London Dock Construction Traffic

IMG_5370UPDATE! Note from St George over construction traffic access issue

St George is holding a drop in session next week for local residents. This will provide local residents with the opportunity to meet the team and discuss proposed construction arrangements for the London Dock development.  

The event will be held in our consultation room at the eastern end of Pennington Street Warehouse between 5pm and 8pm on Thursday 26 June.  

 We have recently been advised that Tower Hamlets has asked St George to change the HGV access routes to the London Dock site. It had been the case that all construction traffic was being taken along Pennington Street. However Vaughan Way will now be used as well, providing a second access point.

There is a worry that this will put enormous pressure on Vaughan Street and the junction with the Highway. I have sent the following representations to the Tower Hamlets Planning Department and am waiting to hear back. In the meantime, I also met Craig Carson, Managing Director of St George East. He has provided a formal reply to the concerns I raised. This is also pasted below.

I am in touch with residents of Quay 430 and others. I shall post any further news here as soon as I have it. 

Quay 430 Residents

Planning and Traffic Management Issue Re: London Dock Development

As you will be aware, the London Dock development involves the demolition of the substantial News International building, followed by the construction of a large number of housing and commercial units over a ten to fifteen year period.

I know that demolished materials are currently being removed from the site via Pennington Street in order to cause the least disturbance to residents. However this afternoon I received the attached letter from xxx, and xxx, advising that plans have since changed and a request has been made for trucks to use the access point at Vaughan Way. I am told this is a complete change from the approved Construction Plan, which originally showed HGV traffic being contained on the site with entry and exit on Pennington St east towards Wapping Lane.

You will be aware that this is a very busy junction since it is a key access route into Wapping for residents and is used by the 100 bus. Meanwhile the pavements are in heavy use, particularly in the mornings and afternoons, by Wapping school children en route to English Martyrs and John Cass primary schools. I had to write very recently to TfL to advise them of a serious accident at the Vaughan Way/Dock Street junction and parents’ worries that the road is too dangerous. TfL are actively investigating safety improvements to the road and it is my worry that substantial HGV movements into and out of the London Dock site will exacerbate problems at what is already a very difficult, potentially dangerous and heavily used junction.

Please can you ask the planning and road management teams to take into account the concerns that I and Quay 430 residents have about the use of Vaughan Way for construction traffic. I would also like to know at what point this change was made; why LBTH agreed to modified plans; what account was taken of the existing pressures on the Vaughan Way junction; what steps are proposed to mitigate dangers to other road users and limit disruption from site traffic; and what enquiries have been made with TfL on this matter since they manage the major truck road of the Highway.

I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Kindest regards,

Cllr Julia Dockerill  

From: Craig Carson
To: Julia Louise Dockerill
Subject: RE: St George City – London Dock

Dear Julia,

Thank you for bringing to my attention the concerns raised by residents of Quay 430 regarding the additional construction access onto Vaughan Way.

As you know, we have worked closely with residents and the Council throughout the planning process. We are continuing to meet residents on a regular basis, including representatives of Quay 430. My colleague, Ed Noble, met with residents of Telford’s Yard and Quay 430 this morning to discuss neighbourly matters.

As a result of our ongoing dialogue, we have changed our construction and demolition plans including moving internal traffic routes away from the southern boundary with Quay 430 and re-sequencing the demolition process to minimise disruption to neighbours.

The additional access was requested by LB Tower Hamlets officers to reduce the impact of construction traffic on Pennington Street. I thought it would be helpful to summarise the additional construction access proposals below.

The need for an additional construction access

The original Construction Management Plan (November 2013) provided for up to 166 vehicle movements per day from the eastern end of the site onto Pennington Street during the construction and demolition phases.

The additional access onto Vaughan Way, requested by Tower Hamlets, will provide separate construction traffic access for the first phase of our development (Buildings A and B) whilst demolition is ongoing and will therefore alleviate pressure of traffic along Pennington Street.

We will start using the access from this summer and it is likely to be open for a period of approximately two years. Future phases of construction will use the eastern access from Pennington Street.

Location of additional access

The additional access onto Vaughan Way has been sited as far as reasonably practicable to minimise any impact on existing residents. No vehicles shall be permitted to drive south into Wapping.

The development has limited opportunities for an additional construction access point due to the severely constrained nature of the site. As you appreciate, the Grade II listed Pennington Street Warehouse runs more than 300m along the northern perimeter of the site, the eastern end of the site is bounded by Tobacco Dock and the southern boundary is not adjacent to any publically accessible highway – being adjacent to the canal and Quay 430 residential buildings.

Management and operation of the entrance

I note the concerns raised regarding the junction of The Highway and Vaughan Way. The additional access has been tested using swept path analysis to ensure vehicles can safely access and egress the site, including the junction with The Highway. A number of measures are proposed to mitigate the risks to public safety during the use of the access including:

·         The use of banksmen and traffic marshals to oversee access/egress;

·         Driver awareness training; and

·         Operation of Freight Operation Recognition Scheme (FORS) on all vehicles.

St George is fully committed to minimising risks to public safety through the construction process. We have recently launched a company wide initiative called Work Related Road Risk Standard for Construction Logistics. This has been developed in consultation with TfL and has introduced several additional health and safety standards across our operations.

Mitigation measures

There will be up to 50 vehicles (100 movements) per day using the access, the equivalent of up to 10 vehicles per hour.

Construction traffic will be subject to strict measures to ensure minimal nuisance.  There will be monitoring and control of all vehicles entering, exiting and travelling across the site including:

·         Setting of specific delivery and collection times – Our logistics manager  will agree, at least a week in advance, delivery schedules and then review and prioritise them on a daily basis;

·         There shall be no waiting vehicles on surrounding streets;

·         All vehicles will be held on site until an appropriate time to leave the site; and

·         Vehicles cannot head south into Wapping, only north back onto The Highway.

The following measures will also be implemented to minimise environmental nuisance:

·         Traffic waiting must switch off their engines;

·         Construction traffic will be subject to wheel washing before leaving the site;

·         Mechanical road sweepers will be readily available to clear the entrance/exit points; and surrounding roads or footpaths in the vicinity of the site.

Tower Hamlets’ request for an additional construction access is to relieve traffic pressure on Pennington Street. You may be aware that construction is also targeted to start on the hotel site opposite Tobacco Dock later this year and several objections were received from Smokehouse Recording Studios opposite the eastern construction entrance. The proposal provides a robust solution that includes extensive mitigation measures.

I hope the above is helpful. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like to discuss or if you have any further queries.

With best wishes,


Craig Carson MRTPI  
Managing Director

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3 Responses to London Dock Construction Traffic

  1. Jonathan Goldsmith

    So how many injured motor cyclists and school children would be considered acceptable to save a temporary alteration of a listed wall? Is the a heritage of an old dock wall more important than, say, a leg or an arm of a real live person?
    It seems obvious to me that the site is big enough to have a large access route direct from The Highway or via Virginia Street.

    Currently there are major hold-ups when 2 buses need to cross each other, or two commercial vehicles travel along Vaughan Way. Another 100 vehicles a day will be chaos and a danger to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

    I am also astounded that Tower Hamlets themselves have not consulted with residents and road users about this!

  2. Pingback: London Dock wants new site vehicle entrance in Vaughan Way | LOVE WAPPING

  3. T'other side of The Highway

    Currently the timed pedestrian crossing at the junction of The Highway/Dock Street/Vaughan Way leaves insufficient time to cross if more than 1 vehicle is turning right out of Vaughan Way and these vehicles have to give priority to the traffic from Dock Street. This can cause vehicles to be cast adrift in no-man’s land or a competition with pedestrians to cross in the available time. With 10 additional lorries per hour this may very well compound this situation.
    Has anyone consulted TfL, Boris and John Biggs MLP,to lengthen the time available to cross at these lights? Maybe a yellow box is required also?

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