News

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

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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.

Update Street Food Market – Corniche

Dear Residents

In June 2020 RoDMA were approached by Streetfood Markets for permission to operate a small street food market on the Corniche area.  The events and hospitality sectors had been severely affected during the pandemic and RoDMA were happy to support them.  RoDMA’s only intent was to help local businesses and offer increased food diversity to the local population.  RoDMA permitted Streetfood Markets to operate a small food market initially on a two-week licence for a nominal fee to simply cover staffing costs.  A success was reported and a request for an extension was received.  Licences have since been granted to Streetfood Markets, at their request and for short term periods only.  At no stage has a request been submitted to allow the market to trade on the area permanently.

Unfortunately, since opening the market RoDMA has received complaints detailing excess waste, anti-social behaviour and excessive noise.  These are just a few examples.  With the majority of the complaints being associated with the start of the market.  The frequency of the complaints increased mainly during warm or windy weather.  RoDMA raised these concerns with Streetfood Markets to assist them and allow them to be addressed.  Currently there is no CCTV camera covering the Corniche which has made it difficult to determine where the issues are originating from and so making it harder to resolve.

The situation became untenable in February 2021 when RoDMA received a number of complaints and images of the area over a two-week period. RoDMA initially limited the market trading hours but this did not have the desired effect.  RoDMA revoked Streetfood Markets Licence on 28 February 2021 and a four-week review period commenced.

During this review period:

  • RoDMA have arranged for a CCTV camera to be installed in the area, installation time scale, approximately 4-5 weeks.
  • RoDMA received a significant number of emails in support of the market and acknowledged a petition in support of the market (RoDMA were only made aware of the support for the market, once it had closed)
  • No complaints were received during this time regarding the Corniche area.
  • RoDMA received less reports of excess rubbish.

RoDMA are taking into account local residents and businesses’ concerns and comments.  A decision has yet to be reached as to whether the market can re-open, although it has been agreed that the market should only operate once the CCTV is in operation.  RoDMA have been and will continue to be in discussions with Streetfood Markets to seek a workable solution.

RoDMA acknowledge that this past year has been extremely difficult for both individuals and businesses’ but hopefully we can start to look positively to the future.

Royal Docks Management Authority (RoDMA)

Royal Docks – Call out for Expressions of Interest

The Royal Docks Team  has announced their call out for Expressions of Interests for an ambitious live performance commission for Autumn 2021!  They are looking for innovative ideas for a new commission that responds to the people and place of the Royal Docks, actively involves young people and can deliver on their objectives.

Up to three Expressions of Interest will be shortlisted to develop a funded proposal during a 6 – week research and development stage in February/March 2021 (£5,000 per organisation). One proposal will finally be commissioned for delivery in Autumn 2021, with a budget of up to £200,000 to cover all costs associated with the project.

For further details and to apply:

https://royaldocks.london/opportunity/expressions-of-interest-open-for-royal-docks-autumn21-creative-commission

Deadline for Expression of Interest stage:  10 February 2021

If you have any questions, or have any access requirements, please contact: Royaldocksevents@london.gov.uk

Royal Victoria Footbridge Closure

A filming event is taking place on the Royal Victoria Footbridge 12th January 2021 between the hours of 07:00 – 19:00. The bridge will be closed to the general public for the duration of the filming. Should you have any concerns or queries, please contact the Newham Film Office on their 24-hour monitored number, 0207 2471244.

Albert Island Marina

Following the latest Government announcements, the UK will come out of lockdown and the London Borough of Newham will go into Tier 2 restrictions from 2 December 2020.  Under the guidance for Tier 2, the Marina will now be open to all boatowners.  Contractors of boatowners will also be permitted access to carry out work on boats as long as the comply with RoDMA’s HSE requirements.  Anyone who needs more help in this area should contact our Operations Manager, Miles Cole, copied in.

There is lots of guidance on restrictions/freedoms during the tiered alert levels online.  The most pertinent ones in Tier 2 for the Marina are as follows:

  • you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’

Further, if you are living in a Tier 3 (Very High Alert) level, you are requested not to travel to the Marina, as this will contravene the regulations.  It is clearly extremely difficult for us to monitor this, so we urge you to please update yourselves on the guidelines in your area and apply them to keep yourself and others safe.

All of the previous guidelines on prevention of passing the virus still apply.

We will continue to monitor the alert levels and give updates as required.