Wapping Bus Gate – some questions for Tower Hamlets Council from Cllr. Andrew Wood

Once again Cllr. Andrew Wood (Conservative, Canary Wharf) has shown Wapping residents what a cracking public servant he is by coming over to Wapping on Monday to check out the proposed bus gate location for himself and coming up with some questions for the Council he wants answers to.

Just to be clear Cllr. Wood just wants to make clear the objectives for the bus gate – not stop it.

Cllr. Andrew Wood (How we resisted the temptation to add a speech bubble or two to this photo we have no idea.)

As most Wapping residents will realise Cllr. Wood is one of the councillors for Canary Wharf – which is nowhere near Wapping! So why does he make extra work for himself by coming over to E1W and properly engaging with the Wapping Bus Gate issue?

Because no other councillor is. Maybe voters should remember this at the next election maybe?

Anyway here are the numerous questions he is going to ask. Many thanks to Andrew for doing this. Much appreciated by all.

Questions from Cllr. Andrew Wood about Wapping bus gate

Below are some draft questions I have for TH Council on the Wapping bus gate.

  1. What are the overall aims of the bus gate project?
  2. Has any impact assessment been done for people relying on carers who may use personal vehicles to visit their clients during the periods when the bus gate are operational?
  3. Has any impact assessment been done for disabled car users in the area of this change?
  4. Has any impact assessment been done for patients who use taxis in the area to get to NHS hospitals using the taxi card scheme of this change?
  5. Which other roads are to be closed i.e. Pennington, Knighton? How will they be closed?
  6. Where will be signage be located?
  7. Rotherhithe tunnel closure to larger vehicles – what impact has this had on Highway traffic?
  8. How will mopeds/motor bikes be factored in? at the Blackwall Way bus gate they just mount the pavements to avoid the cameras.
  9. Why were two bus gates not considered at the same time rather then a choice of either east or west as would have solved some of the diversion issues this location provides
  10. Can we have a map of the specific changes and locations of road closures, cameras, signage etc
  11. 100 bus service reliability & future – do we have any stats on 100 bus service reliability and its future?
  12. Why was the trial set for 18 months and not a shorter period? the 20mph speed limit change trial for example was much shorter
  13. What are the income projections from fines from the bus gate? given that the fine income from the Blackwall bus gate are substantial and that is a minor road in comparison to this location
  14. Does the Council have the capacity to write to regular users of the roads to be blocked? As we can capture from temporary ANPR cameras license plates and then write to them by using their DVLA addresses. This would help avoid any disruption when first introduced.
  15. Have we talked to any taxi driver organisations about this proposed change? if not why not?
  16. Has any impact assessment been done for shops in Wapping especially those in Wapping Lane like Hussey’s which depend in part on car driver traffic?
  17. Will the Council be telling online mapping companies providing traffic route maps i.e. Google maps about this bus gate so that their algorithms do not route drivers through the bus gate?

Consultation Report

How many attended the drop in sessions on the 23rd March? approximate answer is ok as I know it was held out of doors

The numbers in the tables in the report do not add up, for example:

Q1. Are you a? Local resident

All answers 1,789

Consultation area 1,463

Within LBTH 72

Outside LBTH 15

If you add up the 3 sub-columns you get 1,550 not 1,789 so we appear to be missing a column, we know only 25 people did not provide a location so it cannot be that group

Why do the columns not add up to the total? what is missing?

Q4. Who should be able to get through the bus gate? (Consultation area)

68% of people living in area affected believed some residents should be able to drive through bus gate

Why was this ignored?

Why does the Council feel ignoring this result will ensure residents acceptance of this change?

Does the Council have the technical ability to sift out residents cars from any fines (I assume this is very easy by simply not sending fine letters to E1W postcodes)

Q6. Should taxis be allowed?

68% said yes. Why was this ignored?

Especially given comments about 100 bus reliability

Why does the Council feel ignoring this result will ensure residents acceptance of this change?

What legal advice has the Council sought on this and about treating taxis

How many of those who supported longer operational hours for the bus gate i.e. 24 hours a day also supported residents being able to drive through the gate

Was there a strong correlation between these two choices in the responses (happy to accept online responses only if too difficult to capture) i.e. people wanted longer hours because they thought they would be allowed to drive through?

By the way did we mention that Cllr. Wood is a Canary Wharf councillor? We did? Just checking.

And did we mention Cllr. Wood is a Conservative councillor? Yes? Super.

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2 thoughts on “Wapping Bus Gate – some questions for Tower Hamlets Council from Cllr. Andrew Wood

  1. If Andrew reads this comment can he also ask what data TH have to support there conclusion that (from the report conclusion) “local residents … rat run through their own area” …When I asked TH to provide a breakdown of local vehicles versus non-E1W vehicles using the WHS route, they indicated they only had aggregate data.. However given this seems to be the main reason the report has no exemptions and the allegation is in the conclusion, one would hope they had some actual data to support it. Not just anecdotes.

    Also it would be good to know how they define rat-running in our own area. Since it breaks the dictionary definition, the TH definition would be useful. i.e. Does it involve any use of WHS to travel from East/West (or vice versa) to get to Waitrose for example or is it just using WHS by a local resident to cut out using the Highway from Wapping lane to Vaughan Way (i.e. a local resident exiting or entering Wapping).

    As a final point (which does not benefit me but it does a number of residents I know and a family member) I do feel Wapping Residents with mobility constraints and disabilities should be exempt. The 100 Bus is too irregular and is so often suspended/diverted, that it is not a viable option.

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