Wapping bus gateway reduces rush-hour traffic

Wapping bus gateway

Traffic has reduced by a third in Wapping as a result of a bus gateway installed by Tower Hamlets Council to improve road safety and air quality.

The gateway on Wapping High Street is enforced by automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras. The drivers of motor vehicles passing through the gateway at peak times on weekdays, against the rules, receive a fine.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We’re pleased to see that the bus gateway has greatly reduced the rat-running traffic in the area. We will continue to look at the traffic counts and work will begin to make residential roads, including those outside schools, safer and quieter.

“As promised, we have listened carefully to the suggestions of residents. One issue that has come up is the need for exemptions for blue badge holders and I’m pleased to announce that we will soon be introducing new measures to allow access through the gateway for Wapping residents with disabilities.”

Details of the exemption scheme for blue badge holders will be set out in the coming weeks. It will allow blue badge holders in E1W to register a vehicle that will then be able to pass through the gateway without incurring a fine.

The gateway was installed on Wapping High Street in November 2019 between Sampson Street and Knighten Street and operates on weekdays from 5.30am – 10.30am and from 4pm – 7pm.

Despite concerns that traffic would become more congested on the nearby Highway as a result, westbound journey times in the morning peak only increased by 1.7 minutes with eastbound journey times reduced by 2.1 minutes.

Councillor Dan Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “It’s great to see the impact of the changes in Wapping and it’s allowed us to invest in the area.

“With the introduction of electric buses on the 100 service alongside improved pavements and crossings in the coming months, we’re confident Wapping will be a much safer and more pleasant place to live, work and visit.”

With reduced traffic levels, work can begin later this year on a zebra crossing outside the Overground station, enhanced safety measures around primary schools and improved pavements on key walking routes in Wapping Lane and Wapping High Street.

The council will continue to monitor pollution and traffic data in the area as some trends have been affected by roadworks and the impact of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in recent months.

Read the bus gateway review report

Read the signage review report

Posted on Thursday 27th August 2020