The future of the scheme to create an upgraded ferry between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf will depend on negotiations with the Government on the capital’s post-COVID-19 transport funding settlement, Sadiq Khan said this week.
Green Party London Assembly member Caroline Russell asked Sadiq Khan for an update on the Rotherhithe ferry project at Mayor’s Question Time on Thursday.
Mr Khan replied that the ferry proposal “will be part of the negotiations that we have with the DfT [Department for Transport], which will be tough negotiations.
“I’m not going to pretend that the Government has not been very difficult in relation to the monies that they give to London going forward.”
Just before lockdown, Sadiq Khan was asked about the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf ferry at the 11 March People’s Question Time event. He said that it was “full steam ahead” for the electric ferry proposal.
In the three months since the Mayor made those remarks, Transport for London’s finances have collapsed as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Earlier this year TfL published a list of future contract opportunities that revealed that it expected to award the contract for “detailed design, build, supply and performance” of the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf ferry in March 2021.
For the first time, TfL put a cost on the proposal, categorising the contract value as being above £50 million.
This compares to a cost of more than £400 million for a bridge across the river linking Rotherhithe with the Isle of Dogs.
Thames Clippers will resume their riverbus service from Greenland Pier on Monday 15 June – but the ferry between the Doubletree Hotel and Canary Wharf remains suspended for now.
Sean Collins, Thames Clippers co-founder and CEO, said: “It is key that we can support London and its commuters with the ease of lockdown and return to work, by providing travel in a safe and comfortable way.
“My entire team has worked incredibly hard to deploy new safety measures and to ensure our passengers have a contact-free and enjoyable commuting experience.
“The unique travel experience with Thames Clippers naturally provides good personal spacing and in addition we have reduced our passenger capacity to ensure even greater social distancing, which has allowed us to increase the number of bicycles we can carry on each boat, so those who want to cycle part of their journey can do so too.”
“In close collaboration with the Norwegian Embassy in London and the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, St Olav’s church now wish to erect a memorial to the Norwegian Merchant Navy veterans who made a very important contribution to the Allied war efforts during the Second World War,” wrote planning consultant Andrew Renshaw.
“The sponsors are hoping that a representative from the Norwegian Royal Family will be able to unveil the memorial.
“The church has particular significance to the Norwegian Royal Family, as the church served as a refuge for the Norwegian Royal Family during the wartime period of exile.”
The proposed sculpture – by Nico Widerberg – would be cast in bronze.
For further details see planning application 20/AP/1360
A company based at South Dock Marina boatyard – which normally provides canopies and coverings for use on boats – has turned its hand to producing washable face coverings for people to wear during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marine Canvas Hut is selling a range of designs of face covering for £5 each. Orders can be sent by post for an extra charge, or collected from South Dock Marina.
Detectives are appealing to trace a witness after a man was robbed of a “significant” amount of cash in Bermondsey.
At about 9.20am on Wednesday 18 March a man was walking along Jamaica Road when he was approached by two men who violently assaulted and robbed him of his bag.
Police say that the bag contained “a significant amount of cash and IT equipment”.
The suspects are believed to have made off towards Rotherhithe in a silver Vauxhall.
The victim, a man in his thirties, received injuries from the violent attack and was left extremely shaken.
The incident was reported to police and an investigation was launched.
Detective Constable Ashley Hooker, who is leading the investigation, said: “After the incident occurred a woman in a stationary car spoke to another witness about what she saw in the aftermath of the robbery.
“She was sitting in a car near to Jamaica Road, SE16 and witnessed the suspects make off.
“It’s important that we trace this woman as we believe she can assist us with our enquiries.
“Similarly, if you witnessed the incident or have any information that could assist the investigation, please get in contact.”
Any witnesses are asked to call police on 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting CAD 1727/18Mar20 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.
A man in his thirties was arrested in connection with the incident and was bailed to return on a date in mid-July.
Bede House and Time & Talents are among the local groups working with environmental charity Hubbub and network operator O2 to encourage people to donate old or unused smartphones to digitally disconnected members of the community, as part of a trial to tackle digital exclusion during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ‘Community Calling’ trial will initially involve 800 handsets being distributed to residents of Southwark.
The pre-identified list of households has been put together by a number of local organisations, including SE16-based Bede and Time & Talents.
Their clients range from the elderly, those in low-income households, survivors of domestic abuse and asylum seekers. Within these groups, each organisation has identified those who would benefit most from a smartphone, based on providing access to essential services, online learning or getting connected to family and friends.
Local residents are being asked to donate unused smartphones which will then be data-wiped, cleaned and refurbished by Recono.me ready for redistribution.
O2 is donating an additional 300 handsets alongside providing pay as you go SIMs and credit to be used with the donated devices.
“Connectivity is a lifeline for so many at this time – and with so many smart devices sitting in drawers at home, this project provides the perfect opportunity to dust them off for a good cause,” said O2’s Tracey Herald.
“The Southwark community has been particularly affected by the recent pandemic, so we’re working in partnership with Hubbub, the local council and community groups to ensure we can distribute these devices to those who need them most. The trial will help us tackle digital exclusion and help the environment too.’
Gavin Ellis, co-founder of Hubbub, said: “Community Calling offers a simple way to get unused smartphones to people who need them most during the current pandemic, allowing them to access essential services, to educate their kids or to stay in touch with loved ones. Plus it has the bonus environmental benefit of avoiding electrical waste going to landfill or incineration.
“We’re trialling the approach with O2 in Southwark and if successful, we’ll look to replicate it elsewhere in the UK.”
Plans have been revealed this week for an 18-storey tower on the St Olav’s Court / City Business Centre site next to the Rotherhithe Roundabout.
Developer Southern Grove announced that it has exchanged contracts to purchase the site which occupies a prominent location at the northern end of Lower Road, opposite the entrance to the Rotherhithe Tunnel.
The site is close to the grade II listed Norwegian Church.
Southern Grove intends to apply to Southwark Council for planning permission for an 18-storey building to be known as The Brooklyn.
The scheme – designed by architects Liftschutz Davidson Sandilands – will include 150 homes and 25,000 sq ft of office space.
Tom Slingsby, chief executive of Southern Grove, said: “The Brooklyn is a fantastic addition to this site and will provide a healthy boost to housing and commercial stock in Canada Water, which is one of the capital’s regeneration hotbeds.
“People living here really will feel like they are within striking distance of central London. They will be able to hop on the Tube and be in the City, Canary Wharf or any corner of the capital in minutes.
“Canada Water is going to be put on the map in a bold new way by the extensive regeneration that is going to take hold over the next 15 years and our own scheme will complement that effort.”
St Olav’s Court is identified in the council’s New Southwark Plan as a development site, with a requirement for re-provision of the existing office space.