Ridgeway (London)

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Sign outside Ridgeway Plumstead lower entrance

The Ridgeway is a permissive path owned by Thames Water in southeast London. It is built on an embankment that covers the Southern Outfall Sewer, designed by Joseph Bazalgette after an outbreak of cholera in 1853 and the "Great Stink" of 1858. It is similar to the Greenway in east London that covers the Northern Outfall Sewer.

In total the pathway is 3.5 miles in length[1][2] and runs ENE/WSW. The western third between Plumstead railway station and The Link community centre in Thamesmead[3] is in the Royal Borough of Greenwich; the remainder of the path towards the Thames Path and Crossness Pumping Station is in the London Borough of Bexley.

The Greenwich end of the Ridgeway was refurbished in 2010[4][5] and the Bexley end of the Ridgeway was refurbished in 2017.[6][7][8] The Plumstead entrance to the Ridgeway was also refurbished in 2018, with public art work installed by local artist Sam Skinner and Ninth Seal.[9][10]

The Ridgeway was the subject of a radio show on Resonance FM in 2011.[11][12]

A petition was created by local users of the Ridgeway for litter bins to be installed along its entire length. The petition was rejected by Greenwich council in January 2018.[13][14][15]

The Thames Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) for Crossrail, Sophia and Mary[16] were launched from railway land adjacent to the western end of the Ridgeway between Abbey Wood and Woolwich Crossrail stations. They were used to create the tunnel between the two Elizabeth Line stations and construct the 2.9 km long Crossrail Thames Tunnel between Plumstead portal and North Woolwich portal.[17]. The Crossrail tunnels run under the western end of the Ridgeway[18]

Start and end points[edit]

Future developments[edit]

There is an option[clarification needed] to extend the new steam railway planned for South London[19][20][21] from Crossness car park to Plumstead railway station via the Ridgeway.[22][23]

At the western end of the Ridgeway, the housing association Peabody Trust have applied to build 930 homes adjacent to Plumstead bus garage.[24][25] Improvements to existing public spaces around the development will include improvements to pathways that pass the Ridgeway. Proposals have been put forward by the Pharaoh Project to create a 'biodome' within the underpass at Pettman Crescent adjacent to the Plumstead entrance of the Ridgeway.[26][27]

Crossrail have proposed the development of a maintenance depot and train sidings on railway land adjacent to the western end of the Ridgeway.[28][29][30] There is speculation that there may be an extension to the London Overground train service from Barking to Plumstead that will take a route along the Ridgeway and create another inner London train loop if trains ran from Clapham Junction, through Denmark Hill, Lewisham and Charlton.[31][32]

At the eastern end of the Ridgeway, proposals have been put forward by Peabody Trust to reopen the Lakeside Complex[33] adjacent to the Ridgeway as a new cultural hub, with space for 40 new affordable creative workspaces, a nursery, a community kitchen and cafe overlooking Southmere lake in Thamesmead.[34][35][36] This proposal has been funded by the Arts Council England and is expected to open in spring 2019 managed by Bow Arts.[37]


See also[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX


  1. ^ "London's Ridgeway: Plumstead to Abbey Wood". Ifootpath.com. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  2. ^ "Diamond Geezer". Diamondgeezer.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  3. ^ "Welcome to The Link Thamesmead". Thelinkthamesmead.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  4. ^ "The Ridgeway". Issuu.com. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  5. ^ "Royal Borough of Greenwich - Consultations". Consultations.royalgreenwich.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  6. ^ King, Emily. "12 weeks of improvement works to Ridgeway path begin next week". Bexleytimes.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  7. ^ "Improvements to deliver lasting benefit to Ridgeway Path". Corporate.thameswater.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  8. ^ "The Thamesmead Grump". Thethamesmeadgrump.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  9. ^ "More Plumstead murals appear - From The Murky Depths".
  10. ^ "Royal Borough of Greenwich". www.facebook.com.
  11. ^ deeplibrary (13 January 2011). "Plumstead to Cross Ness along the Southern Outfall Sewer".
  12. ^ https://soundcloud.com/fugueur/ventures-and-adventures-in-topography-plumstead-to-cross-ness-along-the-southern-outfall-sewer
  13. ^ Morrow, Matt (18 October 2017). "Pleased to present petition on behalf of @RidgewayUsers at full Council in #Greenwich calling for instillation of litter bins on the Ridgeway #Plumstead".
  14. ^ Users, Ridgeway (17 November 2017). "@Ridgewayusers hand in a petition to @tpearce003. Thanks go to all who signed. @LBofBexley @thameswaterpic.twitter.com/tH2jCkNYYy".
  15. ^ "Agenda for Council on Wednesday, 31st January, 2018, 7.00 pm". committees.royalgreenwich.gov.uk. 31 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Meet our giant tunnelling machines".
  17. ^ "Thames Tunnel – Plumstead to North Woolwich".
  18. ^ http://74f85f59f39b887b696f-ab656259048fb93837ecc0ecbcf0c557.r23.cf3.rackcdn.com/assets/library/document/n/original/november_2013_information_plans_watermarked_34.pdf
  19. ^ "16/02241/FUL | Installation of a narrow gauge railway and modification to an existing industrial building for use as depot facilities for the railway. | The Old Works Crossness Sewage Treatment Works Bazalgette Way London SE2 9AQ". Pa.bexley.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  20. ^ "Support a new steam railway for South-East London". www.ianvisits.co.uk.
  21. ^ "RANG Railway". Crowdfunder UK.
  22. ^ "New light railway approved for South-East London". Ianvisits.co.uk. 11 March 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  23. ^ "Volunteers build 700-metre track to historic Victorian pumping station". Evening Standard. 25 January 2019.
  24. ^ "Plumstead and West Thamesmead Public Consultation - Peabody". Peabody.
  25. ^ "Ridgeway user group created to promote Plumstead to Thamesmead cycle link". Fromthemurkydepths.wordpress.com. 17 August 2016. Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  26. ^ Plumstead, Pettman Underpass Social Space Garden Creation Biodome Pyramid. "Building BioDomes for everyone. The Pharaoh Project: Change.org Petition". Pettman Underpass Social Space Garden Creation Biodome Pyramid Plumstead.
  27. ^ "PharaohProject". www.facebook.com.
  28. ^ "Crossrail Plumstead Sidings - pre-application information".
  29. ^ "Crossrail starts race for £30m sidings depot at Plumstead - Construction Enquirer". www.constructionenquirer.com.
  30. ^ https://74f85f59f39b887b696f-ab656259048fb93837ecc0ecbcf0c557.ssl.cf3.rackcdn.com//assets/library/document/c/original/c695-xrl-z-xbu-cr148_sd013-50001_construction_of_maintenance_facility_at_plumstead_rail_head_aug_2017.pdf
  31. ^ Chamberlain, Darryl (15 February 2019). "TfL lifts lid on possible Thamesmead DLR extension".
  32. ^ "TfL mulls DLR and Overground extensions to Thamesmead". www.ianvisits.co.uk.
  33. ^ Ltd, Fancyapint. "Lakeside Bar in Thamesmead, London Pub Review and Details". www.fancyapint.com.
  34. ^ "Plans to reopen The Lakeside Centre as a new cultural hub". www.thamesmeadnow.org.uk.
  35. ^ "Lakeside Centre Thamesmead - Bow Arts". www.bowarts.org.
  36. ^ "Lakeside Centre". Architecture 00.
  37. ^ "Former Thamesmead pub awarded £382,000 to become arts centre, cafe and nursery - From The Murky Depths".