Wapping Lane shops at risk from bus gate and Liveable Streets idiocy

The Wapping Lane shops are at risk of being forced out of business by the mishandled Wapping bus gate implementation and the increasingly questionable Liveable Streets scheme.

If Wapping loses the shops in Wapping Lane we lose Wapping. It’s that simple.

Two shop owners LW spoke to this morning said that they had suffered a significant drop in trade since the bus gate has been in use.

LW will be undertaking a survey of all the shops and business at the bottom of Wapping Lane and will report back.

Mole bumped into El from the bakers on the bus this morning and as they chatted El said that the bakers have noticed a significant drop in trade since the bus gate opened and other traders in Wapping Lane were suffering too.

We spoke to Kieran in Wapping Lane Post Office and he agreed that he had also suffered a loss in trade since the bus gate opened.

Wapping bus gate nonsense

The bus gate is just idiocy. All residents wanted was the lunatics who speed around our streets slowed down. What does Tower Hamlets do? Instead of installing proper traffic calming measures (which generate no revenue once installed) some genius came up with the idea of the bus gate.

Why? Because it generates money for the Council.

Cllr. Andrew Wood observes the Wapping bus gate in action.

Anyone with a small amount of common sense would think “Hmmm… a bus gate in Wapping? We must accommodate those residents who are Blue Badge holders and are dependent on their cars to get around.”

Unfortunately common sense is in short supply at the Town Hall because we have ended up with a ‘solution’ which causes lots more problems. We have not mentioned the other issues – it would take a long time to discuss them all.

Liveable Streets? Unliveable Streets more like

The approach to implementing the Wapping Bus Gate seems to fit with the whole Liveable Streets scheme which goes something like this.

  1. Council gives Project Centre £15m contract to implement Liveable Streets scheme in 17 locations across the borough.
  2. Project Centre ‘consults’ with residents and comes up with various proposals complete with lovely fuzzy and warm artistic impressions.
  3. Residents realise that most of their feedback has been ignored.
  4. Residents complain that their comments have been ignored.
  5. Council ignores complaints
  6. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Yes we need to make the streets better for everyone.

Yes we need to make the borough much more bike friendly and encourage people to walk and cycle more.

Yes we need to tackle climate change as a community

But all this needs to be done with residents.

Tower Hamlets Council has gained a reputation for running consultations which are nothing of the sort, just window dressing for a decision that has already been taken.

And in other cases, like the decision to splash £1.3m on refurbishing Raines House which came out of nowhere, things just happen – and nobody every knows why. And believe me LW has tried.

And of course there are other examples of the Council’s preference to operate in secrecy as the continuing battle to Save Raines Foundation Secondary School shows. (We should have devoted much more time to the SOS Raines Foundation issue but we are just overloaded. Apologies.)

Battle to Save Wapping High Street

The Battle to Save Wapping High Street (and sort out that stupid bus gate) has to start today. Residents need to team up with other groups across Tower Hamlets with the same problems to push back and make it clear to those in the Town Hall that they are public servants – not our masters.

We can expect no help from our ‘elected representatives’ as their only interest is in being elected, they do not give a damn about residents.

LW recently tweeted about residents standing as independents in the next election for local councillors. It seems this is the only way we will create a situation where our voices are heard.

More on this soon.


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