Southwark Council’s cabinet this week agreed to launch a consultation on the future of South Dock Marina and Boatyard.
Tuesday’s cabinet meeting heard a public question and a deputation from members of the bertholders’ association who aired concerns about future residential development which could generate complaints from residents about noisy activity at the boatyard.
In his foreword to the cabinet report, Cllr Richard Livingstone wrote: “The ideas set out in the report include how the marina could be expanded to better meet the demand for people to live on the marina; how the infrastructure of the area could be improved to meet the needs of berth holders and the broader community; how the space at the boatyard could be developed to both enhance its operation and provide new council homes; and how to give berth holders greater certainty on future fee increases.”
The proposed extension of the Santander Cycles bike hire scheme to SE16 will consist of a mere five new docking stations, the Mayor of London has confirmed.
After hints dropped by Southwark councillors and deputy mayor Heidi Alexander earlier in the summer, City Hall confirmed at the end of August that the bike hire scheme would be extended along the new Cycleway 4 between Tooley Street and Canada Water Station.
Now, in response to a question tabled by Lib Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has given more details.
“It is planned that 5 docking stations (approximately 125 docking points) will be constructed along Cycleway 4 as part of the infrastructure build of that route,” said Sadiq Khan.
“Dates for installation have yet to be agreed with Southwark and are subject to agreeing specific locations with the borough and obtaining planning consents. Conversations on this are ongoing.
“The stations will be funded by Transport for London as part of the Healthy Streets funding portfolio.”
Santander Cycles currently has more than 750 docking stations across Central London.
Although many will welcome the arrival of Santander Cycles in SE16 for the first time, the limited scale of the expansion is likely to come as a disappointment.
Southwark Labour’s 2014 manifesto included a pledge to “work with the Mayor to extend Bike Hire across the borough”.
London’s deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander has confirmed that plans are in hand to extend the Santander Cycles bike hire scheme to SE16.
Ms Alexander was speaking at a London Assembly transport committee meeting held to probe the decision to halt the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf bridge project.
Under questioning from Florence Eshalomi AM about the risk that Southwark is losing out on a number of transport infrastructure schemes, Ms Alexander said: “We are making significant progress on walking and cycling investments in Southwark and this part of London.
“Work has already started on Cycleway 4 which goes from Tower Bridge to Greenwich – and that will be extended to Woolwich.
“We’re also working with Southwark on a new cycle route from Rotherhithe to Peckham.
“I’ve asked TfL officers to accelerate their work to expand the Santander scheme further into Southwark, so that when we get this fantastic new cycleway built from Tower Bridge to Greenwich, further along that route you can get Santander docked bikes, because I know that is an aspiration that Southwark has.”
Southwark Council leader Peter John said last week: “We are also working with TfL on a programme to expand the Santander cycle hire scheme from London Bridge to the [Rotherhithe] peninsular, and this will be part of the cycle hire action plan presented to cabinet in the autumn.”
Southwark Council has launched a public consultation on the ‘Rotherhithe Movement Plan’, a three-pronged set of proposed changes to transport in the area.
The council is proposing to introduce a Rotherhithe and Surrey Docks controlled parking zone (CPZ), replace the Lower Road one way system with two-way traffic and build a new cycle route along Redriff Road and Salter Road.
Southwark Council is to buy the former Red Lion Boys’ Club in Hawkstone Road with the aim of developing new council homes on the site.
The now defunct boys’ club occupied a building that was previously a church on a prominent site near Surrey Quays Station.
The council believes that around 150 new homes could be created in two-tower development if adajcent land already in council ownership is included in the scheme.
The purchase was approved at Southwark’s cabinet last week, with Cllr Leo Pollak telling colleagues that the site has “really significant potential” for new council housing.
Cllr Pollak wrote: The former Red Lion Boys Club site not only creates an opportunity for significant numbers of new council homes but also creates the opportunity for the re-provision and expansion of the community hall for the benefit of the estate TRA as well as the wider community, which we will required as part of any brief for the site.”
The council made a previous attempt to purchase the site in 2015 but its £2.5 million bid was not accepted.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Transport for London have halted work on the proposed walking and cycling bridge across the Thames at Rotherhithe after costs escalated.
Support for the bridge was included in Mr Khan’s manifesto at the 2016 mayoral election but the project has now been dropped.
News of the policy change was revealed in a letter from Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for transport, to Florence Eshalomi, chair of the London Assembly transport committee.
“While the Mayor is investing hundreds of millions of pounds enabling more walking and cycling in East London, the estimated cost of this project has now increased to around half a billion pounds,” said a spokesman for the Mayor.
“TfL have used all of their expertise to try and lower the costs of a viable new bridge at this site, but it would now cost substantially more than the money allocated in the Business Plan. Pausing work is now the sensible and responsible thing to do to protect the London taxpayer.
“TfL are now exploring options for a new fast ferry at the site that can be used by cyclists and pedestrians, and we continue to use the record amounts being invested in Healthy Streets to make walking and cycling easier and safer across the capital.”
Responding to the news, Florence Eshalomi AM said: “This announcement will be hugely disappointing for Southwark residents who have been enthusiastically supportive of TfL’s plans for the crossing.
“With such a major infrastructure project now on hold, which would be vital to boosting our local economy and opening up our city’s transport links to cyclists and pedestrians, I will be writing to TfL, alongside local councillors, to ask for answers on how the projected costs have risen so significantly.
“This a financial decision, so it must also be remembered that TfL have been placed in an incredibly difficult situation with the Government taking the reckless decision to remove £700 million a year on average from their budget. As result, TfL has now become one of the only transport authorities in the world not to receive a Government operational grant for day-to-day running costs”.
Southwark Council leader Peter John tweeted: “We will be challenging TfL on this proposed decision and asking tough questions about why a Mayoral pledge can so easily be cast aside.”
Earlier this year Lambeth & Southwark London Assembly member Florence Eshalomi tabled this question to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan: “Many of my constituents are concerned about the daily overcrowding at Canada Water station and their safety when waiting for a train. What are you doing to address this?”
Mr Khan’s response has now been published by City Hall:
“The safety of customers and staff is always Transport for London’s (TfL) top priority, and TfL does all it can to ensure that customers travel safely at all times.
“Canada Water can get very busy, but staff are trained to carefully manage passenger flows at the station to ensure a safe travel environment and minimum inconvenience for customers. An additional Customer Service Supervisor is also available at the station just to concentrate on passenger flows during the AM peak.
“The London Overground currently provides a 16 trains per hour service in each direction and platform crowding is cleared as quickly as possible. TfL is also looking at a number of possible mitigation measures to help ease the crowding on escalators to the Jubilee line at Canada Water which we know can get particularly busy.
“Improvements are already addressing crowding along the Jubilee line. A timetable change in 2018 increased evening peak services between West Hampstead and North Greenwich. Jubilee line trains are now running a peak service for an extra two hours per day, easing congestion at key stations like Canary Wharf, Waterloo and Canada Water.
“TfL’s investment programme is playing a vital role in supporting London’s growth. Providing Londoners with a range of high-quality alternative travel options will also help ease crowding at key locations like Canada Water.
“For example, when the Elizabeth line opens, it will serve more than half a million customers a day and add 10 per cent more capacity in central London. It may also help ease crowding at Canada Water if passengers change at Whitechapel to get to onward destinations such as Canary Wharf, Stratford and the West End. TfL’s modernisation of signalling on vast parts of the Tube network, new and more frequent trains, and the upgrade of stations like Victoria, Bank and Elephant & Castle are also critical, to relieve pressure on the Tube, and enable London to meet growing demand. TfL is also investing record amounts in walking and cycling, to support efficient and healthy ways to get around the city and realise my vision of Healthy Streets for London.”