website has now been changed to simply read “Lifts remain closed and dates for fully reopening the foot tunnel will be published at the earliest opportunity”.
No further information can be found anywhere on when this work might be completed, which has already been delayed by several months. Greenwich council needs to give clear and accurate information about when they expect these works to be fully completed and reasons for the continuing delay.
The Woolwich Foot tunnel:
It has also come to light that there will be further delays in completing the Woolwich Foot and at the same time no detailed information is being provided by the council as for the reasons for the delays, or when the upgrade will finally be completed.
The council’s web site simply states, “Regrettably, the additional unplanned repairs at Woolwich make it impossible for the lifts to be used by the public while the stairs are being renewed. Information on re-opening times will be published here when confirmed.”
The Woolwich tunnel remains completely closed beyond the planned completion date and no date for when the tunnel will now be brought back into use has been provided to the public.
To make matters worse the council’s call centre were providing inaccurate information about Woolwich Foot Tunnel. When they were contacted back in August we were told that the tunnel was actually open!
It is time for Greenwich to get the management of these projects in hand and at a minimum to ensure the council as a public body is providing consistent and accurate information to the public.