TfL have made a number of commitments to address the “Wapping Lock-In” phenomenon, after local Liberal Democrats raised concerns alongside residents.
Wapping has suffered three consecutive lock-ins this Summer due to sporting events. All sides agree that these events are great for London, but Wapping residents have felt increasingly angry at being cut off from the city and “locked in” for large chunks of time.
Liberal Democrat Assembly Member and Deputy Chair of the Transport Committee, Caroline Pidgeon, facilitated the meeting. The team secured commitments from TfL to:
Examine whether a sporting event can be moved away from the Highway if it would otherwise be closed on consecutive weekends
Modelling what the impact would be if certain events were moved away from The Highway
Reviewing what happened with the IAAF communications that led to huge confusion amongst residents and businesses about whether the Highway was open or not
Ensuring communications are clear about what event is causing the closure on what date
Review whether the Local Access Points put along the route so that emergency services vehicles can gain access, could be opened up to allow residents to use their vehicles
Caroline Pidgeon will also submit a question to London Mayor Sadiq Khan about whether the impact on areas such as Wapping and the Isle of Dogs that end up “locked in” with these events, is taken into consideration when deciding which events to host and bid for.
Local Liberal Democrat campaigner Stephen O’Shea, said: “After a great deal of frustration by local residents, it’s great that we now have commitments to action. The key test will be whether this turns into a joined-up approach from next year. We will be watching this very closely and holding TfL to account.”
Elaine Bagshaw, Parliamentary Spokesperson for Poplar & Limehouse, said: “It’s great that we’ve been able to make progress on this with TfL, and that local residents had the opportunity to raise their issues directly with the people responsible for these events. This meeting only took an hour to hold and a few emails to arrange. How is it I can do this around a full-time job, yet our local Assembly member, Unmesh Desai, can’t? This is another example of local Labour representatives letting us down.”