Rat-run fears in Westcombe Park as diggers move in for IKEA

Local Conservatives in Westcombe Park have raised concerns about roads such as Westcombe Hill and Humber Road being used a ‘Rat-runs’ after the new IKEA store in Charlton is finished. Construction for the new store has now begun and the store will open in late 2018.


The store will be larger than the old Sainsbury’s and Curry’s, and will also have fewer parking spaces. IKEA claim that this store will operate a new model where customers will use public transport to access the store. However, the Woolwich Road fly-over, which will neighbour IKEA, is already one of Europe’s most polluted roads and is also heavily congested. The Conservatives fear that IKEA will increase traffic demands on the area and once Woolwich Road and the A102 are grid locked drivers will divert up Humber Road and Westcombe Hill.


Conservative campaigner Malcolm Reid said “I doubt we will see people carrying flat-pack wardrobes and beds over their shoulders as they wait for the bus from IKEA. Having an IKEA in Greenwich may have benefits such as new jobs and investment but I do not accept that this is the right location for such a store and am fearful of the traffic impact on an already polluted area” 


Conservative councillors on the Planning Board, including local councillor Geoff Brighty, voted against the proposals but they were passed thanks to Labour support.


Geoff said "The Woolwich Road flyover is one of Europe's most polluted sections of road, I cannot see any details on how building an IKEA on this site will improve congestion or air quality in the area. Many residents share my concerns that the store will increase traffic demands in the area and this will impact residents in nearby streets such as Humber Road and Westcombe Hill. The Council needs to work with residents to ensure plans are in place to prevent these streets becoming rat-runs".