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.

Canada Water station

Transport for London has postponed plans to build extra trains to add to the Jubilee line fleet which would have enabled more frequent trains to and from Canada Water.

Plans to boost tube capacity are vital to plans by British Land and Southwark Council to build hundreds of new homes, shops and offices at Canada Water.

Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This major delay is extremely disappointing for us, and for residents, who share our view that the Jubileel line upgrade is central to our plans for positive improvements to the Canada Water area.

“We need these additional trains to meet current and future demand and for residents to easily connect with the rest of London.

“We will be writing to the Mayor of London to outline our concerns and urge consideration for funding to be assigned to this vital upgrade.”

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.

Passengers on route P12 will face a longer wait at bus stops after Transport for London announced that it is cutting the daytime frequency from six buses an hour to five.

The P12 links Surrey Quays with Brockley Rise via Southwark Park Road, The Blue and St James’s Road.

TfL says it is making the change – which comes into effect on 14 October – “to match demand”.

The cut to route P12 comes a fortnight after similar reductions to the service on route 47.

Transport for London is cutting the frequency of bus route 47 (Bellingham to Liverpool Street via Surrey Quays and Jamaica Road).

From Saturday 30 September, the Monday-Saturday daytime frequency will be reduced from six buses an hour to five.

During the evenings and on Sundays, buses will run just three times an hour instead of every 15 minutes.

TfL says it is making the change “to better match how often buses run with demand for them”.

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.

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Transport for London has written to local residents with details of its plans to convert the emergency access lane at the southern approach to the tunnel into a second general traffic lane.

A tree will be removed to allow emergency vehicles to cross a traffic island to reach the tunnel when required.

Work is due to start on 21 August.

“Overall, these changes should reduce waiting times for all traffic, including buses,” writes TfL’s Jay Daisi.

“However, we understand that there are many issues caused by continued queuing at peak times, with this route being in such high demand, due mainly to the fact that there is only one northbound lane through the Rotherhithe Tunnel.”

Val Shawcross, deputy mayor for transport

London Overground night services will start operating from December on Fridays and Saturdays along the East London route between New Cross Gate and Dalston Junction via Surrey Quays, Canada Water and Rotherhithe.

At Canada Water the Night Overground will connect with the Night Tube service on the Jubilee line.

The night service will be extended to Highbury & Islington next year.

Jonathan Fox, TfL’s Director of London Rail, said: “The East London route is one of the most popular parts of the London Overground network, particularly late in the evening. Expanding night services to this key part of London Overground will make it easier for customers to enjoy the vibrant night time culture that East London has to offer, supporting the economy in this much-loved area of the capital. The Night Tube has already provided a boost to our economy and supported thousands of permanent jobs. We hope the Night Overground will build on this success even further.”