Transport for London has not yet ruled out a tunnel or an enhanced ferry service between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf as an alternative to the proposed walking and cycling bridge.

TfL is pressing ahead with plans for a bridge, but says that next month’s public consultation on the scheme will also feature tunnel and boat options.

A report [PDF] on the proposed Rotherhithe crossing was considered by TfL’s programmes and investment committee last Friday.

Based on the work that has been done to date, TfL has provisionally
recommended that a navigable bridge should be investigated in greater detail, with the initial options assessment concluding:

(a) an enhanced ferry would be the lowest cost option and could be delivered
more quickly. It provides a positive Benefit: Cost Ratio (BCR) but, unlike a
fixed link crossing, it is unlikely to deliver a step-change in walking and
cycling accessibility, or realise significant wider economic benefits;

(b) a navigable bridge has a broadly comparable BCR to an enhanced ferry,
however, it would realise greater total benefits by providing a permanent link
to facilitate a transformational change in accessibility. This aligns more
strongly with developing policy and the scheme’s strategic objectives and,
further, a permanent link has the potential to realise significant wider
economic benefits which have not been quantified in the BCR at this stage. A
bridge has strong support amongst cycling groups, accessibility groups and
other stakeholders, particularly on the south side of the river, but concerns
remain over the need to open for shipping and the impact on residents in the
immediate vicinity; and

(c) a tunnel would offer similar benefits to a bridge and provide a more reliable transport connection, as it would not need to open for shipping. It would have lesser visual impact than a bridge, however, it may be seen as a less attractive environment for users and is forecast to cost significantly more, resulting in a lower BCR.

The report adds:

Work is now underway to investigate navigable bridge options in further detail and, as more information becomes available, the provisional selection will be refined and tested alongside the other options before a final decision is made on the solution for a new crossing.

Whilst the further investigations continue, it will be important not to dismiss other options until they have been considered as part of a public consultation.

Remarks by former TfL boss Sir Peter Hendy – commenting on the “pretty weak business case” for the Rotherhithe bridge – were recently made public as part of the evidence presented to Margaret Hodge’s review of the Garden Bridge.

At last week’s GLA Oversight Committee current TfL commissioner Mike Brown disassociated himself from his predecessor’s comments on the Rotherhithe scheme.

From Southwark Council:

“We want to hear from you about your experience of broadband in your home.

“Your feedback will help us develop a solution that works for local residents, and build a strong case for central government funding for broadband improvements in both the Rotherhithe area and the borough as a whole.”

Follow this link to the survey – closing date 1 November.

Transport for London has launched a public consultation on plans for a new segregated cycle route from Tower Bridge to Greenwich via Jamaica Road.

The scheme launched this week includes changes to the Rotherhithe roundabout, but plans for Lower Road won’t be revealed until next year.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce plans to bring more than 4km of segregated cycle lanes to south-east London. We need more Londoners to cycle and walk for the good of their health and our air quality, and that’s why we’re working so hard make cycling safer and easier right across the capital. By bringing this route to an area of such high demand, this superhighway really will open up cycling to thousands more Londoners.”

Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “I’m so pleased that we can share our plans for Cycle Superhighway 4 just one week after announcing Cycle Superhighway 9. These new routes are a key part of our work to make cycling more accessible across London and will add more than 10km of segregated lanes to the capital’s roads. South-east London is an area of huge cycling potential so I know that CS4 will make a real difference to so many cyclists and budding riders by providing a safe segregated route that links straight into our growing cycling network.”

The Cycle Superhighway 4 consultation ends on 19 November. Further information can be found at: www.tfl.gov.uk/cs4

Consultation materials are now on show at both Blue Anchor Library and Canada Water Library, and public exhibitions will be held at the Finnish Church in Albion Street on  Wednesday 25 October and Saturday 4 November.

Southwark Council has confirmed that it will once again stage a fireworks display in Southwark Park, this year on Sunday 5 November.

21,000 tickets are available; these will be free for people who live in Southwark, but because of the risks associated with the night’s huge popularity and the significant cost of bringing Southwark fireworks night to residents, those from outside the borough will have to pay a small fee.

Last year Southwark residents booked 62 per cent of the tickets.

Of those 62 per cent, 48 per cent came from the SE16 area and a further 26 per cent
came from the adjacent SE1 area.

Non-Southwark residents will be charged £8.50 for admission to the event, with child tickets costing £2.50 and a family ticket available at £20.

The council hopes to raise £10,000-£15,000 from ticket sales to help offset the cost of the event.

Gates will open at 5pm, with food, drink and entertainment available until 8pm. Last entry to the park will be at 6.30pm. Ticket holders are strongly advised to arrive as early as possible, to avoid disappointment.

Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Business, Culture and Social Regeneration, said: “At Southwark Council we are very proud of our magnificent annual fireworks display. It’s a really special family and community event.

“Please do book your tickets as early as you can and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Southwark Park on 5 November.”

Tickets will be available on a first come first served basis from 22 September, so residents are encouraged to sign up early at: www.2.southwark.gov.uk/fireworks

Rotherhithe Police Station

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has confirmed that Rotherhithe Police Station in Lower Road will be put up for sale in September, five years after a sell-off was agreed in principle by his predecessor Boris Johnson.

News of the latest sell-off attempt came in response to a question tabled by Andrew Dismore AM:

Of the police buildings closed and earmarked for disposal under the previous Mayor there are five that have been vacated and will be openly marketed for sale from September. The 5 properties are:

Belvedere Police Station
Rotherhithe Police Station
Greenwich Police Station
Olwen House, Loman Street
Douglas Webb Section House

Rotherhithe Police Station’s front counter closed in 2013 but the police contact point provided at Canada Water Library as a partial replacement is now itself under threat.

Last week Neil Coyle MP tweeted that he had attended the final ward panel meeting to be held in the Lower Road building:

The Bermondsey in Bloom Competition is open for entries once more this month.

There will be prizes and certificates for the top three entrants (decided by independent judges) in each of the following categories:

  • Balconies and window boxes
  • Pubs and businesses
  • Community gardens
  • Edible gardens and allotments
  • Estates gardens
  • Resident gardens

The competition is open to all residents who live in the following wards:

  • Riverside
  • Grange
  • South Bermondsey
  • Surrey Docks

Full details at http://salmonyouthcentre.org/bloom2017

Greenland Dock,  Rotherhithe - London.

This question was tabled by Cllr Dan Whitehead (Lib Dem, Surrey Docks) at council assembly this week:

Can the Leader confirm whether the council will install more prominent warning signs
along Greenland Dock, including details of the depth of the water and danger to life, in
response to the tragic death of a young man there on 17 June 2017?

Council leader Peter John replied:

This is an awful loss and our thoughts are with the family of the young man at this
painful time. The council supported the police in their search, and has offered support
to the family.

This tragedy is a stark reminder of why the waters around the marina are not suitable
for swimming, and as this warm weather continues we would urge all residents to stay
out of the water, tempting as it may be.

A number of safety measures are in place; the docks are surrounded by a pole and
chain fence with poles 1 metre high joined by two rows of chains. Refuge chains are
looped around the dock at water level that can be used by a person in the water to
support themselves. Life buoy holders are provided at average intervals of 55 metres
and on the back of each lifebuoy holder is a no swimming sign. Ladders are fixed to
the walls at approximately 55 metre intervals to climb out of the dock and there are
some existing stairs in various locations. Lifebuoys are checked daily.

However, as with any serious incident, the council instigates a serious incident panel
with immediate effect to review what further measures, if any, could be implemented to
reduce the likelihood of such tragic incidents happening in the future. As part of this
review the panel will consider the benefit of installing more prominent warning signs
along Greenland Dock.

The BroadbandSE16 campaign took a deputation to Southwark’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday to keep up the pressure on politicians to seek solutions to Rotherhithe’s slow broadband crisis which means that for many it’s quicker to take a laptop to Canada Water tube station and download large files using the public wifi than to rely on flaky home connections.

Listen to the full audio of the session here: