British Transport Police  officers have issued a reminder about the consequences of falsely reporting crime.
False crime reports divert police attention from passengers and railway staff who really need it. People who are found wasting police time or perverting the course of justice can find themselves facing arrest.

On Monday a man was handed a formal police caution after boasting on Twitter that he had lied to police about having his wallet stolen, with BTP officers quickly picking up on the messages.

The 23-year-old man, from Benfleet in Essex, told police that he had his wallet snatched out of his hand whilst on board a train at Bermondsey Tube station.

But the man soon tweeted about how he had lied to BTP about the incident and had in fact forgotten his wallet.

The tweets were picked up by BTP’s control room and he was arrested a few hours later for perverting the course of justice, before being handed a formal police caution.

BTP Superintendent Matt Wratten said: “This man wasted valuable police time by falsely claiming his property had been stolen. He then had the audacity to brag about it on social media.

“Thanks to the quick actions of the staff in our Force control room, and the man’s tweets, we were able to quickly identify that the theft hadn’t taken place.

“We know the majority of people report crimes openly and honestly, and we will always treat every report as genuine. I hope this man and others who are considering making a false claim now think twice about doing so.”

Supt Wratten added: “BTP recently launched Operation Magnum to tackle theft and already we’re arresting more offenders.

“Our plain-clothes officers patrol the Tube network every day and are highly-trained in spotting the kind of behaviour that tells them someone is intent on theft.”

Boris Johnson

Southwark Council is to spend £15,000 to investigate the possibility of extending the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme beyond its current coverage area in the north-west of the borough.

The council has allocated £10,000 to identify cycle hire docking station sites beyond the current scheme area in Southwark.

At present, there is only one docking station east of Tower Bridge Road.

The council says that this work will investigate possible extension options towards Burgess Park and along the river. The findings of the study will be used to cost and plan future scheme expansion.

The recently approved redevelopment of the Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey includes provision for a docking station as part of the planning permission.

The council will also spend £5,000 on a collaborative study with a leading academic to investigate cycle hire usage patterns and identify barriers to usage. This information will also be used to put together a case for extending the cycle hire scheme.

Everyone in Bermondsey  must now be aware of the traffic chaos resulting from the enforcement of new width restrictions on the Rotherhithe Tunnel.

“Despite Transport for London having a year to prepare for the start of this policy it seems very few people are aware of this new ban on wide vehicles being allowed through the Rotherhithe Tunnel,” said Caroline Pidgeon AM, Lib Dem London Assembly member.

“These new restrictions might be necessary for safety reasons, but it is equally vital TfL ensure that drivers are fully aware of these new restrictions so where necessary can make alternative journeys. Every step must now be taken to avoid the gridlock we witnessed this week.”

“I am now seeking an urgent meeting with Transport for London and local councillors to help resolve these problems.”

Transport for London says:

There is an ongoing programme of initiatives to improve the safety of the Rotherhithe Tunnel. The tunnel is now over 100 years old and was never built to carry the current level of daily traffic.

As part of these initiatives, in March 2012 we put up a 6’6″ (1.98 metres) width restriction sign at the Rotherhithe Tunnel entrances.

The narrowing of the width restrictions on both northbound and southbound approaches to the tunnel will significantly reduce the risk of vehicle collisions, spillage of flammable materials, and fires in the tunnel.

Physical width restriction barriers will be introduced at the tunnel entrances, and enforcement will begin on Tuesday 19 March 2013. Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) and police officers will be in attendance during the first week.

You will only be able to use the tunnel if you have a car, or car-derived van, less than 6’6″ (1.98 metres) in width.

The affected vehicles (an average of 103 per day out of 33,000, or 0.3%) will be required to use Tower Bridge or the Blackwall Tunnel, both of which are outside of the Congestion Charging zone, to complete their journey.

 

Free wireless internet access is now available at Rotherhithe and Surrey Quays stations, London Overground has announced.

“We are always looking for ways to make the London Overground even more convenient than it already is and believe the introduction of free wifi can only improve and enhance our passenger journeys,” said Peter Austin, managing director of London Overground Rail Operations.

“It complements the modern commuting railway service we already offer and is also fitting for what is one of the best performing railways in the UK.”

The Cloud offers 60 minutes of free access per day to its hotspots at Overground stations.

Canada Water Station a paid-for Virgin Media wifi service.

Transport for London has confirmed plans to lengthen all trains on the London Overground from four carriages to five.

The £320m programme includes the construction of longer platforms at some stations and the delivery of an extra 57 carriages by the end of 2015.

The heavily constricted Rotherhithe and Canada Water stations are unlikely to be expanded so trains will used selective door opening (SDO) at these stations.

This means passengers in the rear coach of a five-car train are likely to have to walk through to the next coach in order to alight.

At Surrey Quays there is more space for potential platform extensions.

“Passenger numbers on our London Overground services have been going through the roof, but this important programme of investment will enable us to provide the extra carriages required for Londoners to take advantage of what has become the most popular suburban railway in the country,” said Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.

Transport for London’s Howard Smith said: “Demand for London Overground – the UK’s most punctual rail service – is growing at an incredible pace.  By the end of 2012, London Overground carried 120 million passengers – nearly four times the number carried when we launched in 2007.

“To enable this positive trend to continue and maintain our high levels for safe, reliable and frequent travel, we need to deliver more capacity by adding more carriages”.

 

Thames Clippers sent this email to passengers on Friday:

Please be advised that further improvement works to Greenland pier will commence on Monday, 28th January for a period of approximately two weeks (excluding weekends). Please be aware that there may be some disruption as a result. The pier is due to be closed for short periods while the works are carried out, however we will ensure that closures take place during off-peak times. A further update on this will be sent next week.

Picture by Jody Kingzett

A new pedestrian and cycle bridge was lowered into place over Rotherhithe New Road near South Bermondsey station on Saturday.

The new bridge was installed on Sunday as part of the Lottery-funded Sustrans Connect 2 project. It replaces a disused Victorian railway bridge which was removed in September and cut up for scrap.

The 4 metre wide modern bridge made of steel will carry pedestrians and cyclists over Rotherhithe New Road to South Bermondsey Station and beyond.

“It is fantastic to see the old rusty bridge gone and a purpose built crossing put in its place,” said Cllr Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for transport.

“The good news is that despite the forecast bad weather, we finished ahead of schedule and the bridge is now in place.

“This has been another hugely successful and efficient operation led by Southwark council and its contractors.

“There was minimal disruption and the footpath was only closed for 30 minutes whilst the bridge was put in place.”

“We are looking forward to this modern replacement bridge being officially opened to the public from January 2013.

“It is going to make a significant difference to everyone, pedestrians and cyclists alike, who needs direct access to and from South Bermondsey station.”

Bryn Lockwood from Sustrans said: “It’s great to see this new dedicated walking and cycling bridge go in after all the effort of local people and thanks to their vision and perseverance in making this project happen.

“The bridge looks great and will really make a difference to people’s lives on a daily basis. People will now be able to start the day with a quiet stroll rather than dodging the trucks and traffic on the Rotherhithe New Road and it’ll encourage many more people to make their everyday journeys on foot or by bike.”

From last week’s Council Assembly:
QUESTION TO THE CABINET MEMBER FOR TRANSPORT, ENVIRONMENT AND RECYCLING FROM COUNCILLOR DENISE CAPSTICK

  • What is the council doing to stop the Tesco Express on Southwark Park Road using the pavement as an extension to their store and why are their delivery lorries permitted to block the traffic thoroughfare rather than use the parking bays on a regular basis?

RESPONSE (CLLR BARRIE HARGROVE)

The parking bay was installed for the purpose of providing car parking for visitors to local stores. The dimensions of the bay are unsuitable for accommodation of large delivery vehicles although there is not a loading ban in operation in this area.
Observations have shown that vehicles making deliveries to the store are too large to fit wholly within the parking bay. Delivery vehicles then extend onto the double yellow lines or, if the parking bay is occupied by a car, double park. This is causing obstruction of the westbound traffic lane. Currently this can only be dealt with by issuing parking tickets on the vehicles causing the obstruction.

Tesco’s transport consultants have indicated that they would be prepared to pay for a five metre west-ward extension of bay and changing its use so that only delivery vehicles can park in it during certain hours (8am-11am) and by shoppers outside of those hours. It is noted that the extension of the bay would only be possible with the removal of the adjacent plane tree and approximately five metres of footway.

A proposal will be brought to the local community council for a decision within the next three months.
Regarding the cages on the footway, we have brought the issue to the notice of the store manager and will continue to inspect the area and take enforcement action when we find evidence of an obstruction on the highway.