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


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:

Deadline for Expression of Interest stage:  10 February 2021

If you have any questions, or have any access requirements, please contact:

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.

Government COVID-19 guidelines from 5th November 2020

Dear All,

RoDMA will implement the following actions from 07:00 on the 05th November 2020 in response to government COVID 19 guidelines.

Operational Movements

RoDMA will continue to support our clients. KGV lock will remain open for operations (case by case operations and emergency vessel moves only)

Albert Island Marina lock will shut to all non-emergency vessel moves until further notice (i.e. vessels of the emergency services)

Royals Docks Water Users

All water user activities will be stopped from 07:00 on the 05th November 2020 until further notice.

Thank you


The importance of Life Rings

RoDMA were pleased to receive the email below which reiterates the importance of why life rings are situated around the docks.

Hi, Last April a woman jumped from the top of the middle of Royal Docks bridge. I happened to be helping out with the local Parkrun that morning and saw her fall. I managed to swim out to her, get her to the excel side and with the help of the excel security and emergency services she was pulled out of the water and taken to hospital. I also was taken to hospital for hyperthermia.

As I swam out to try and help her, I turned around and asked a passer by to throw me one of the orange life rings that are dotted around the docks. When I got to the struggling lady I managed to prop her up on the life ring and swim us both to the other side. Without the life ring I don’t think this would have been possible and who knows what would have happened.

I know this summer especially, people have been removing rings constantly around the dock edge for a casual dip and not putting them back.

I just wanted to email to thank whoever from the Royal Docks team is putting them back everyday for their tireless work and that while I’m sure it is frustrating for them, having the life rings there is very much appreciated. Thanks.

RoDMA would like to thank everyone who helped with the rescue. We hope that all parties have recovered well.

Unauthorised Swimming in the docks


Despite our continuous patrols and efforts to try and stop the public from swimming in the docks, we are still experiencing a high number of unauthorised swimming, particularly around the beach area. While we appreciate how tempting it is to cool off in the water, please can we ask that you refrain from doing so, as it is extremely dangerous due to sudden drops into deep water, false quays and hidden dangerous objects.

Many thanks,

Royal Docks Info Leaflet


1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. In 2018 a decision was made by the GLA to retain the existing bridge. The capital replacement of the lifts are now the responsibility of the developer, who are looking to deliver this in Phase 1 of their plan in 2020, subject to obtaining consent in 2019. In 2019 RoDMA will carry out a feasibility study to look at design options to replace the lifts.

5. 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.

6. The current issue is that both gearboxes failed earlier this year and require extensive overhaul and replacement parts. There has been significant delay in rectification due to COVID-19 and the company responsible furloughing most of their staff. Now that restrictions have eased work on the gearbox rebuild has recommenced.

7. It is planned to have everything installed, commissioned, and the lifts fully operational the first week of August 2020.

8. We apologise for the continuing inconvenience this causes the people which live and work around the area.

Pioneering Project @ the Royal Docks

RODMA worked with Kilnbridge, Mammoet and Thamescraft on a pioneering project. The Royal Docks locked in a 91m LOA semi-submersible barge, loaded two 36 x18m concrete hulls (built in the Royal Docks) with SPMTs onto the semi-submersible barge, then submerged the barge to 8m below chart datum in KGV Lock in order to float off the two concrete hulls. The hulls will now be turned into floating restaurants for Canary Wharf. Great project!

If you would like to view the operation please click here

Opening of Albert Island Marina

The Department for Media, Culture and Sport have issued new guidance on opening of Marinas, it is as follows:

Marinas may re-open to allow people to visit their boats to carry out maintenance, ensuring appropriate measures are in place to follow social distancing guidelines.

In line with this, we are opening the Marina for all boatowners from Monday 18 May at 10:00 Hrs. We reserve the right to reverse this decision if the situation changes. This will be driven either by a change in Alert State; an outbreak of Covid-19 in the Marina; or boatowners not following the basic guidelines.

This week we are now cleaning the toilet and shower facilities daily (Mon-Fri).

For clarity we will not permit the following at this time:

• Leisure travel on the Thames.
• Free Movement around the Marina – please stick to going to your boat and use the ablutions if necessary.

For those who have been seeking to move your boats to another Marina/Area, this will now be supported.

We urge you to follow the Government Stay Alert Guidelines:

1. Stay at home as much as possible
2. Work from home if you can
3. Limit contact with other people
4. Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
5. Wash your hands regularly
6. Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Please apply your common sense.

Scott Derben
Managing Director