News

Check out the latest news from London’s Royal Docks. There’s always something new happening

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Royal Docks Water Arts and Events Consultant role

 

The Royal Docks Team are Currently looking for someone to join their team to work with them and help develop water based events and arts within the docks.  If this is a role you are interesting in applying for please click here for more detail.

Update – RVD Footbridge Lifts

Please see below update regarding the RVD Footbridge Lifts:

Current situation:

  • The freehold of bridge is held by the GLA.
  • The bridge is maintained by RoDMA under a lease to ensure a safe passage for the public.
  • RoDMA is a not-for-profit who operate the Docks and maintain the infrastructure.
  • RoDMA’s income is insufficient to maintain, refurbish or replace all assets.  Therefore, assets are prioritised based on risk.
  • The assets required to retain or maintain the water level and the moving road bridges are a higher priority than the footbridge.
  • The bridge is not a public right of way.
  • There is an ongoing issue, in both affordability and capability, of the lifts.
  • The lifts are not designed for the longevity that they have been put under; they are construction site lifts that should have been taken out of service many years ago.
  • The contractor ‘Alimak’ who designed and now maintain the lifts struggle to maintain them.  Parts are obsolete and are usually manufactured ad-hoc.
  • The contractor attempted to repair the lifts only last week but failed.  They were also there three weeks ago and two weeks prior to that.
  • If one side of the bridge lift fails, both are switched off. This is to protect vulnerable people if they were to go up the lifts and be stuck on the bridge.
  • The timbers are currently going through a rolling replacement programme.  They are not tested for safety, they are inspected daily by RoDMA staff. This year we replaced approx. 25% of the timbers. We also have a replacement stock which is used to replace the timbers when they have been damaged, usually through vandalism.

Planned for the future:

  • There is a cash inject to replace the lifts which is being provided by the developer of the Silvertown Quays Development.  Likely to be completed within 12 months of receiving the money.
  • There is a low-level bridge being put in which will not require the use of lifts and will provide the short cut across the docks. Likely to be completed in 2027.
  • We will continue our timber replacement programme.  If at any time we believe the timbers to not be able to ensure a safe passage, we will close the bridge.
  • We will continue to work with Alimak to attempt to keep the lifts working, even though it is unaffordable.

Carbon Neutral by 2030

Reducing carbon emissions in transportation is a complex challenge. We plan to make our transportation fleet carbon neutral by 2030, and to do that, we must act now to begin this journey. Right now, the vehicles and charging infrastructure in the UK don’t exist at the scale needed to serve customers. We need the supply to increase dramatically. However, RoDMA have ordered our first electric vehicle (EV) from Mercedes-Benz. I am delighted that we have taken this first step into reducing its vehicle carbon footprint.  It is one of several initiatives we have planned over the next few years. Watch this space for news on our developments!

Scott Derben
Managing Director

 

The Community Shop Newham

The Community Shop Newham has now closed. The project was very successful and we have been informed that trading at the Corniche was a great experience for all the traders involved. Thank you to everyone who supported this venture.

Royal Docks Management Authority (RoDMA)

The Community Shop Newham

Please come along and support The Community Shop Newham. You can shop their selection of handcrafted gifts made by local artisans or attend one of their craft workshops or events. They will be open until 22 August 2022.

A Right Royal Docks Jubilee!

A party fit for a Queen is in store when the Commonwealth Games Baton Relay arrives in the Royal Docks on Sunday 5 June to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. Head to the Royal Docks on the newly opened Elizabeth line (arriving at Custom House) for A Right Royal Docks Jubilee! featuring grime artists, world-class ballet dancers, sculptors, painters, footballers, a flotilla, street parties and a free concert called A Right Royal Docks Knees Up.

The Queen’s Baton Relay gets the party started in style, as it travels around this vibrant part of London, visiting all the events taking place to celebrate the Queen’s historic 70 years of service. Take a look at some of the places you can see it, and the exciting events happening across the day. #RDJubilee

Key moments to look out for ahead of the finale concert, include:

Ballet and Boats – ExCeL and Dockside, 2.30pm-3.30pm

(DLR: Custom House)

The party starts when the Queen’s Baton Relay arrives at Royal Victoria Square by ExCel at 2.30pm for an exclusive performance by English National Ballet’s ENBYouthCo featuring local dancers and a new score by pianist Benjamin Kahn.  Then the baton takes to the dock waters on a 25-boat flotilla. Head to the waterside from 3pm to see it travel across Royal Victoria Dock to Royal Albert Wharf on dragon boats, rowing boats and lifeboats.

Festive Family Arts – Pumping Station Square, 4pm

(DLR: Gallions Reach)

Meet professional artists from Bow Arts’ RAW Labs and join in free drawing, sculpting and puppeteering sessions for all the family, plus music, food and drinks.

A Right Royal Docks Knees Up – Royal Victoria Gardens 3pm-8pm

(DLR: King George V)

Don’t miss this exciting celebration concert in the park named after the Queen’s great-great-grandmother, including:

  • Traditional East London pram race
  • Music from Vincent Bugozi (Afrobeat, Reggae, Afrocuban, and Pop) and Capitol Motown And Soul Band
  • Bollywood-inspired dance by BollyRed dancers
  • Performances by young people from Ruff Sqwad Arts Foundation

Food and drink stalls

A Right Royal Jubilee Events Page

 

 

RVD Footbridge – Lifts

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.

Kids’ Summer Splash

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.

This event is managed by The Royal Docks Team. Please visit the Royal Docks Team website here for more information and all queries.

Update – Street food market – Corniche

Dear Residents

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)

Update – RVD Footbridge

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.