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Bus Greenwich Waterfront Transit

A segregated high-quality bus route between Greenwich / North Greenwich, Thamesmead and Abbey Wood.

One of four "intermediate transit" studies in London, Greenwich Waterfront Transit is being taken forward as a diesel bus-based system, segregated, with the potential for conversion to tram in future should passenger levels warrant it.

The 70m transit system runs from Greenwich station via Cutty Sark DLR, North Greenwich Tube, Charlton station, Woolwich Arsenal station, various points in Thamesmead and then Abbey Wood station.

There is potential for the system to connect to East London Transit via the Thames Gateway Bridge.

Phase One

Western section

The 25m section between Woolwich Ferry roundabout and Abbey Wood Station via Thamesmead will be the first to be constructed and opened. This 6.7km section will all be on dedicated transit route, either newly constructed or reallocated on existing roads.

TfL have a map of phase one which shows an "on-road" route between the Woolwich Ferry and Woolwich Arsenal, followed by a new-build route through new and existing housing estates in West Thamesmead. Upon reaching the Twin Tumps in Central Thamesmead, the route uses the existing backbone roads of Central Way, Carlyle Road and Harrow Manor Way.

In Woolwich town centre, GWT initally starts at the Woolwich Ferry roundabout (Mast Pond Wharf stop) and uses the southern carriageway of Woolwich High St (with Woolwich High St stop here), with normal (two-way) traffic restricted to the northern carriageway. It diverts from the High St at Ferry Place, cutting through a car park and into Collis Yard and exiting into Creton Street, where there is a stop outside the LIDL superstore (Macbean Street stop).

At the end of Creton Street, it cuts through behind the Powis St shops with a stop next to the Woolwich Market Pound, to serve Woolwich Arsenal station. (after which it cuts through Iceland). It then swings to cross Beresford Way, running northeast with a stop next to the Royal Carriage Factory on Hardinge St (Wellington Avenue stop).

(Originally the route would have used the pedestrianised Powis St but Greenwich Council felt this was too disruptive, and that people had gotten used to a totally vehicle-free environment.)

Consultation on alternative routes through western Thamesmead

TfL are now consulting on changes to the following route through western Thamesmead.

Three options are being considered for the route through Royal Arsenal; the choice of Erebus Drive (new housing estate) or Tom Cribbs Road (older housing estate) is also under consultation, followed by six possible options through Gallions Hill.
  • Original route through western Thamesmead

    Originally, the next section was to run through a new housing development, following the new Cadogan Road with a stop outside Royal Arsenal Hall (Cadogan Road stop). The route would then run up Erebus Drive which is a road along the river through a new housing development. There would be a stop at its junction with Pier Way (Erebus Drive stop), and another at the end of the housing development.

    Upon leaving Erebus Drive (at the end of which is the Broadwater Dock stop), it crosses the entrance to Broadwater Dock and crosses Warepoint Drive (where there is a stop), then controversially cutting through Gallions Park, crossing Merbury Road just north of where that road crosses the Gallions Canal.

    Merbury Road stop is just after this bridge. GWT then parallels the canal, with Gallions Hill stop just across the canal from New Acres Road.

    GWT then passes under Hill View Drive, after which is the possible junction for the Thames Gateway Bridge. After this, there is a stop (Tripcock Junction) adjacent to the new-build Barnham Road, which it runs next to as it curves southeast as Barnham Drive.

  • Alternative routes

    The consultation offers a choice of three options through the Woolwich Arsenal site which will be extensively redeveloped.

    All of these routes can then use Erebus Drive through the waterfront developments, and two of the three can alternatively use Tom Cribb Road.

    Subsequently, an Erebus Drive route can link into a waterfront route, a route along the north side of Gallions Canal, or a route along the south side of the canal.

    A Tom Cribb Road route, which would run into Western Way, can link into either canal route or could continue along Western Way to Thamesmead via Central Way.


The routes which use the canal have provoked controversy amongst local residents in Gallions Urban Village, the area around the canal. Although the one of the canal banks was originally intended for GWT, the canal and surrounding developments have moved on and now the canal is a green space which local residents value highly and which is ecologically sensitive, as home to a variety of species.

The Gallions Urban Village Neighbourhood Action (GUVNA) group are opposed to any GWT route which takes it along the canal, as they feel it would destroy the nature of the area. They support a GWT route using Western Way. They say that the extra walking distance from the riverside portions of the development to Western Way is negligible, especially as it involves passing through the pleasant canalside area.

Eastern section

Barnham Drive and GWT then meet Central Way at a roundabout which is the southern limit of the new Waterside Mews housing development. A stop for this development (The Twin Tumps) is located on Central Way, whose eastbound carriageway is taken over by GWT (normal traffic will be two-way on the other carriageway). Twin Tumps roundabout will be replaced with a signal-controlled crossroads with priority for GWT.

There will be a stop for Thamesmead Town Centre where Central Way crosses the canal, near Gallions Reach health centre. The Thamesmere Drive/Bentham Road roundabout will also be replaced by a GWT-priority signalled crossroads.

The next stop is at Linton Mead Primary School at the end of Central Way. GWT will then cut across the middle of the roundabout as it swings south into Carlyle Road, whose northbound carriageway it takes over. Titmuss Avenue stop is where that road reaches its closest point to Carlyle Road.

The following roundabout (Crossway/Bentham Road) will be converted to a GWT-priority crossroads. A GWT stop (The Boiler House) is located immediately after this.

The major junction over Eastern Way is subject to some considerable traffic changes. GWT only will use the western semicircle of the roundabout (for both directions). GWT will cling to the inner side of the roundabout, leaving a lane for traffic to/from the westbound sliproads for Eastern Way. Where this traffic needs to cross GWT, there will be signalled controlled junctions which also control traffic around the new two-way eastern section of the roundabout.

GWT takes over the northbound carriageway of Harrow Manor Way, with a stop for Newacres Library located at the junction with Ampleforth Road (this will be moved slightly south).

GWT cuts across the Eynsham Drive roundabout, with Thistlebrook stop just south of the roundabout. Finally, GWT terminates at a "two-platform" stop on the bridge over the railway line outside Abbey Wood station. Buses will continue south to turn around (presumably) at the McLeod Road roundabout.

Phase Two

Phase Two runs from Woolwich Ferry roundabout to North Greenwich Station on the Jubilee line. 1.7km of segregated busway is already in place on the Greenwich peninsula, as it was used for bus services from Charlton to the Dome.

Phase Three

The final phase, from North Greenwich to Greenwich town centre, requires further consultation separate from the current consultation on Phases 1 & 2 of GWT.

Crossing the river

There is scope for a GWT extension in the future to Gallions Reach, using the Thames Gateway Bridge. Such an extension would leave GWT's route at Gallions Hill and could connect up with East London Transit.


(newest first)
"Watering-down" of Greenwich Waterfront Transit concerns Assembly
2006-09-13 17:30:37

The London Assembly's transport committee has concerns that the Greenwich Waterfront Transit scheme in southeast London has been watered down so much from an initial proposal that included the option for a tram, that now it is little more than a "glorified bus service" which will not attract travellers out of cars. The committee hoped that the route would still be a high-quality, frequent express service.

Greenwich transit consultation complete
2005-06-29 17:31:24

The consultation into Greenwich Waterfront Transit received a good level of response and indicated majority preference for a route via Tom Cribb Road and Western Way, reports TfL.

Greens support protest against canalside transit scheme
2005-01-12 12:47:18

The Green Party is supporting a residents' protest group against a routing of the Greenwich Waterfront Transit bus rapid transit scheme along the Gallions Canal in western Thamesmead. TfL are consulting over a range of six options through the area, four of which would use the canalside.

New consultation on Greenwich transit
2004-12-06 13:57:02

Responding to residents' concerns over the routing of the Greenwich Waterfront Transit bus route, TfL has launched a new consultation on route options through western Thamesmead.

Opposition to Greenwich transit route through park
2004-03-24 06:48:23

Residents are objecting to proposals to route Greenwich Waterfront Transit through Gallions Park and along the Gallions Canal in Thamesmead.

Links & Sources

  1. TfL Report on the project (4MB PDF)
  2. TfL site on Greenwich Waterfront Transit
  3. Gallions Urban Village Neighbourhood Action group: campaign to get GWT routed via Western Way

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