welcome to london’s royal docks
London’s Royal Docks
The Royal Docks are London’s unique and historic water space – some four kilometres long, the equivalent of walking from Oxford Circus to Bank. They were once the largest enclosed docks in the world and today the 250 acres of water provide a spectacular setting for the area’s transformation into a vibrant 21st century destination to live, work and play. It’s never been easier to get here – and few areas of London can boast of a more dramatic method of transportation than the Emirates Air Line across the river Thames.
London’s Royal Docks are home to a host of attractions, events and activities, all centred around the water. The heritage and history of the area plays an all-important part in the continuing story of the docks. It’s the combination of old and new that makes this place so special, as communities grow, new restaurants, cafés and bars open and the calendar of activities gets busier with each month. Welcome to London’s Royals Docks. We hope you enjoy your time here.
The Royal Victoria Dock (RVD) Footbridge is a high-level bridge which bisects RVD and provides a route from Excel (close to the DLR Custom House Station) over to Britannia Village. It had two lifts that were installed at each end of the bridge. These lifts were poorly designed for the situation. The top of the lifts are open to the elements and should have been fully enclosed. This has caused numerous issues over the years. The lifts are now beyond their economic life and have real reliability issues, regardless of the sums of money which are spent on them.
RoDMA are responsible for the maintenance and refurbishment of the RVD Footbridge, but not capital replacement of items such as the lifts. In 2014 it was announced that the developer for the Silvertown Quays (Millennium Mills) had included in their design a new bridge at dock level to cross RVD from the same location on the Excel side to link up with the new development and provide direct access from the planned Crossrail Station. The intention was to have an opening (swing bridge) mechanism to allow ships to pass into the western end of RVD. The plan was that the high-level bridge would then be removed. At this point it was decided that no further options would be considered for replacement of the lifts and that their life would be extended until the new bridge was constructed. This was delayed when the investor pulled out of the development but was recommenced by the new developer in 2018.
In 2016 a decision was made to reduce the number of operating lifts on each side to one and focus all the effort in keeping these two running. In 2017, £40k was spent on refurbishing the bridge, dealing with corrosion spots and refreshing the paintwork. Many planks on the top of the bridge and walkways were also replaced. This was followed later in that year by investing a similar amount in the lifts to replace the door controllers and increase their reliability under guidance from Alimak, the manufacturer. This has increased their reliability, but the lifts are still subject to random breakdowns. Towards the end of 2018, RoDMA invested in a purchasing spare parts for the most likely breakdowns to save on the manufacturers extended lead times. The has resulted in a reduction in time from failure to rectification.
In 2018 a decision was made by the GLA to retain the existing bridge. RoDMA have had feasibility studies conducted to look at design options to replace/modernise certain elements of the lifts. We currently await a breakdown of costings before this project can be advanced.
The bridge is cleaned daily. Unfortunately, RoDMA staff have to deal regularly with the results of individuals urinating and defecating in the lifts. The doors of the lifts are frequently kicked in by individuals which causes failure and then they have to be removed from service. RoDMA continue to do all they can to present the bridge in its best condition and welcome the support of the general public in doing so.
Unfortunately, because of the age and uniqueness of the equipment some parts are not readily available, a consequence being that these parts must be made to order, which incurs a long lead time. The lift contractor has attended site several times recently and did restore functionality of the lifts. However, after several weeks of operation there is now a fault on the NE lift door closing mechanism, which is being addressed within the next week.
When a problem arises with one lift RoDMA are obligated to secure power to both sides of the bridge.
We apologise for the continuing inconvenience this causes the people which live and work around the area, everything is being done to ensure the lifts become operational as soon as possible.
This summer brings the return of Kids’ Summer Splash. Swimming, sand castles or relaxing on the beach with some tasty food and drink, the choice is yours.
The event will be open 31 July – 22 August 2021.
Kids’ Summer Splash is free to attend, but you must book in advance.
Street Food Market – update
In April RoDMA explained the reasons why a street food market was permitted to operate on the corniche. As you are aware the market generated several complaints and the market was closed for a period until these concerns could be addressed.
Since the closure of the market RoDMA has received a significant number of emails plus a petition in support of the market. Local businesses have also informed RoDMA of their concerns if the market were to return.
As previously stated, our only intent when permitting the market to trade was to help local businesses and offer increased food diversity to the local population.
While the market has been closed RoDMA has been in communication with the market organiser Streetfoodmarkets Ltd (SFM) and has discussed both residents and businesses’ concerns. RoDMA requested that SFM develop a working plan of actions and solutions that would address these concerns.
RoDMA feel that SFM now have a full understanding of the issues trading on the corniche brings and they have devised a plan that is detailed and well organised.
RoDMA also said that we would arrange for a CCTV camera to be installed on the area and we are pleased to inform you that this is now in operation.
Therefore, RoDMA have decided to allow the street food market to return to the corniche for an initial 4-week trial period.
The trial period will commence on Wednesday 2 June 2021 with trading days being Wednesday – Sunday between the hours of 10am – 8pm.
During this period RoDMA will monitor the market closely. Any complaints/messages of support will be communicated to SFM to address, within a timely manner.
After this period RoDMA will meet with SFM to de-brief and discuss the trial.
Please note that any licence permitted to SFM will be short-term. RoDMA may permit alternative events to take place on the Corniche.
RoDMA acknowledge that this past year has been extremely difficult for everyone. Life is starting to unlock, albeit cautiously, if we can all work together and support one another the Royal Docks can become a vibrant and exciting area for all to enjoy.
Royal Docks Management Authority (RoDMA)
In July 2020 we reported the history and the on-going challenges that RoDMA have encountered maintaining the RVD Footbridge. If you are a regular user of the RVD Footbridge you will be aware that the lifts have not been in operation for some time now.
The current issue is that several parts require replacing that operate the door mechanism. Unfortunately, because of the age of the equipment some parts are not readily available, a consequence being that these parts have to be made to order, which incurs a lead time.
It is planned to have everything installed, commissioned, and the lifts fully operational by the end of June 2021.
We apologise for the continuing inconvenience this causes the people who live and work around the area, everything is being done to ensure the lifts become operational as soon as possible.