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.

IF

Thames Clippers has warned passengers to expect disruption to the ferry service between Nelson Dock at Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf next week due to lower than usual tides.

In an email to customers, the ferry operator said:

Please be advised that low tidal conditions are predicted 21st August – 25th August which may cause disruption to the RB4 Doubletree Docklands Ferry service at the following times:

 

  • 21st August 2017: 2040-2200
  • 22nd August 2017: 2131-2251
  • 23rd August 2017: 2216-2336
  • 24th August 2017: 1020-1140 and 2250-0010
  • 25th August 2017: 2330-0050

 

We’re sorry for the inconvenience caused.

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.

 

Labour London Assembly member (and directly elected mayor of Tower Hamlets) John Biggs tabled a formal question to Mayor of London Boris Johnson seeking an update on the proposed ‘Brunel Bridge’ for pedestrians and cyclists which could be built to link Rotherhithe with Canary Wharf.

Boris Johnson’s reply was published on Monday evening:

TfL is providing financial and other support to the work being undertaken by Sustrans to develop plans for a new pedestrian and cycle bridge between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe.

The work suggests that there is a positive case for better crossings in this area. It has found that a bridge would deliver benefits by encouraging walking and cycling trips, and provide an alternative to the busy Jubilee line between Canada Water and Canary Wharf.

There are some significant challenges that a bridge here would need to overcome, including meeting the needs of shipping and connecting into the existing walking and cycling networks on either side. Further work will be required to investigate these issues.

TfL expects to receive the outputs of this work shortly. Next steps will be considered with key stakeholders, including the opportunities that exist for funding, construction and ongoing maintenance.

IF

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said that the recent increase in the return fare on the ferry between Nelson Dock and Canary Wharf from £5.94 to £7.80 – a hike of 31 per cent – is “not unduly high”.

Liberal Democrat London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon tabled this question to the Mayor:

Last month I asked about the Oyster pricing of the Hilton Ferry crossing. Your answer did not address the main point of the question – that the introduction of zoning has resulted in the price of a return on the ferry increasing by 31% and now stands at £7.80. Do you agree that this is a very high price for a short ferry crossing?

Boris Johnson replied:

The RB4 river crossing between Doubletree Docklands and Canary Wharf is operated on a commercial basis by MBNA Thames Clippers, on behalf of the Doubletree London Docklands Hotel.

The move to a zone-based fare structure by MBNA Thames Clippers has led to some fares increasing. The fares changes have standardised fares and made all trips compatible with the Oyster readers that are now available for use at all River Bus piers, a significant improvement for customers.

The return crossing between Doubletree Docklands and Canary Wharf has seen the biggest of these increases. The change brings the fare for this crossing into line with other River Bus crossings in the area, such as the short trip from Greenwich Pier to Masthouse Terrace Pier.

The return ticket has been removed for this trip; it was anomalous within the old fare structure and would be even more so under the new standardised zone system. The majority of passengers use this crossing not for a return journey, but for a one-way trip. A single fare has increased by only 12 pence under the new structure. For those passengers that do wish to make this trip regularly in both directions, season tickets are available that will reduce their average daily return fare to as little as £3.00.

Many fares have been reduced under the new system, particularly in the eastern zone, where some single fares have fallen by almost 40 per cent. Within this context, I do not feel that the specific fare increase you mention is unduly high, and I am confident that the overall fare structure changes will provide a net benefit to River Bus passengers.

Revised Visual Inc Pods.jpg

A proposal to install a floating swimming pool in Greenland Dock has been turned down by Southwark Council planning officers.

We first reported the scheme back in May.

The proposal was put forward by South Dock-based architect Adrian Priestman.

At a recent overview & scrutiny committee Cllr Mark Williams (cabinet member for regeneration and new homes) revealed that Mr Priestman’s proposal did not have the support of the council administration.

The planning application attracted more than 50 objections and 20 letters in support.

This week officers used delegated powers to refuse the planning application, citing the lack of an ecological impact assessment, adding that “the council are not therefore in the position to fully assess the impact of the proposal on the Site of Importance of Nature Conservation that is Greenland Dock”.