Transport for London commissioner Mike Brown has given an update on plans for an upgraded ferry service between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf to replace the cancelled bridge project.

“We are continuing to examine options for a new ferry service, with work focused on route planning, fares, vessels, piers and connectivity to the local area,” wrote Mr Brown in his report to the TfL board.

“Initial feasibility work has been completed and an informal update was provided to the Programmes and Investment Committee in October.

“We are now continuing work to develop our requirements for the service, identify preferred infrastructure options, and determine a suitable delivery and operating model.

“By the end of November 2019 we expect to appoint a specialist consultant to support us in the next stages of work and have recently issued a Prior Information Notice seeking feedback from industry on how best to take forward the scheme.

“The work on a new ferry to improve connectivity for people who walk or cycle between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf is alongside the wider investment we are making in walking and cycling across the area, including delivery of Cycleway 4 and new cycle routes from Rotherhithe to Peckham and from Hackney to the Isle of Dogs.”

The Rotherhithe link is also featured in TfL’s new passenger pier strategy published last week. That document says that: “Options include new or improved piers at Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, together with roll-on, roll-off electric or hybrid high frequency ferries to reduce waiting times.

“The Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf ferry would serve as a test case for assessing the feasibility of providing similar high-quality pedestrian and cycle links in other locations in east London, including Opportunity Areas, where the river is currently a barrier to encouraging healthier travel choices.”

Transport for London says it has adjusted the information on connection times between Jubilee line and London Overground trains at Canada Water displayed in its journey planner using anonymised wifi data gathered from passengers’ phones.

TfL has implemented the first improvements for customers following the start of collection of WiFi connection data earlier this year.

The 2.7 billion pieces of depersonalised data that have been analysed so far have allowed TfL to update Journey Planner to more accurately reflect the time it takes to travel through stations.

By collecting the data TfL claims that it has gained a greater understanding of the routes people take across the network, where they interchange and how long people may have to wait at certain points along their journey due to crowding or maintenance work.

At major interchange stations like Canada Water, the time to interchange between lines has been adjusted to better reflect busy times.

Historically, TfL has relied on customer surveys to understand the flow of movement through a station.

Using depersonalised WiFi data provides a more accurate understanding of how people interchange throughout the day.

The data collection, which began on 8 July 2019, is harnessing existing Wi-Fi connection data from more than 260 Wi-Fi enabled London Underground stations.  All data collected by TfL is automatically depersonalised to ensure that it is not possible to identify any individual, and no browsing or historical data is collected from any devices.

Lauren Sager Weinstein, Chief Data Officer at Transport for London, said: “Our lives are now more data-rich than they have ever been and therefore we are working to use this data to allow our customers to better plan their journeys and find the best routes across our network. These changes to our online Journey Planner using depersonalised Wi-Fi data collection is just the start of wider improvements we are hoping to introduce which will provide better information to our customers and help us plan and operate our transport network more effectively for all. As we do this, we take our customers’ privacy extremely seriously. It is fundamental to our data approach and we do not identify any individuals from the Wi-Fi data collected.”


The bridge across Albion Channel near Brass Talley Alley was replaced a few weeks ago as part of works to upgrade the cycle route for Cycleway / Quietway 14.

But the new bridge – installed at a cost of £115,000 – isn’t to everyone’s taste, with the ‘offensive’ blue handrail drawing particular disapproval.

So far 11 people have signed a petition to Southwark Council calling for the handrail to be repainted:

The consensus among the residents in the area is that the new bridge does not suit the style of the canal and the surrounding buildings at all. The most offensive feature — and easiest to remedy — is the blue railing. The blue is at odds with the colours of all surrounding buildings and should be changed.

Residents and businesses have until Sunday 22 September to have their say on whether and how parking should be controlled in the streets around the Blue.

The consultation area stretches from the railway line in the north to the City of London Academy in the south, with its western border at St James’s Road.

In its consultation document the council says:

“The council has received a number of requests for parking controls to be introduced in your area as well as a petition from residents south of The Blue.

“Local residents are finding it very hard to park near their homes or to exit and enter their drives which is causing significant stress and inconvenience.

“We have also had reports of businesses finding it hard to park in the area and of commuters taking up space that could be used by visitors.

“Off street parking at The Blue will be managed separately by the housing parking team alongside the Good Growth Fund.

“For the safety and convenience of local residents and businesses, the council would like to know whether you think parking could be improved in your area.”

The council has an online survey which is open until Sunday 22 September

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.

More details are available at www.southwark.gov.uk/rotherhithemovementplan and in the three consultation pages:

The closing date for responses is 4 October.

A graphic posted by Google to promote the launch of public transport ‘crowdedness predictions’ in Google Maps

Google is adding ‘crowdedness predictions’ for public transport on its Maps apps … and the company says that Canada Water is one of London’s most crowded stations and the Jubilee line is the most crowded line.

In a blog post Google explained: “Crowdedness predictions come from optional feedback directly from the people who use Google Maps. In fact, you may have received notifications asking about how crowded your subway, train, or bus ride was after navigating in transit mode. To learn more about how crowdedness levels vary around the world, we analyzed aggregated and anonymized reports of crowdedness from Google Maps users from October 2018 to June 2019 during peak commuting hours (6am – 10am), and identified which lines had the highest number of crowdedness reports. “

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan recently responded to concerns about the overcrowding at Canada Water, noting that the Elizabeth line could help free up capacity on the Jubilee line.

TfL is also bidding for Government funds to further upgrade the East London line – including a revamp for Surrey Quays Station – with a decision due in July.

Transport for London has announced that work will begin on 5 July on the construction of the £54 million cycleway between Tower Bridge and Greenwich via Jamaica Road.

Work is starting on the first section of Cycleway 4 between Tower Bridge and Rotherhithe Roundabout and includes new pedestrian crossings along Tooley Street and Jamaica Road and the overhaul of the Rotherhithe roundabout.

“I’m delighted that work is about to begin on this major new cycle route in south-east London,” said Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

“High-quality segregated cycle routes greatly increase the numbers of people who feel confident cycling on our streets and with new pedestrian crossings along the route, road danger will be substantially reduced for thousands of pedestrians too.

“Boroughs like Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich really understand the huge benefits of investing in high-quality walking and cycling infrastructure. With record investment from TfL we will continue to work with boroughs who share our vision to tackle London’s inactivity crisis, reduce road danger, and get more people out of their cars and into cleaner greener forms of transport.”

Cllr Richard Livingstone, Southwark’s cabinet member for environment, transport and the climate emergency, said: “In Southwark we welcome this new addition to our growing network of cycleways.

“I hope that the introduction of segregated bike lanes and improved junctions will encourage even more people to get on their bikes and help to improve their health and happiness, and all of our air quality.”

Public consultation on the Lower Road section of the route is expected this summer.

Transport for London has delayed the next round of public consultation on the Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf Bridge as it tries to trim the cost of the scheme, a City Hall committee has been told.

TfL has allocated £330 million to the walking and cycling scheme in its business plan.

Public consultation was due to open last month but has been delayed whilst TfL tries to tweak the scheme to try to keep the cost of the bridge within £330 million.

David Hughes, TfL’s investment delivery planning director, told the London Assembly budget & performance committee: “We’ve deferred the start of the consultation to allow further work on value engineering aspects of the scheme, going back looking at certain of the requirements around alignment [and] the navigation requirements of the Port of London to see if we can take out part of the cost before going to consultation.”

Alex Williams, TfL’s director of city planning, added: “We will seek contributions from the private sector to help deliver it” – but he warned that the amounts to be extracted from Canada Water developers British Land and Canary Wharf Group “are not going to be huge”.

Mr Hughes was unable to give Assembly members a new timetable for the next public consultation on the bridge.