Today’s opening of the new Wapping bus gate caused ‘chaos’ and delays of over an hour for residents and commuters this morning.
Residents took to the street to assist and warn motorists of the ‘virtual’ barrier that stopped vehicles, including taxis and resident owned cars, travelling from one side of Wapping to the other.
Motorists, including an unsure Metropolitan Police vehicle, were forced to u-turn in heavy traffic as delays of over an hour were reported.
A spokesperson from Tower Hamlets Council said via social media: “It will take time for changes to bed in as motorists are away of the new layout.
“There are signs on all approaching roads and we're reviewing vehicle movements as the gateway beds in and exploring additional signage if required.”
From today, traffic has been restricted on weekdays from 5.30am to 10.30am and from 4pm to 7pm on Wapping High Street between the junctions of Sampson Street and Knighten Street.
Only buses and bicycles will be permitted to pass through during those hours, with signs warning motorists and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras enforcing the restrictions through the virtual gate.
Access to the gate does not include exemptions for residents or taxis as it was determined that to do so would undermine the overall aims of the bus gate.
This comes despite the majority of respondents voting to keep access open for residents and taxis in a Tower Hamlet’s Council led consultation.
As reported in TaxiPoint, a petition has now been set up demanding access for residents' vehicles and licensed taxis is granted through the Wapping Bus Gate.