Wapping Bus Gate

Proposal for the installation of a Bus Gate restriction along Wapping High Street

Closes Monday 8th April 2019 Submit your comments

Overview

Tower Hamlets Council is committed to making the borough a safer place for all road users by delivering a range of street improvements in the area; intending to benefit pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and public transport users alike.

Wapping is currently being reviewed to provide a safer road environment for the local community, pedestrians and cyclists. The review is in response to residents’ concerns about rat-running and the problems it causes in local streets, such as noise and air pollution, and safety concerns.

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. This will come later in the year in our Love Your Neighbourhood project.

 

Artist impression of what a bus gate looks like. Please click for a larger version.

What is proposed?

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).

It is proposed to install a bus gate restriction on Wapping High Street, enforced by automatic number plate recognition, to address rat-running traffic. 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. Such a gate would prevent all traffic (unless a bus, or a cycle or maybe an exempted local vehicle) from passing the Pier Head without risking a penalty. We do understand that local residents may be inconvenienced by the bus gate and we could allow some groups of residents, by address, and possibly by vehicle type, to pass through the bus gate. However experiences show that limiting exemptions best achieves traffic reduction. In this consultation we are asking for your views on the proposal, and any exemptions for local residents that might apply.

There have been other suggestions, for example banning right or left turns at certain points from the Highway into Wapping. We believe these would be less effective than these proposals and they would require detailed modelling, which would further delay implementation. However, in question 7 you are invited to make other observations or proposals, if you think we should consider these.

We recognise that by installing a bus gate this could have an impact on residents’ movements in the area, so we recommend that the most effective proposal would be to install a bus gate at:

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

Tower Hamlets Council would like to give local residents the opportunity to comment on our preferred option including its location, times of the restriction and who will be exempt.

Please click on the overview plan below to see the proposals.

Option 1 - Western location (recommended)

East of junction of Wapping High Street and Sampson Street

This proposal is for the installation of the bus gate, which would be visible from the mini roundabout junction.

If a bus gate is implemented at this location, a road closure will be required at Knighten Street so that motorists do not drive around the bus gate via Sampson Street and Knighten Street which would create a rat-run in this area. All road closures will remain open for cyclists and pedestrians. Emergency vehicles will be allowed to use the bus gate. This location is recommended because it includes fewer road closures on local streets.

 

Please click the image to see a larger version

 

Option 2 - Eastern location (alternative)

Immediately west of junction of Wapping High Street and Wapping Lane

This proposal includes the installation of ‘bus friendly’ speed cushions and an informal pedestrian crossing. At this location, the bus gate would be visible from the mini roundabout junction.

If a bus gate is implemented at this location, road closures will be required at Brewhouse Lane, Reardon Path, Dundee Street and Scandrett Street so that motorists do not use these roads as a rat-run to avoid the bus gate. All road closures will remain open for cyclists and pedestrians. Emergency vehicles will be allowed to use the bus gate. This location is not recommended because of the impact on the local streets.

 

Please click the image to see a larger version

Drop-in Session

We will be holding public a drop-in session at each of the suggested locations on Saturday 23rd March where we will be available to answer your questions and queries. We will also have large scale drawings available for you to look at. We will be at the suggested Eastern location between 10am-12noon and at the suggested Western location between 1-3pm. Please note that these sessions will be held outside on the walkway.

FAQs

1.       Why is a bus gate being proposed in this area?

Over the past three years the Council has received a lot of complaints from local residents, particularly those in Wapping High Street, regarding the level and noise of HGV’s, coaches and empty taxis rat-running through the area to avoid the congestion on The Highway. This has reportedly got worse since vehicles larger than a car are now banned from using the Rotherhithe Tunnel.

Extensive traffic surveys have been undertaken which have confirmed there is an issue with rat-running in the area. The Council has looked at a number of options to address this and it is proposed that installing a bus gate will be the most effective solution to address rat-running whilst retaining access for Wapping residents.

At this stage the Council has put forward a recommended proposal that we are asking for a view on, including its location, who can use it and when it should operate.

2.       What other options were investigated?

Other suggestions were considered, such as banning right or left turns at certain points from The Highway into Wapping but we believe these would be less effective than a bus gate and might penalise Wapping residents more.

3.       Will a bus gate just create another rat-run elsewhere?

If a bus gate is implemented modal filters (road closures to motor vehicles) will be implemented on other side roads to ensure that new rat-runs are not created. See proposals for where these closures would be.

4.       It seems a bus gate is just one of a series of measures being considered. How can we judge a bus gate without knowledge of the others?

The Council has reviewed several options and a bus gate is found to be the most effective solution to reduce rat-running. Other areas (marked on the Overview map) are expected to receive improvements as part of a future project for Wapping, including better junction layouts and improved pedestrian safety. These will not have an impact on the proposed bus gate.

5.       Why is there not an option for just Monday – Friday?

Feedback from residents shows that rat-running occurs throughout the whole week including weekends, particularly when issues affect The Highway, for example when Tower Bridge lifts and during night-time closures of the Blackwall Tunnel and Rotherhithe Tunnel.

6.       Will I still be able to get a taxi to/from my house?

Of course. Taxis can pick up and drop off their passengers by approaching from east or west according to the destination.

7.       Will parking bays be lost if a bus gate is implemented?

If parking bays are affected, we will look to relocate them.

8.       Will disabled bays be lost if a bus gate is implemented?

No disabled bays will be affected.

9.       Will there be exemptions?

There may be exemptions, this will depend on the outcome of the consultation. We are asking for opinions on whether residents south of The Highway should be allowed to use the bus gate and similarly whether motorcycles or taxis should be able to use the bus gate.

10.   I live locally, will I be able to drive through the gate to get to Waitrose or the Prospect of Whitby?

This depends on the response to the consultation. If the view is that residents should be exempt, you would still be able to drive through the gate. If the view is residents should not be exempt you would not be able to drive through the gate.

11.   How will the bus gate be enforced?

If a bus gate is implemented, it will be enforced by an automatic number plate recognition camera system.

12.   If the bus gate gets the go ahead when will it be installed?

If a bus gate is implemented, you will be notified and any information regarding exemptions will be sent to you. Work is likely to start in six months.

13.   Will a HGV size vehicle (such as a delivery vehicle) be able to safely perform a 3-point turn or u-turn on Wapping High Street?

There should be no need for 3-point turns or u-turns. Advance signage for the bus gate will be near a place where vehicles can turn, and not only placed where vehicles reach the point of no return.

HGV’s needing to access the area (like King Henry’s Walk) will be able to access from the correct side and a local road closure could be managed for the temporary period of the construction – we took this into consideration in our planning.

We can put temporary advance signage near The Highway to warn them of the bus gate.

The pubs (and any delivery vehicles to those properties) in the narrow section could easily apply for an exemption on reasonable grounds – this should be manageable.

The pubs (and any ad hoc deliveries) to those properties in the narrow section could easily apply for an exemption on reasonable grounds as they would not necessarily be able to turn around.

Privacy Notice

This consultation is being carried out by Project Centre Limited for and on behalf of Tower Hamlets Council.

All personal data submitted in connection with the consultation is processed by Project Centre Limited on behalf of Tower Hamlets Council.

Tower Hamlets Council’s Privacy Notice, which explains how personal data submitted in connection with this consultation is used is available on their website.

Overview

Overview

Tower Hamlets Council is committed to making the borough a safer place for all road users by delivering a range of street improvements in the area; intending to benefit pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and public transport users alike.

Wapping is currently being reviewed to provide a safer road environment for the local community, pedestrians and cyclists. The review is in response to residents’ concerns about rat-running and the problems it causes in local streets, such as noise and air pollution, and safety concerns.

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. This will come later in the year in our Love Your Neighbourhood project.

 

Artist impression of what a bus gate looks like. Please click for a larger version.

What is proposed?

What is proposed?

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).

It is proposed to install a bus gate restriction on Wapping High Street, enforced by automatic number plate recognition, to address rat-running traffic. 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. Such a gate would prevent all traffic (unless a bus, or a cycle or maybe an exempted local vehicle) from passing the Pier Head without risking a penalty. We do understand that local residents may be inconvenienced by the bus gate and we could allow some groups of residents, by address, and possibly by vehicle type, to pass through the bus gate. However experiences show that limiting exemptions best achieves traffic reduction. In this consultation we are asking for your views on the proposal, and any exemptions for local residents that might apply.

There have been other suggestions, for example banning right or left turns at certain points from the Highway into Wapping. We believe these would be less effective than these proposals and they would require detailed modelling, which would further delay implementation. However, in question 7 you are invited to make other observations or proposals, if you think we should consider these.

We recognise that by installing a bus gate this could have an impact on residents’ movements in the area, so we recommend that the most effective proposal would be to install a bus gate at:

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

Tower Hamlets Council would like to give local residents the opportunity to comment on our preferred option including its location, times of the restriction and who will be exempt.

Please click on the overview plan below to see the proposals.

Option 1 - Western location (recommended)

Option 1 - Western location (recommended)

East of junction of Wapping High Street and Sampson Street

This proposal is for the installation of the bus gate, which would be visible from the mini roundabout junction.

If a bus gate is implemented at this location, a road closure will be required at Knighten Street so that motorists do not drive around the bus gate via Sampson Street and Knighten Street which would create a rat-run in this area. All road closures will remain open for cyclists and pedestrians. Emergency vehicles will be allowed to use the bus gate. This location is recommended because it includes fewer road closures on local streets.

 

Please click the image to see a larger version

 

Option 2 - Eastern location (alternative)

Option 2 - Eastern location (alternative)

Immediately west of junction of Wapping High Street and Wapping Lane

This proposal includes the installation of ‘bus friendly’ speed cushions and an informal pedestrian crossing. At this location, the bus gate would be visible from the mini roundabout junction.

If a bus gate is implemented at this location, road closures will be required at Brewhouse Lane, Reardon Path, Dundee Street and Scandrett Street so that motorists do not use these roads as a rat-run to avoid the bus gate. All road closures will remain open for cyclists and pedestrians. Emergency vehicles will be allowed to use the bus gate. This location is not recommended because of the impact on the local streets.

 

Please click the image to see a larger version

Drop-in Session

Drop-in Session

We will be holding public a drop-in session at each of the suggested locations on Saturday 23rd March where we will be available to answer your questions and queries. We will also have large scale drawings available for you to look at. We will be at the suggested Eastern location between 10am-12noon and at the suggested Western location between 1-3pm. Please note that these sessions will be held outside on the walkway.

FAQs

FAQs

1.       Why is a bus gate being proposed in this area?

Over the past three years the Council has received a lot of complaints from local residents, particularly those in Wapping High Street, regarding the level and noise of HGV’s, coaches and empty taxis rat-running through the area to avoid the congestion on The Highway. This has reportedly got worse since vehicles larger than a car are now banned from using the Rotherhithe Tunnel.

Extensive traffic surveys have been undertaken which have confirmed there is an issue with rat-running in the area. The Council has looked at a number of options to address this and it is proposed that installing a bus gate will be the most effective solution to address rat-running whilst retaining access for Wapping residents.

At this stage the Council has put forward a recommended proposal that we are asking for a view on, including its location, who can use it and when it should operate.

2.       What other options were investigated?

Other suggestions were considered, such as banning right or left turns at certain points from The Highway into Wapping but we believe these would be less effective than a bus gate and might penalise Wapping residents more.

3.       Will a bus gate just create another rat-run elsewhere?

If a bus gate is implemented modal filters (road closures to motor vehicles) will be implemented on other side roads to ensure that new rat-runs are not created. See proposals for where these closures would be.

4.       It seems a bus gate is just one of a series of measures being considered. How can we judge a bus gate without knowledge of the others?

The Council has reviewed several options and a bus gate is found to be the most effective solution to reduce rat-running. Other areas (marked on the Overview map) are expected to receive improvements as part of a future project for Wapping, including better junction layouts and improved pedestrian safety. These will not have an impact on the proposed bus gate.

5.       Why is there not an option for just Monday – Friday?

Feedback from residents shows that rat-running occurs throughout the whole week including weekends, particularly when issues affect The Highway, for example when Tower Bridge lifts and during night-time closures of the Blackwall Tunnel and Rotherhithe Tunnel.

6.       Will I still be able to get a taxi to/from my house?

Of course. Taxis can pick up and drop off their passengers by approaching from east or west according to the destination.

7.       Will parking bays be lost if a bus gate is implemented?

If parking bays are affected, we will look to relocate them.

8.       Will disabled bays be lost if a bus gate is implemented?

No disabled bays will be affected.

9.       Will there be exemptions?

There may be exemptions, this will depend on the outcome of the consultation. We are asking for opinions on whether residents south of The Highway should be allowed to use the bus gate and similarly whether motorcycles or taxis should be able to use the bus gate.

10.   I live locally, will I be able to drive through the gate to get to Waitrose or the Prospect of Whitby?

This depends on the response to the consultation. If the view is that residents should be exempt, you would still be able to drive through the gate. If the view is residents should not be exempt you would not be able to drive through the gate.

11.   How will the bus gate be enforced?

If a bus gate is implemented, it will be enforced by an automatic number plate recognition camera system.

12.   If the bus gate gets the go ahead when will it be installed?

If a bus gate is implemented, you will be notified and any information regarding exemptions will be sent to you. Work is likely to start in six months.

13.   Will a HGV size vehicle (such as a delivery vehicle) be able to safely perform a 3-point turn or u-turn on Wapping High Street?

There should be no need for 3-point turns or u-turns. Advance signage for the bus gate will be near a place where vehicles can turn, and not only placed where vehicles reach the point of no return.

HGV’s needing to access the area (like King Henry’s Walk) will be able to access from the correct side and a local road closure could be managed for the temporary period of the construction – we took this into consideration in our planning.

We can put temporary advance signage near The Highway to warn them of the bus gate.

The pubs (and any delivery vehicles to those properties) in the narrow section could easily apply for an exemption on reasonable grounds – this should be manageable.

The pubs (and any ad hoc deliveries) to those properties in the narrow section could easily apply for an exemption on reasonable grounds as they would not necessarily be able to turn around.

Privacy Notice

Privacy Notice

This consultation is being carried out by Project Centre Limited for and on behalf of Tower Hamlets Council.

All personal data submitted in connection with the consultation is processed by Project Centre Limited on behalf of Tower Hamlets Council.

Tower Hamlets Council’s Privacy Notice, which explains how personal data submitted in connection with this consultation is used is available on their website.

Other areas in Wapping may be part of future consultation and public realm improvement schemes. If you have ideas for how the area can be improved plot them on the map below, this could be anything from more cycle facilities to better street lighting. Please also fill in the survey below to have your say on the proposed bus gate location.


Have your say

What do you think about the location of a bus gate restriction on Wapping High Street? Please fill in the survey and have your say by Monday 8 April 2019.

You may also like to attend one of the drop-in sessions being held on Saturday 23rd March. We will be at the Eastern location between 10am-12noon and at the Western location between 1-3pm.

towerhamlets.consultation@projectcentre.co.uk

• 020 3092 0401


Wapping Bus Gate
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