Wapping marathon lock-ins not really happening says Tower Hamlets Council

Earlier this week LW asked the Council for a formal response to our stories about Wapping being locked-in by experiential branding activities sporting events on two consecutive weekends this weekend and next weekend.  Late this afternoon we received a response which we publish in full below.

Quite why it took three days to provide this could lead a sceptical resident to think that the Council did not have clue on about what was going on, hence the delay.

Drum being rolled. What did you expect? And yes we know it’s a barrel not a drum.

Condensed version is that the council wants us all to be inspired by top athletes [huh? We just watched the World Cup on TV!] that the events are not organised by the council and it does not get to decide road closures [it’s not our fault blame TfL], 1.1 million leaflets were distributed a month ago [the Wapping Squirrel’s must have eaten them all then], on the day there will be road signs stating ‘Road ahead closed’ or ‘Road closed’ [ya don’t say?] the council recognises that two consecutive weekends of road closures is not an ideal scenario [like having a piano land on your head while walking the dog not ideal] and the phrase you have all been waiting for there will be a review of the lessons to be learnt from these latest two events!

However our favourite piece of nonsense deserves a paragraph all to itself – drum roll please maestro!

Problem? What problem?

“Concerns have been raised that Wapping in particular will be ‘locked in’ during the events. We can reassure residents that this is not the case.”

Phew! We were all getting worried about nothing! That’s a relief. Problem solved because there is no problem. Why is it not the case that Wapping will be locked in? Because “at least one vehicle crossing point will be available during both events to allow motorists to get in and out of the area.”


If you can bear to read the full nonsense the text is below.

Us? We are going to have a long lie down in a darkened room. Just like mushrooms – because they are also kept in the dark and fed on bullshit.

Wapping residents as viewed by Tower Hamlets Council

Statement from Council on road closures

“Tower Hamlets has a proud history of playing host to some of London’s biggest sporting events. We want our residents to be inspired by top athletes as we encourage them to live happier, healthier lives.

“While many residents welcome this approach, we recognise that others have expressed frustration with the road closures necessary to ensure everyone’s safety.

“Over the next two weekends, Ride London and the London Triathlon will pass through the borough.

“These events are not organised by the council and because their routes are limited to main roads controlled by Transport for London, we do not have a deciding role in the approval process.

“TfL has confirmed that while road closures will be in place, vehicle crossing points will be operating during both events, meaning no area will be inaccessible at any time.”

The following steps have been taken by Transport for London to keep residents along the route informed of the planned road closures:

1.1 million leaflets with detailed information about road closures are distributed to residents and businesses along the routes one month before the event.

Road signs warning of road closures are put in place four weeks before the event across London and Surrey.

These signs advise that there will be road closures and the date involved.

On the three Sundays before the event, leaflets are placed on cars parked along the route.

Transport for London (TfL) and Highways England Variable Message Signs (VMS) – electronic signs that display road closure information – are in place within London and Surrey one week prior to the event.

TfL and Highways England VMS display road closure warnings on all major routes in or around Surrey (including M25, M1, M11, M40, M20, A2, M23, M4, A4, A40, A12 and A13) one week prior to the event.

On the day, there is more specific messaging on TfL and Highways England VMS and static signs, such as ‘Road ahead closed’ or ‘Road closed’.

There is an extensive advertising campaign during the month leading up to the event which includes advertising on radio stations, online, in newspapers, on buses and on the London Underground and Overground networks.

Full details of the road closure information and journey planning tool are available on the event website six weeks prior to the event. This Google map shows the route for the Freecycle on Saturday 28 July and you can zoom in and out as you wish. This interactive map on the road closures page shows the road closures for the Sunday events and will be updated on the day as roads reopen. This can be used to plan ahead as well as journey planning on the day.

Concerns have been raised that Wapping in particular will be ‘locked in’ during the events. We can reassure residents that this is not the case. At least one vehicle crossing point will be available during both events to allow motorists to get in and out of the area.

For Ride London, the crossing points are as follows:

To the west there will be a VCP between The Minories and Tower Bridge Approach that will be active throughout the day.

To the east there will be a VCP on the Highway where Glamis Road crosses. This will be closed between 5.30am and 10.30am but open at other times.

The London Triathlon access is as follows:

St Katherine’s, Wapping and Shadwell | 5am – Midday

Access: Vehicles can only access the above areas during this time by travelling north over Tower Bridge. At Tower Hill traffic will be directed right along East Smithfield’s to Vaughan Way.

Egress: Vehicles leaving the areas listed above should travel via Vaughan Way and East Smithfield and follow directions south over Tower Bridge. From here routes north of the river are possible via either London Bridge or the Rotherhithe Tunnel.

St Katherine’s, Wapping and Shadwell | 12.30pm – 2pm

Access: From 12 noon the roads to the West of Vaughan Way will reopen. Vehicles will need to follow the signed diversion from Tower Hill around the Minories to Dock Street, crossing straight over the Highway into Vaughan Way.

Egress: From Vaughan Way vehicles can use either East Smithfield or Dock Street.

We do recognise that two consecutive weekends of road closures is not an ideal scenario and we will be making that clear to Transport for London when we review the lessons to be learnt from these latest two events.

We are also engaging closely with those responsible for planning the 2019 Vitality Big Half to ensure that all the lessons learnt from the 2018 event, particularly around providing information to resident and consultation on route planning, are factored in to this year’s plans.

LW Comment

Angry? No wonder. Just to push you off the edge did you notice that in the last paragraph a brief mention of the 2019 Vitality Big Half Marathon? Yep, it’s coming back.

Look on the bright side, at least the politicians who attempt to run our sorry excuse for a council didn’t make their first order of business after getting elected to award themselves lots of extra mon…. oh. I see.

The best description of this latest sorry saga is given in the tweet below by local resident @ManiPillai1886.

What she said.

Oh and if you would like to get in touch with any of the official sponsors for the London Triathlon 2018 we have compiled a handy list of their websites below.

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