Proposal for a Wapping Bus Gate in the High Street- have your say

At long last someone somewhere has decided that they should fix the massive traffic problems in Wapping and there is now a proposal for the installation of a bus gate restriction along Wapping High Street. There are two possible locations, one at Pier Head, the other at the mini-roundabout junction Wapping Lane.

Update 09 March 2019: Some interesting comments from Chris at the bottom of the page.

An example of a bus gate (without a gate) in Aberdeen – note Automatic Number Plate Recognition camera signs.

The problem with Wapping traffic

There will be a series of other proposals for traffic changes in Wapping, including better junction layouts, improved pedestrian safety, and steps to reduce bad driving behaviour but this is the first bit.

The problem we all suffer from is that traffic currently avoids The Highway (A1203) by cutting down Glamis Road/Wapping Lane towards Wapping High Street and Vaughan Way/Thomas More Street to access The Highway (A1203) again.

To stop this it is proposed to install a bus gate restriction on Wapping High Street, enforced by automatic number plate recognition, to address rat-running traffic.

Recommended Bus Gate Option (Click for larger image)

What’s a bus gate?

A bus gate is an entry point across a road which means only buses are allowed to go any further. There is no physical gate as such.

The Love Wapping Traffic Control Patrol (who are usually out on a stroll) does not really understand a gate which is not a gate concept to be honest – a nice video of an existing one would be handy!

The Wapping gate (whatever it looks like) would prevent all traffic (unless a bus, or a cycle or maybe an exempted local vehicle) from passing Pier Head without risking a penalty.

The consultation team understands that local residents may be inconvenienced by the bus gate and they could allow some groups of residents, by address, and possibly by vehicle type, to pass through the bus gate.

In this consultation they are asking for your views on the proposal, and any exemptions for local residents that might apply.

There are two proposed locations for the bus gate, the preferred option is the West one with a gate at Pier Head, Wapping High Street, the alternative is an eastern location near the mini-roundabout junction Wapping High Street and Wapping Lane.

Alternative Bus Gate Option (Click for larger image)

Recommended bus gate option

Installing a bus gate will have an impact on residents’ movements in the area, so the Council recommend that the most effective proposal is:

  • Western location
  • 24 hours, seven days a week
  • Bus and cycle access only
  • No access for motor vehicles, motorbikes or taxis

Drop-in session Saturday 23rd March

In addition to the online survey, there will also be a drop-in session at each of the locations on Saturday 23rd March where the consultation people will be available to answer your questions and queries. There will also be large scale drawings available for you to look at.

The consultation team will be at the Eastern location between 10am-12noon and at the Western location between 1-3pm.

The Chris Bit

As ever LW Planning Group is grateful to Wapping resident Chris who can always be relied upon to thoroughly think through any planning proposals. Unlike them. Here are Chris’s thoughts which all seem to be good points for discussion.

“I have seen the Bus Gate proposal and have some major concerns which I have raised on the consultation.

The concern is access for deliveries in the area in question.

From what I can see irrespective of the East or West option access to resident housing (and businesses/2 Pubs) for deliveries will involve the delivery vehicle in question needing to perform a U-Turn or 3 point turn on Wapping High Street. i.e. To avoid the east or west Bus Gate.

The questions I have are 3 fold.

1) Where on Wapping High Street (WHS) in the section in question can a HGV size vehicle SAFELY perform a 3 point turn (or u turn). From the Wapping Lane mini-roundabout to the Pier Head site I cannot see a viable place for such a large vehicle.

2) If in fact TH Council has mapped out a viable 3 point turn place, have they modelled the traffic delays that having such multiple delivery vehicles performing 3 point turns will create ? If they have why is that not included on the consultation website ?

3) Again if a section on WHS is planned for 3 point turns, might it not be a good idea to sign it as a council designated SAFE turning point.

I should say I know the chaos the rat run issue creates and so I am sympathetic to the proposal, but I am really not sure if the unintended consequences of this proposal have been thought through.

May be I am missing something but effectively the proposal turns WHS into a “cul de sac” but without the bulbous end which allows vehicles to turn around.

For example where does the HGV delivering beer to the Town of Ramsgate/Captain Kid do a 3 point turn ?

I should say I initially thought it was a reasonably good idea, but now I am not so sure…”


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5 thoughts on “Proposal for a Wapping Bus Gate in the High Street- have your say

  1. Really pleased to see this proposal. Removing the through traffic should have a significant impact on air (& noise) pollution – Wapping, is already only just under the legal limit (which is still a level of pollution that causes health problems), with some of the roads through Wapping exceeding it. It will also make it more pleasant and safer for people to walk/cycle to school, and around Wapping.

    I don’t see how it will cause problems for visitors to Wapping, people simply need to access Wapping from the correct turning from the Highway (which they should be doing already). If using Google Maps/SatNav, it will send them the correct way.

    Regarding HGVs, the restriction is only across a certain point, the bus gate, access is available to all part of WHS. Brewhouse Lane is probably best served from the east, with vehicles turning. But I’m sure the council would be reasonable if the best Traffic Management Plan involved going through the bus gate.

  2. Very happy with this proposal. Any ideas that slow down the traffic in Wapping Lane will get my approval. Far from having a real impact on speed, the current road bumps seem to attract idiots intent on racing over them as fast as possible!

  3. This has got to be the most ridiculous proposal I have ever seen. To use a metaphor, the Wapping patient is getting too much oxygen(cars). Solution, we cut off the supply of oxygen. The negative impact on local businesses, schools, restaurants, pubs, vital services ( medical centre and pharmacy) will be substantial. It will in effect create no go areas for many Wapping residents.
    Local residents will face considerable problems in receiving deliveries. They will also have major problems when they require plumbers, electricians, builders and other services such as taxis.
    I am totally in favour of traffic calming measures to control the “boy racers”. This proposal however is misguided and flawed. The questions on the form provided are restrictive and totally biased.
    This proposal should be rejected

  4. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    I have made 2 observations re the proposals.

    Firstly how can this proposal be squared with the King Henry’s Wharf / Brewhouse Lane 2 year building development which has already been signed off. That will mean heavy HGV traffic (and constant ferrying traffic across the street) on Wapping High Street precisely in the middle of this proposed “bus only route” and I assume that will be legally exempt from the arrange since TH has already signed it off.

    Secondly for residents who have mobility needs and don’t drive. They need access to taxi’s which would now not want to come to Wapping if the route excludes all taxi’s. I guess a solution would be to grant selective taxi access for may be a local taxi firm or provider. Also there is the issue of deliveries.

    1. All very good points Chris, we need to ensure the consultation takes into account building development works. Or we could just stop lorries at the gate and they could carry the stuff in 🙂

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