Wapping Bus Gate – exemptions for Blue Badge holders

Local resident Chris Jackson recently wrote to the Mayor to try and get some sense out of the Council about Wapping bus gate exemptions for holders of Blue Badges.

Thanks to Chris – and Mayor Biggs – he finally got a response (below) and here is the key stuff.

“For the majority of the day there will be no restrictions at the bus gateway and we think this can accommodate most local journeys and therefore no exemptions have been given initially.

To make Wapping an even more pleasant place to live, everyone needs to think about how they travel and we hope this will encourage a lot of people to alter the way they may local trips so they can enjoy walking or cycling more.

However we acknowledge that there may be some people for whom this presents a real difficulty.

We have introduced the bus gateway on an 18 month experimental basis and during this time we will be considering the impacts and residents comments as we have the ability to modify its operation to make it operate as effectively as possible.

As a result of your enquiry, we are specifically investigating the methods which could be used to exempt Blue Badge holders as we are conscious that our enforcement system relies on number plate recognition, whereas the Blue Badge is specific to an individual who may be using a variety of vehicles.

If such an exemption were to be introduced, we would want it to be robust, to the benefit of Wapping residents and not open to abuse.”

Many thanks to Chris for alerting the Council to the fact that Blue Badge holders live in Wapping <sigh>.

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One thought on “Wapping Bus Gate – exemptions for Blue Badge holders

  1. Hi Mark,

    As a follow up I sent to the Mayor the following given the lack of urgency the Mayor’s office is showing in addressing the issue and the inaccuracies contained in their letter to me.

    If I get a further response I will let you know.

    Regards Chris


    Sent Nov 26th 3.12pm.

    Dear Mayor’s Office,

    Thank you for forwarding the reply to my questions on the Bus Gate, especially in view of its highly negative impact on local residents with mobility challenges.

    However I find the letter very unhelpful and lacking any urgency. In addition it contains a number of inaccuracies.

    Firstly I wrote to you and the Liveable Streets address on Sept 24th not November 11. Please do not pretend your response is quick by quoting Nov 11, which is the date your office finally escalated the issue.

    Secondly the letter refers to a 18 month consultation period, but that is incorrect the Liveable Streets office wrote some weeks back it will be 6 months..These basic errors hardly inspire any confidence in the process.

    On the letter itself it states the gate is limited in hours which whilst true, ignores the impact that chosen hours have on those residents with mobility challenges who have to access for example the Wapping Lane GP clinics (and Pharmacy) over 50% of the GP hours operate when the Bus Gate closes. The GP is not open at weekends and closes for surgery 12 noon to 3.30pm…Thus the Bus Gate is closed for 4 hours of the 6 hours the GP surgery is open.

    On the Blue Badge scheme please show a little urgency and imagination in addressing how to roll the exemption out to Wapping Blue Badge holders and don’t get obsessed with Profit maximisation. Yes I am sure their may be limited abuse (there always is) but the focus should be on helping the many not the few. That is the many Blue Badge holders who are law bidding and need help not a couple of cases of abuse. On imagination why not write to Wapping Blue badge holders inviting them to register ONE vehicle as exempt by supplying the Reg #, this is not exactly brain surgery as a solution.

    Finally I am amazed that I am being asked to contact TFL to ask them to replace the 100 Bus with a non-diesel alternative.. Your office has rightly said diesel pollution causes respiratory illness and lung retardation in Local children, so YOUR office should contact them demanding the buses convert to hydrogen fuel cells (a technology used by TFL on other routes already) , the fact is the TH Mayor Offices is going to have far more success/leverage with TFL than my lone voice as a local resident.

    I look forward to a response and far more constructive action on these points.

    Kind regards

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