Foot­path anger

Cold­har­bour res­i­dents face longer trek af­ter path clo­sure

The Wharf - - News - Alex McIn­tyre

‘We had hoped to main­tain a walk­ing route but we now know that is not pos­si­ble’

Ca­nary Wharf Group’s clo­sure of a foot­path link­ing the east of the Is­land to the es­tate has caused anger among its 1,400 es­ti­mated reg­u­lar users.

The walk­way by Pre­ston’s Road, con­nect­ing Cold­har­bour to Ca­nary Wharf, was shut on Mon­day, April 25, so work could con­tinue on the New Phase de­vel­op­ment at Wood Wharf.

Those who use the path to ac­cess the shops and the Ju­bilee line claimed that their jour­neys are now a mile longer along busier roads.

Cold­har­bour res­i­dent Carolina Reyes said: “As some­one who com­mutes to cen­tral Lon­don six times a week, this not only sig­nif­i­cantly in­creases my travel time, it makes it im­pos­si­ble to rely on the shops of Ca­nary Wharf I de­pend on.

“I have grave con­cerns that the al­ter­na­tive routes pro­posed by Ca­nary Wharf Group are not safe enough for 1,400 res­i­dents, hav­ing wit­nessed the af­ter­math of more than one ac­ci­dent in Marsh Wall Road.”

The al­ter­na­tive routes are via Pre­ston’s Road, Har­bour Quay or Marsh Wall.

The walk­way, known lo­cally as the Wood Wharf path, could be closed un­til New Phase is fin­ished in 2019.

The de­vel­op­ment will in­clude 3,200 homes, nearly 2mil­lion sq ft of of­fice space and 335,000sq ft of shops, restau­rants and com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties.

Cllr An­drew Wood said: “We are dis­ap­pointed that with only two weeks’ no­tice pedes­trian ac­cess from Pre­ston’s Road to Ca­nary Wharf via Wood Wharf is be­ing blocked for the next four years.

“Plan­ning doc­u­ments and ear­lier com­mu­ni­ca­tion from Ca­nary Wharf Group all im­ply that pedes­trian ac­cess would be main­tained through­out con­struc­tion with the oc­ca­sional change in route for safety rea­sons.”

He urged Ca­nary Wharf Group, Tower Ham­lets Coun­cil and TfL to work to­gether to find a so­lu­tion.

Ca­nary Wharf Group’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of strat­egy Howard Daw­ber said: “We are sorry that this tem­po­rary path through the Wood Wharf con­struc­tion site can­not be kept open dur­ing the next phase of con­struc­tion.

“We had hoped to main­tain a walk­ing route through­out the work, but we now know that it is not pos­si­ble to do this safely due to the heavy con­struc­tion across the whole site.

“We un­der­stand that a num­ber of res­i­dents will have a few min­utes longer walk into Ca­nary Wharf, and we would like to apol­o­gise to them.

“Lo­cal res­i­dents are our cus­tomers and neigh­bours, we do not want to in­con­ve­nience them un­less it is com­pletely un­avoid­able.”

The com­pany has been in touch with lo­cal coun­cil­lors and with mayor John Biggs about try­ing to find an al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tion.

Mr Daw­ber said: “If it be­comes pos­si­ble to re-open a tem­po­rary walk­way safely, we will do it. We will keep work­ing on other tem­po­rary so­lu­tions that might make things eas­ier for peo­ple.”

The path to Ca­nary Wharf is sealed off

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