Big Half Baked Marathon – Will Tuckley responds to Cllr. Andrew Wood

Councillor Andrew Wood (Conservative, Canary Wharf) and the Wapping Conservatives team have received a response from Tower Hamlets Chief Executive Will Tuckley about the numerous issues residents raised about the work on the Wapping High Street cobbles ahead of the Big Half Marathon event on Sunday 4th March. 

The email is reproduced below. In line with normal protocol the names of individual council officers have been redacted. Many thanks to Cllr. Wood, Kirsty Finlayson and Neil King for their work on behalf of Wapping residents.

Wapping High Street should be open to traffic today Wednesday 28 February.

Email from Will Tuckley to Cllr. Andrew Woods re cobbles

Good afternoon Cllr Wood,

Thank you for your email regarding the cobbles in Wapping High Street. I have liaised with the appropriate officers and can answer your questions as set out below and I will speak with [REDACTED] about the road closures not being on the website.

[REDACTED] has visited the site to view the work being carried out by our measured term contractor in Wapping High St. On inspection he has confirmed that the hand pointing is of sufficient standard.

There are two methods that could have been used to repair the defects – the first of which is a grout but that would only have closed the gap between setts so the second option of hand pointing was used as there was movement in the granite setts that required a deeper bond for strengthening.

As the work is patching rather than relaying the whole carriageway, the newly pointed areas will stand out temporarily until the drying process changes the colour of the lean mix and the traffic weather the repaired area.

Rapid hardening additives have also been used in the lean mix to accelerate curing times to open the road sooner. [REDACTED] has asked the contractor to brush finish the affected areas using sharp sand as an additional abrasion material to remove any harder lines of lean mix following the hand pointing.

I have been informed that the route was first walked with the event organiser on 6th October 2017 to look at any defective areas that may cause problems to runners. There were a few areas of concern but none that met the Council’s intervention levels.

The route was then walked again with them on 14th February 2018 and it was found that several areas on the route had become significantly defective. It was at this point that the Highways Asset Management Team arranged for a two day road closure to undertake the necessary repairs. These repairs would have had to have been carried out regardless of the event and the type of repair would have remained the same.

The Half Marathon Event Team are paying for the works that have been undertaken.

The road closure is legal and the appropriate paperwork was completed and consultation with the emergency services undertaken. If you require confirmation of the paperwork completed, please contact [REDACTED] who works in the Highways Team or [REDACTED], his Manager, as I understand that [REDACTED] is currently on annual leave. I have copied them into this response.

Please also do not hesitate to contact [REDACTED] if you require any further information on this area.


Will Tuckley

Chief Executive

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

More information as and when we get it.

Any more developments please tweet @LoveWapping or email



One thought on “Big Half Baked Marathon – Will Tuckley responds to Cllr. Andrew Wood

  1. In case anyone is interested on the Pedestrian entry / exit access on Sunday March 4th, Councillor Denise Jones has today kindly replied:
    I also asked TFL about the pedestrian crossings and they replied:

    “All existing pedestrian crossing points along the route will remain operational throughout the day. They will be staffed by event stewards to ensure pedestrians can cross safely”

    Given the London Marathon lock in experience I am not as confident but the above implies me and fellow residents will be able to exit / entry wapping on foot okay. For residents not aware on London Marathon day we are basically boxed in by railings on all exits other than under passes. And the Glamis under pass is really the only viable exit , the under passes at Tower Hill tend to be rugby scrums without a referee and indeed the police often suspend entry when it gets really bad. It is not good for anyone with claustrophobia.

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