DAA Residential
Whats in Wapping

Wapping ORN travel update for London 2012 Olympics

Wapping ORN travel update for London 2012 Olympics

Phase 2 of TfL’s consultation on Olympic and Paralympic Route Network (ORN/PRN) proposals closed on 6th June 2011 – many local residents and businesses provided feedback.

Restrictions at the busy Vaughan Way / The Highway junction combined with the prohibition of right turns put Wapping at risk of becoming an isolated island for the duration of London 2012.

TfL disagreed and on 25th July stated logistical modelling supported their proposals but has so far failed to provide any visibility of this, saying:

“It is not possible to release this data. However, please be reassured that the results support the measures being proposed.”

Not reassured, we and other residents have asked Mark Evers, Director: Delivery Unit for TfL for the modelling report, but our requests have all been refused.

We did receive an update from Mr Evers on 5th August saying “I’m waiting for some further clarification.  I will be in touch as soon as I have something to report.”

Nearly a month later, no one has seen any visibility of this supporting modelling data. But if the study supports TfL’s proposals and was completed back in July, what can be left to clarify?

Image of TfL's Mark Evers explaining the ORN at the Central London Taskforce in July

TfL's Mark Evers explaining the ORN at the Central London Taskforce in July

No longer 100 days on Wapping Island

The ORN/PRN restrictions will no longer apply for three months which is great news and have been reduced to “during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and shortly before and after them”.  Exact dates are still to be confirmed.

Read the full report and results from the phase 2 Engagement Exercises by TfL at https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/orn/32

Public transport is not an option for many

Local businesses will be impacted by the proposals which has been acknowledged, but have TfL completely forgotten about those unable use public transport?

One resident writes “…as a young and capable person, I can cope with this [the proposals] and just call it a daily inconvenience. For those with physical disabilities, the elderly, or those with young children, this will be an absolute nightmare.”

So how are our disabled residents meant to travel around London for the duration of they Olympics if our roads are unusable?  “I am disabled, live in Wapping and work in Central London. I currently use a cab to get me there and back – I cannot use public transport. Nor can I work from home for the duration of the Games.”, explains one.

And what about those who need to get to hospital or medical appointments? “I am thankful our baby was due this summer and not next. Getting to the hospital on an overcrowded tube in labour would be a personal nightmare.” says one resident.

“…for the infirm attending the GP practice in Shadwell or hospital appts anywhere this will be a nightmare, as will calling emergency vehicles.” says another.

Public transport is just not an option for some people who are forced to rely on cars, taxis and in some cases busses to get around.

Wapping’s tiny grade 2 listed overground station is a beautiful piece of history. But steep winding steps to the platform mean it cannot be used by the less able and is difficult or impossible for those with young children and prams.

TfL advice is to use alternative stations, but they don’t explain how to reach them during the ORN/PRN period.

Image Wapping Overground steps

Steep steps leading from Wapping Overground platform to the lift


Help for local businesses is equally scarce. Our local Wapping and St Katharine Waitrose branch has received the standard “work from home where possible” advice – somewhat impractical for a large supermarket.

Our smaller shops, pubs and restaurants face similar issues, combined with a reduction in visitors from outside Wapping, unable or unwilling to face a difficult journey here.

ORN and PRN Tower Hill to Blackwall – East Smithfield and The Highway

Wapping residents, Friends of St Katharine Docks (FoSKD), local businesses and MP Jim Fitzpatrick have all been key in securing modification to the original ORN proposals published in May.

Local resident, David Leonard attended the Central London TaskForce on 8th July at which Mark Evers presented TfL’s proposals and has kindly shared his summary of the current status (published on FoSKD website).

  • The period of operation of the ORN has been shortened. It was originally planned to operate from late June to mid September. It is now proposed to operate only “during the Olympic and Paralympic Games and shortly before and after them”
  • A 24hr CCTV camera service will be provided to cover the Vaughan Way/Dock Street/Highway junction which will be supplemented by an “on-street presence”, although the camera might not be positioned at the junction itself but further along the road. We have argued that the “on-street presence” should be provided by the police, at least while the ORN is operating, otherwise the junction will gridlock, especially during Tower Bridge lifts. TfL say that they are “still looking at the options” for this “including working with the Metropolitan Police”
  • The traffic signals at that junction will be re-phased “to allow the needs of the Games family and the public entering and exiting Vaughan Way to be balanced”
  • TfL will be working with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to agree changes to the current Barclays Cycle hire docking station in Vaughan Way and the suspension of car parking in Vaughan Way
  • The proposed pedestrian crossing suspension at King Davids Lane is to be dropped
  • Three of the six proposed bus stop suspensions along the Highway are to be dropped, namely the stop next to the junction of King David Lane, the stop next to the junction of Glasshouse Fields and the stop opposite Schoolhouse Lane

TfL are also considering making the whole of the junction at Vaughan Way/Dock Street/Highway a yellow box junction. At the moment, only the southern half of that junction is a (fading) yellow box. We have said this is vital.

However TfL are resisting our request for the provision of another properly policed right turn towards the east of Wapping at, say, Glamis Road or Garnet Street. If they continue to refuse this it will increase the pressure on the Vaughan Way junction.

The next step will be the formal consultation period which is due to start on or around 9 September. For further information on that, see “What happens next”

All are encouraged to participate in that consultation, and in particular to make representations on those matters which TfL have not yet conceded.

Wapping comment and opinion on the ORN and PRN

If you submitted feedback for phase 2 of the ORN/PRN consultation, TfL should have sent you a personal response. The replies for our area are also being copied to MP Jim Fitzpatrick, who is meeting regularly with TfL and is supportive in helping to improve the situation for Wapping.

TfL’s next round of consultation is due to start around 9th September when you can submit formal representations about the proposals.

Please visit https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/ to stay updated with the latest dates and news from TfL for the London 2012 ORN and PRN proposals.

We think TfL should listen to local people with local knowledge – or perhaps as resident Yvonne optimistically says:

“The inconvenience it will cause could give us some leverage with TfL in the Riverboat for Wapping campaign.   If they want to make us an island at least let us have a boat!”


  • Rich

    Any request for information you make to a public body is covered under the Freedom of Information Act, you don’t have to mention the act, and if they refused to release information they are obliged to give a reason, and you can then appeal this. If they just said they weren’t going to give the information but didn’t give a reason sounds like they’ve failed to comply with their obligations.

  • http://www.whatsinwapping.co.uk What’s in Wapping

    With hindsight, most definitely! 

    When we spoke to Mark Evers originally he told us that they would be made available but unfortunately that now doesn’t seem to be happening although we did email him again today asking for the information. 

    We can and will make an FoI request but it could take 6 weeks by which point the formal consultation will be well underway. MP Jim Fitzpatrick is aware and trying to help and recent interest from a couple of national news sites is good too if they decide to cover it…

  • http://www.cdlcreative.me Steve

    Wonders if a FOI request would get the logistical modelling details that TfL are relying on?

  • Paulie K

    Some further info I’ve received after complaining about being given 3 days notice of the meeting at Raine House:
    (Each junction is in the format:
    ORN Junctions  Proposed Restrictions  Permitted Movements  Diversion) 1  Thomas More Street / East Smithfield  No right turns in & out of Thomas More Street  Left in-left out to/from East Smithfield  Right turn ban from Thomas More Street to East Smithfield – can be made at Vaughan Way junction.Right turn ban from East Smithfield to Thomas More Street – either: i) Use Royal Mint Street or Ensign Street & Dock Street; or ii) Continue eastbound on The Highway, use Butcher Row, Commercial Road & Westferry Road to u-turn into Limehouse Link Tunnel westbound direction, and access Thomas More Street on a left turn 2  Vaughan Way & Dock Street  No left and right turns from The Highway & East Smithfield into Vaughan Way  Left & right turns and ahead movements coming out of Vaughan Way  Eastbound traffic – same as (1).Westbound traffic can turn left into Thomas More Street to access Vaughan Way. 3  Wapping Lane / The Highway  No right turns in & out of Wapping Lane  Left in-left out to/from The Highway  Right turn bans – Same as (1).No bus routes will be suspended as a result of the ORN. However, some day routes will require diverting. Diversion routes for the Highway will require the curtailment of route 100 short of its Shadwell destination. It will instead terminate at Wapping. Route D3 will continue to serve Shadwell, although its journey in the Wapping area will be reduced. Information on changes to the bus network will be released later in the year.

  • Curranrosemary

    Everyone should be able to travel, with so much money being spent on the Games, this should have also been taken into consideration.