A sporting summer: Information for residents

Tower Hamlets has a proud history of playing host to some of London's top sporting events. 

This weekend, the borough will welcome the 2018 Ride London event - one of the country's most popular cycling challenges. 

Next weekend, on Sunday 5 August, thousands of athletes will put their bodies to the test in the London Triathlon. The route will pass through Tower Hamlets as well as other parts of the capital. 

The council is committed to helping our residents to live happier, healthier lives with greater access to cultural, community and leisure activities. As such, we are always pleased to welcome sporting stars - both professional and amateur - to our streets.

Participants are always thrilled with the positive reception they receive whether they be peddling along The Highway or running in the shadow of the tallest Canary Wharf towers. 

Big Half stock

While the response to sporting events is broadly positive, the council does recognise that the need for road closures and parking restrictions can cause some frustration, particularly in areas that are impacted more than once in an average year. 

Most of the larger events take place solely on main roads controlled by Transport for London - as in the case of Ride London and the London Triathlon - and the council does not have a deciding role in the approval process or in the organisation of road closures. 


28-29 July 2018

About the event

Developed following the runaway success of London 2012, Ride London is one of the world's greatest festivals of cycling. 

Now in its sixth year, the event will see cyclists take to the streets on a number of courses, two of which will include Tower Hamlets. 

Ride London stock 1

The unique closed-road event combines the fun and accessible element of a free family ride in central London with the excitement of watching the world’s best professional cyclists race in the Ride London-Surrey Classic and Ride London Classique.

Ride London also generates sustainable, long-term economic benefits for London and the UK alongside the money raised for good causes. More than £53 million has been raised for charity since 2013.

While the action in Tower Hamlets will take place on Sunday morning with the top long distance cyclists passing through the borough, there are great opportunities for ordinary Londoners to take part on Saturday. 

The Ride London FreeCycle is a great chance to get the whole family together to experience the fun and freedom of cycling on traffic-free roads in central London.

The route is open from 9am to 4pm. It takes in the Strand and Lincoln’s Inn Fields and returns to the Victoria Embankment, taking in a section of the newly opened East-West Cycle Superhighway (CS3).

The eight-mile circuit passes iconic London landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Bank of England and again goes south of the river with a loop over Waterloo Bridge, offering stunning views of London.

To read more about this popular family event, visit the FreeCycle webpage.

The route

Ride London consists of a number of different events, each with its own route. 

The London-Surrey 100 and the London-Surrey 46 will pass through Tower Hamlets on the morning of Sunday 29 July. 

The participants will make their way along the A12, turning left along East India Dock Road before joining Aspen Way to head through the Limehouse Link Tunnel. 

The race will join The Highway next to the King Edward VII Memorial Park before heading along, north of Wapping, and on towards Tower Bridge. 

Ride London route


Road closures

Road closures will be in place along the route from 4am until 11.15am. 

The council is aware that specific concerns have been raised by Wapping residents. 

Following discussions with the event organisers and TfL, we have confirmed that two crossing points will be in use in the area during the morning of the event. 

- To the west there will be a vehicle crossing point between The Minories and Tower Bridge Approach that will be active throughout the day.

- To the east there will be a similar crossing on The Highway where Glamis Road crosses. Please note that this crossing will be closed between 5.30am and 10.30am. 

Spectator information

As with any major sporting occasion, there will be some unavoidable changes to normal transport running before, during and after the event. 

Ride London stock 2



5 August 2018

About the event

Attracting over 11,000 participants and 30,000 spectators each year, the iconic London Triathlon has become a must-do event in the sporting calendar. With a variety of distances, routes and wave categories, the event caters for athletes of all levels; from first-time triathletes to Olympic champions.

The London Triathlon takes place at the ExCeL Centre, Royal Victoria Dock and has a unique urban route, that allows participants to swim, bike and run past the iconic landmarks of the capital and through our very own borough. 

London Triathlon stock 1

The route

Triathlons can be a variety of lengths depending on the race category. The races passing through Tower Hamlets are among the more challenging of the weekend, covering much longer distances. 

All competitors will swim in the Royal Victoria Dock and run around the London Docklands, cheered on by watching supporters.

The bike route will then head east on the route illustrated below. 

London Triathlon map

Road closures

To ensure the safety of large numbers of athletes taking part in the London Triathlon, road closures will be in place before and during the event. 

This map provides an overview of the closures that will impact Tower Hamlets. They will be in place from 5am until 6pm on Sunday.

London Triathlon closure map

Please also note that the closures will mean some local bus services will be diverted or terminate earlier than usual. Tube, overground and DLR will be the best way to get around but vehicle access points will be in place throughout.

Please visit the TfL website for more information.

Vehicle access points:

To keep disruption to a minimum, the organisers have arranged for vehicle access and exit routes to areas impacted by the road closures.

Wapping is an area where particular concerns have been raised. The following arrangements will be in place in that area:

St Katherine’s, Wapping and Shadwell | 5am – Midday

Access: Vehicles can only access the above areas during this time by travelling north over Tower Bridge. At Tower Hill traffic will be directed right along East Smithfield’s to Vaughan Way. 

Egress: Vehicles leaving the areas listed above should travel along Vaughan Way and East Smithfield and follow directions south over Tower Bridge. From here routes north of the river are possible using either London Bridge or the Rotherhithe Tunnel.

St Katherine’s, Wapping and Shadwell | 12.30pm – 2pm

Access: From 12 noon the roads to the West of Vaughan Way will reopen. Vehicles will need to follow the signed diversion from Tower Hill around the Minories to Dock Street, crossing straight over the Highway into Vaughan Way.

Egress: From Vaughan Way vehicles can use either East Smithfield or Dock Street.

Full details of all road closures and access routes are available on the London Triathlon website.

Over the weekend, the organising team will be coordinating the event from the Race Control Centre. This will be manned for the duration of the event by representatives from TfL and the Metropolitan Police. If you need to contact the centre during the event weekend then please call 020 7069 6001.

London Triathlon stock 2

Spectator information

The London Triathlon is a great day out for both athletes and spectators. The public are encouraged to come down, cheer on the triathletes and help create the incredible atmosphere London is famous for. 

Visit the dedicated spectator information page  to find out more about the best viewing points and the entertainment on offer. 

Alternatively, you can download the free event information brochure which will provide all the relevant information in one handy document.

London Triathlon stock 3

Posted on Thursday 26th July 2018