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The vast BP petrol station on Woolwich Road, closed by Greenpeace on Tuesday, and still closed off with cones this evening.
This area doesn't have high car ownership (I can't find the exact stats -- the ONS website gets more crap every day) -- it's poor and ramshackle, unreached by redevelopment, and generally populated by people who aren't too stupid to notice that a private car is a stupid way of getting around London. But it's blighted by the south circular, Blackwall Tunnel, and various other major roads that carry people through, from the city to the Kent countryside. The area therefore has to put up with dual carriageways and great unfriendly roundabouts, lined with these cavernous filling stations, scruffy mechanics workshops, piles of tires at the tire experts and floods of suds from the hand car wash. Woolwich High Street itself is a noisy, smelly, uncrossable dual carriageway lined with metal railings and giant billboards advertising Shell Oil and some brand of car that is said to have a desirable warranty agreement.
One day the oil will stop flowing, and Woolwich will be eerily quiet.