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.


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.

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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”.

Question to the Mayor from Caroline Pidgeon AM

I am pleased to see that planning for a pedestrian/cycle bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf is progressing with support from TfL. Will you include proposals for further development and planning work for the bridge in TfL’s upcoming business plan to ensure that the next Mayor follows through on this important project?

Answer from Boris Johnson

I am very interested in this idea and TfL is in the early stages of a feasibility assessment to look into the project.

The feasibility work, including the preparation of a business case, will be completed by the autumn.

Should the scheme prove viable and have a strong business case, then full consideration will be given to how best to go about implementing the project, including possible funding options.

This first phase of work is being funded through a partnership between TfL, Sustrans and the private sector and I would expect funding for any future stages to follow a similar approach.


MBNA Thames Clippers will introduce a new timetable on the Nelson Dock to Canary Wharf ferry from Monday 6 July.

The new timetable follows the rebranding of the hotel at Nelson Dock.

In future there will no longer be a gap in service in late morning and mid evening.

On weekdays the last crossing will also be slightly later, with final sailings leaving Rotherhithe at 11.55pm and Canary Wharf at midnight.