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River barges for sustainable transport

Letter to RBKC from Martyn Baker, Member of the Society’s Planning Committee for Chelsea Riverside Ward

‎Friday‎, ‎25‎ ‎October‎ ‎2019 ‎16‎:‎46

Dear Mr Lomas

We are glad to know of your new responsibility for the Tideway site at Cremorne Wharf as the Strategic Development Lead. There seem alas to have been too many recent departures from the Council which cannot aid continuity.

In short, at no point in our periodic meetings with Thames Water and/or Tideway did they brief us on what you now suggest in your third paragraph is a litany of obstacles to maximising river transport here for both inward and outward journeys. Instead we relied on the overarching publicity given to Tideway’s commitment to maximise the use of the river throughout the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, and on their website which as long ago as May 2016 said “At Cremorne Wharf we anticipate an average of one barge movement per day (subject to the tides) with each barge taking approximately 20 HGVs off the road.” According to CoCP Part A (p36) “The River Transport Strategy secured by Requirement PW15 set out the overarching commitments to river transport.”

If you read their Transport Assessment for Cremorne Wharf produced in January 2013 (Doc Ref : 7-10-09) you will see in Table 12.2.1 (Construction traffic details) that the assumption being used for barge movements is for “ 2 movements per day” (one barge trip) as the “assumed average peak daily construction barge movements in Site Year 1 of construction”, as against 24 movements per day ( 12 vehicle trips ) as the “assumed average peak daily construction lorry vehicle movements in peak months of Site Year 1 of construction.” Instead the latest Tideway submission indicates only 150 vessel trips during the full 3 year period of 1035 days!

Yet their formal submission of a Sustainable Freight Transport Plan in late 2017 identified several categories of materials for transport by river including of course Specified Materials meaning material excavated from the shafts and excavated materials generated by work on connection tunnels, interception chambers and associated structures, and other underground structures.

This Plan also spelt out (at 3.2) river-related materials and equipment,classified as Category B, to be transported by river, and identified Additional Materials for further consideration for such transport like large pre-cast items.

As already recorded (in our email of 13th August) at our community meeting with Mike Appleton of Tideway on 17th May 2017 he confirmed that it was still Tideway’s intention that 90% of materials would be brought in and removed by river, although they would still need some lorries.

Neither Tideway nor the Council subsequently briefed us to the contrary until we got your email of 3rd October in clarification of the CTMP/CLP which we only saw on 6th August, although we now realise it was received by the Council on 4th July. Why no explicit briefing when this point is so fundamental?

Your Transport Team commented on TTT No: 18/00118- the Cremorne Wharf Worksite Specific Construction Logistics Plan-that ”WSCLPs should serve inter alia to maximise the use of the river, to engender safe working arrangements, to achieve environmental sustainable construction practices and to limit the impact of construction traffic on highway operations.” So why didn’t they follow this up with us directly?

We are we believe Stakeholders who should be fully consulted by the Council because we are the local community whose environment and residential amenity has been massively impacted year after year by the ongoing failure of the redevelopers of the Lots Road Power Station site to pay proper attention to their obligations under successive CTMPs. We do not want to see the same thing happen with Cremorne Wharf.

This means in our view much more effective Council monitoring and enforcement. The rental of £150,000 being paid to it for use of the Wharf each year by Tideway should be more than enough to beef up this process, the Council having so far failed repeatedly to employ either dedicated wardens in Lots Road or its own CCTV Cameras to curb cumulative infringements of Power Station CTMPs, or indeed to install Air Quality Monitoring Equipment to record the scale of pollution here.

Finally I don’t know whether you yourself appreciate the following:-

Tideway’s Application for Development Consent included in the Transport Assessment the plan that construction vehicles would enter Cremorne Wharf to the left (east side) of the Pumping Station and exit to the right (as was done previously as a one-way route by refuse vehicles). But Tideway have closed off the right hand side meaning all HGVs have to drive in and out on the left hand side.

It also looks as if much of the Wharf is now taken up with works leaving little room for turning HGVs. There certainly appears to be no wheel-washing facility as they leave the muddy site, and it is not clear whether Tideway have their own bowser.

It is not just large articulated “low loader” vehicles which will occasionally be using Ashburnham Road to manoeuvre (as allowed by the CLP/CTMP which we see you approved without conditions on 14th October). Cement vehicles have been seen backing from Ashburnham Road across Lots Road into the entrance to Cremorne Wharf.

Once again the Council and its officers have let down local residents, by not consulting openly with them, by paying little regard to the quality of their life, by disregarding their very real concerns and above all by consistently failing to enforce even the most basic planning requirements.

Please let us know, as a matter of urgency, what steps you intend to take to rectify the monitoring and enforcement situation in Lots Road, particularly with regard to Appendix C: WSCLP Monitoring and Reporting Indicators, dated 2/01/2018

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