I hate surprises.
Am I the only person in Wapping to know nothing of the plan by London Dock to have another vehicle access entrance in Vaughan Way? Probably not.
Indeed it was only thanks to a tweet by Wapping Sourdough, purveyors of the finest naturally leavened organic artisan breads to Londoners, that I found out.
The tweet mentioned something about the removal of some Boris bike stands in Vaughan Way so I wandered up there this afternoon and took some pictures of where 12 Boris bike stands had been removed. Didn’t really see what they fuss was about but hey, a story is a story.
Wrong story. It was only later that I realised what was going on. A real journalist would have asked the blindingly obvious question “Why are the Boris bike stands being removed?” but hey Love Wapping is free and we have to make do with the staff we have. Or haven’t.
One teeny weeny detail
The real story is that it seems that the long, detailed and exhaustive planning process carried out by St. George’s / London Dock forgot one teeny weeny detail.
Apart from the main access for lorries in Pennington Street that we all know about there would be a need for another site entrance for vehicles in Vaughan Way.
Oops. How careless.
So now that they have remembered this teeny weeny detail they would like to talk to us about it. I hadn’t heard about this either but thanks to the barrel of monkeys that is the twittersphere I found out. The letter in PDF format can be found via a link on the front page of the London Dock consultation site and for your reading pleasure the text is below:
18th June 2014
RE – LONDON DOCK CONSTRUCTION LOGISTICS
We are pleased to invite you to a drop in session on Thursday 26 June where you can meet members of the team to discuss proposed construction arrangements for the London Dock development.
As you may be aware, an additional construction access is proposed on Vaughan Way which is currently being consulted upon by London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
The session will run from 5pm until 8pm in the eastern end of the Pennington Street Warehouse.
Note to London Dock: Putting information like this in a PDF on your site is not helpful to anyone. Content in a PDF is like a black box to search engines so no one would realise this letter exists. Some nice plain text would be fine thanks.
Is Love Wapping the last to know about (a) the extra entrance and (b) the meeting about the extra entrance? If you heard about this before reading this post please get in touch.
Apart from the issue of the site entrance itself there is a bigger issue that will affect the whole of Wapping.
If Vaughan Way, not a wide road to say the least, suffers from more congestion because of the London Dock entrance and at the same time Wapping High Street also suffers from more traffic congestion because of the development at King Henry Wharves / Phoenix Wharf then Wapping could come to a complete stand still.
Or am I just being a pessimist?
Meeting Thursday 26 June
Either way there is a meeting with London Dock to discuss this on Thursday 26 June between 5pm and 8pm as the letter says so it’s time to get informed.
Check out the Love Wapping Facebook page for comments on this. A more detailed and considered post at a later date.
Update 22:15 – Nothing in original planning application by London Dock
Thanks to the Tower Hamlets planning expertise of Pootling Paul please find the links below which show absolutely no mention whatsoever of a vehicle access in Vaughan Way. Many thanks Paul. Note all links will open as PDF documents.
- Main Site Plan
- All construction traffic via Pennington Street no reference to Vaughan Way (see page 7)
- Environmental Statement – shows route on to the site
Update 09: 15 21st June – 10 lorries an hour at Vaughan Way
Wapping Conservatives have got detailed information and correspondence regarding this ‘new’ entrance on their website which I urge you to visit. Well done to our new Councillor Julia Dockerill for this. Here is a quote re the number of vehicles (aka big lorries?) expected at the entrance in Vaughan Way.
“There will be up to 50 vehicles (100 movements) per day using the access, the equivalent of up to 10 vehicles per hour.”
Excuse me for not being a vehicle movement expert but that number of vehicles will, to use a technical term, completely screw free flow of traffic along Vaughan Way and by extension throughout Wapping.
Oh and make that side of the pavement unusable.
And extra disturbance to residents?
Is this acceptable to you? Check out the Wapping Conservatives site for the full info.
Update 02 September – trees to come down, lorry movements reduced
Thanks to concerned residents (us) and with a lot of work by John Schuster (see comment below) and Cllr. Julia Dockerill the number of vehicle movements from the Vaughan Way entrance has been reduced from 100 a day to 40. Please have a look at Julia Dockerill’s blog post on this issue.
We need to actively monitor what is going with the entrance and any other developments at London Dock. Any observations or comments let the rest of us know through the site.