Apologies for the delay between this update and the previous one, we have been more than a little busy with various other things going on in the borough that affect us all. Many thanks to the numerous residents who have been feeding us with information.
Sunday 4th March is the Big Half Marathon. That means that anyone with a vehicle parked on the route through Wapping (Vaughan Way, Wapping High Street, Garnet Street) has to move it by Saturday evening or it will be towed away.
Numerous local residents have been on the case with the stunningly inept way in which the Big Half Marathon event has been handled, from lack of consultation of residents to closing Wapping for the day to hacking up cobbled streets and closing roads with no notice it has been a complete and utter failure.
It is safe to assume that the Big Half Marathon event itself will be a complete cock-up too.
Wapping Wardens required
The strength of opinions on the Big Half Marathon has been more evident than any other subject LW has covered.
On the back of this we wonder if there is a need for residents to monitor the event and its preparations over the weekend?
To be honest all this really means is keeping an eye open for what is going on and ensuring that the Big Half Marathon only causes the problems that we cannot avoid.
Crossing points still unclear
One issue is the continued lack of clarity over crossing points for those pesky pedestrian people (us) to get across Wapping High Street when between 15,000 to 20,000 runners are occupying it.
At the moment it seems that the only crossing point is outside Wapping Overground station. The organisers (and we use that term very loosely indeed) and TfL say that event stewards will be available along the rest of the route to ensure people can cross the roads.
A resident forwarded the map below to LW. Spot the problem with it?
Yep, it only shows one small part of Wapping.
We have requested a map of the entire route through Wapping with all the crossing points from the organisers but have yet to receive it.
Which probably means a map of the entire route does not exist. Because there are only crossing points outside the station.
If correct this is another significant error that can be added to the already extensive list.
Official word from TfL is that “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.”
What does TfL define as a ‘existing pedestrian crossing point’ we wonder? A wild guess just says pedestrian crossings.
No big hats. Sorry.
And this is one reason why we are suggesting the ‘Wapping Wardens’ idea.
Just get outside when you can from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon and keep an eye on what is going on.
No uniforms. No big hats. No communications systems. Not even badges. In fact no plan at all really.
Just get out there, look after Wapping and help others. Which is what we normally do.
We have had reports that the Wapping Mole will be out and about – maybe the Wapping Squirrel will be there too? Who knows.
Big Half Marathon 2019?
We have saved the worst news until last.
It seems the organisers of the Big Half Marathon are referring to this Sunday’s nonsense as ‘the inaugural event’.
In other words they want to take over Wapping again in 2019.
There is even rumour of a post-event meeting with all involved to ‘learn lessons’.
No need for a meeting. Just sod off Big Half Marathon and don’t even dream of coming back.
Our community is not for rent to flog the life insurance products of Vitality UK or any other corporate out to make a buck.
Neither is any other community in Tower Hamlets.