Community news and investigative journalism for Wapping E1W and Tower Hamlets London

Wapping High Street cobbles trashed for Big Half Marathon

By on February 27, 2018 in Big Half Marathon, Events

Just when Wapping residents did not think the bungled preparations for Sunday’s Big Half Marathon event could not get any worse – they got worse.

Numerous sections of cobbles along the BIg Half Baked Marathon route have been either dug up with a pneumatic drill and or patched up with concrete. The photos below were taken this morning.

Wapping High Street has been closed to traffic and the 100 bus diverted.

One resident told LW of an elderly lady who has recently been in hospital for lung surgery who need to get the 100 bus from Wapping Overground station to Waitrose.

But there was no 100 bus.

So the lady had to walk.

Not a huge issue if you are physically fit but when you are 80 years old and recovering from a serious illness it is a big deal.

This is the reality of the chaos caused by the Big Half Baked Marathon this week and the disruption caused to residents.

Our understanding is that the road works on Wapping High Street will continue until Thursday but this is not confirmed as nobody in authority seems to have a grip on this situation.

LW took photos of some of the areas where the cobbles have been patched up with concrete as you can see below.

Not exactly a high standard of workmanship.

Big question is why are the cobbles being patched up? And why now?

Big Half Baked Marathon

For the Big Half Baked Marathon of course!

Quite why the Big Half Baked is coming through Wapping nobody seems to know (although we will find out).

Seems marathons have come through Wapping many years ago until the organisers realised that cobbles and road running don’t mix.

So the cobbles are being patched up in the hope that this will prevent injuries to the runners.

Obviously if Sir Mo Farah injured himself on the cobbles it would be catastrophic.


Wapping conservation area

The cobbles on Wapping High Street are part of the Wapping conservation area. Who decided that this work could be undertaken and in such a slap dash manner?

After the Tower Hamlets Council twitter account was bombarded with questions about this residents were told that “…you can rest assured the highways team will now be closely monitoring the situation to ensure the work is carried out and finished in the appropriate way.”

This does not seem to be the case however:


Who is paying the bill?

Another question is who is paying for this work? Tower Hamlets Council? Or London Marathon Events Ltd who are organising the Big Half Baked event?

This is how Wapping will look for the rest of the week.

We don’t know. Again, we will find out.

LW apologises for not being able to bring you accurate information on this issue, especially with regard to the 100 bus route, but we are in the dark just as much as any other resident.

Update 12:15 hrs

Apparently the speed bumps in Wapping High Street are also being removed.

A few days ago What’s in Wapping predicted this work would need to be done – pity nobody in authority had the same foresight.

Wapping disrupted for rest of week

Bottom line seems to be that not only will Wapping be disrupted over the weekend for the Big Half Baked race on Sunday 4th March but because of the roadworks on Wapping High Street there will also be disruption through Thursday.

More information as and when (and if) we get it.

Many thanks to the numerous residents who have helped with information on this morning’s events in Wapping and Cllr. Andrew Woods (Conservative) who is making enquiries of Tower Hamlets Council as a matter of urgency.

Traffic is also now coming along Green Bank to get past the roadworks along Wapping High Street.






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There is 1 Brilliant Comment

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  1. Chris says:

    This is truly unbelievable.

    Two comments:

    1) As this concreting work is taking place when the temperatures are literally below zero all the works will crack when the water in said concrete freezes. Tonight if not already.It is meant to hit minus 4 tonight, I see. To be honest given the poor quality of the work this is hardly surprising.

    2) When the London Marathon did go over the cobbles near St Katherine’s Dock (St Katherines Way) and indeed in front of the Tower Of London , the organisers put matting down which I understood helped especially the wheel chair runners. Such a solution would of course have been far easier to implement (on the day), cheaper and less disruptive.

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