Foot Tunnel, for James

James asks:

I’ve been working in Argentina since last July & regular visit your site to keep unto date with happenings.

I’m figuring that since the Cutty Sark has since re-opened that the refurbished foot tunnel has also?

Have they done a good job? Have they refrained from installing barriers in the middle to prevent the odd silly cyclist from being a bit of an arse?(I really hope that have not messed with the tunnel too much!)

The Phantom replies:

Well James, your wish has been granted re. their not ‘messing with the foot tunnel too much’ – as you can see from Paul’s photo, they’ve done absolutely bloomin’ nothing with the tunnel itself – not even sending someone down with a bucket and sponge.

That isn’t quite the whole story though. The entrances are looking pretty handsome – here’s the south one from the Cutty Sark (the stuff around it is the preparations for the Queen’s visit last month)

and the lifts – well, they sort of work.

They look good inside, they’ve retained the wood panelling and they’ve got glass doors:

Sadly one of the doors smashed within days of it re-opening – I’ve heard it wasn’t vandalism, it was badly fitted, though I don’t know if that’s true.

The lift seems to be as intermittent as ever, frustrating the hell out of cyclists who have to carry bikes up and down steps that are still encased in wooden hordings, though the entire tunnel closing, forcing cyclists up to Rotherhithe, is thankfully rare. You need to keep an eye on the council’s twitter feed (@royal_greenwich) for random closures and lift malfunctions which given the amount of time and cash spent already, is a bit depressing.

I suspect that the tunnel will be magically sparkling by July, the date by which all civic projects must be finished – or they never will be…

the attachments to this post:

foot tunnel
foot tunnel

greenwich foot tunnel low
greenwich foot tunnel low


13 Comments to “Foot Tunnel, for James”

  1. Gary says:

    As I live 2 mins from the south side and consider Greenwich as my town centre, I’ve followed the tunnel issues quite closely. My thoughts:

    1. The council were apoplectically bad in their public information campaign during the closure for two years. Yes, two years. I called repeatedly and was fobbed off repeatedly with “yes, Geoff will call you.” Never once did I receive that call or email.
    2. They could at least have cleaned the walls. They had workmen on site for years and not once did they consider cleaning the darn tunnel itself.
    3. The cracked glass panel was damaged by a contractor (I got that from one of the attendents).
    4. As the lifts are controlled by the users, at least we don’t have to put up with the lift attendents and their cabbie-style, borderline xenophobic, whinging views.
    5. The hoardings in the stairwells have still not been removed. I can only guess that these spaces, once they are removed, will not be cleaned, also.

    Most interestingly, I spoke to a cleaner one day during the refurb and he stated that the tunnel has it’s own ghost. Workers noted that the lift was being called and when they looked on the CCTV no-one was there. Several people also saw figures walking along the tunnel that never came out. Spooky!

  2. Gary says:

    Sorry, I meant north side!

  3. Kevin says:

    I quite liked the attendants. Well, one of them. The young fella playing the tunes used to perk up my morning.

    As for the grumpy pair. They had their moments.

    Ridiculous its STILL not fully working though.

  4. The tunnel ghost says:

    I quite liked the attendants as well.

  5. Me too – I miss them now – and find myself wondering how long that wood panelling will last intact without them…

  6. JR says:

    Gary, thanks for the info – but the all important question remains… Who is Geoff?

  7. Andrew says:

    It’s a shockingly bad missed opportunity. Visitors approach through a shiny new entrance and are confronted with that. It’s embarrassing.

  8. Gary says:

    JR – Geoff was some chap who worked for Greenwich council as I was directed towards him by the staff I spoke to. Can’t remember his surname now (maybe someone does?).

    As for the attendent’s, maybe I was a bit harsh. But, man alive, they were hardly a shining light for customer service. I know it’s not a great job, but a smile every now and then wouldn’t have gone amiss. Saying that the guy with the radio was a nice fella who DID smile!

  9. scared of chives says:

    @ Gary

    “..the lift attendents and their cabbie-style, borderline xenophobic, whinging views.”

    What, like: “I had that Chris Roberts bloke at the back of my lift once – right ponce – oh, and I don’t like those immigrants in ‘ere clogging up the space by the door – oh, the weather’s been awful…and what about the fire on the Cutty Sark…bleedin’ kids on the estate wasn’t it…” ?

  10. Islander says:

    The tunnel refurb has been spectacularly mismanaged by Greenwich Council, what was planned to take one year has now entered its third year. The northern rotunda doesn’t look like it is anywhere near being finished, and why is all the stairwell cladding still in place? I’ve just been online and found the Council’s original grandiose plans, they really are a work of fiction when you see what we’ve ended up with.

  11. RogerW says:

    Hmmm. Someone once mentioned the amount of money these refurbishments were going to cost. I’m sure it was in the millions.

    Shame they couldn’t have spent some on a few bottles of Cif.

    Well, if the contractors aren’t going to do the clean-up, maybe it could be a job for a community payback team. (Assuming they could do it without breaking it)

  12. IslandDweller says:

    And to cap it all – today the north lift isn’t working at all. No signs – no information. grrrr

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