Contents - Part II continuation page
(Note: This Monograph has been reproduced by kind permission of the Commission for the New Towns now known as English Partnerships. It is published for general interest and research purposes only and may not be reproduced for other purposes except with the permission of English Partnerships who now hold the copyright of LDDC publications)
10. CITY AIRPORT
London City Airport (LCY) emerged as a serious proposal at a dinner party late in 1981. Around the table were Philip Beck, Chairman of John Mowlem & Co PLC, Bill Bryce, then running Brymon Airways, a regional commuter airline based at Plymouth, and Reg Ward, Chief Executive of the LDDC. Everyone round the table had a good reason to be interested in the idea of a new Airport. Philip Beck was looking for new investment opportunities in Docklands. Reg Ward was looking for an eye-catching project. He wanted to change perceptions of the Royal Docks from a nineteenth century image of docks and ships to one based on technology and innovation. Brymon Airways were interested in expanding and saw the opportunity to develop a STOLPORT (short take off and landing airport) which would serve businesses in the City and in Docklands.
A disused quay between the Royal Albert and King George V Docks was identified as the best site. It was the right size and its east-west alignment would mean that traffic using the new LCY would be operating in the same direction as traffic using Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton. This would make it easier for the air traffic control authorities to cope with the facility.
There followed a period of some months during which Mowlem sought to sell the idea of the Airport locally. A number of trips to Plymouth were arranged for local people and in June 1982 the concept was demonstrated in Docklands when a DHC-7 was landed on a cleared area of quayside at Heron Wharf on the Isle of Dogs (now Heron Quays). The DHC-7 proved to be a quiet aeroplane and most of the early fears evaporated.
Two public opinion polls taken at about this time indicated growing support for the Airport as a new facility bringing life and hope back to the area. In 1984 a planning application was submitted by Mowlem for the Airport and was the subject of a Public Inquiry lasting four months. There was a full examination of the noise, safety and wider planning issues. Could the land be used more beneficially for other purposes? Would the Airport prevent desirable development in the wider area?
A year or so later the Secretary of State for the Environment announced his decision. He gave permission for the Airport to be constructed subject to a number of conditions. The most important conditions were that the Airport could be used only by the DHC-7 or aircraft of similar operating characteristics, the number of air traffic movements would be limited to 120 per day on weekdays and 40 at weekends, there were to be no helicopters and there would be no flying at night.
Work could now go ahead to design and build the AirporL The concept was to a specialist airport to cater mainly for business travellers and the whole scheme cost £30 million. The airport terminal was designed by Richard Seifert to a high specification. It opened for traffic on 26 October, 1987 with a formal opening by HM the Queen on 5 November, accompanied by a dramatic firework display in Beckton.
During 1988 the Airport had problems with air traffic control. It had been agreed that pending the reorganisation of controlled airspace over London, LCY traffic would fly at lower. uncontrolled levels but with a radar advisory service provided from Heathrow and Gatwick.
The problem was that the Gatwick Low Altitude service was not always available and, given the complexity of air traffic in the locality, there was serious concern among pilots and newspaper reports of 'near-misses'.
The problem was resolved by allowing southbound traffic from LCY to climb into the lower reaches of the controlled airspace regulated by Gatwick Approach Controllers who are on duty 24 hours a day.
The Airport opened with scheduled services to Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels. Internal flights to Plymouth, Jersey and Guernsey were introduced but were not successful and were withdrawn.
It became apparent in the first year of operation that LCY needed to develop more European destinations. The DHC-7s did not have sufficient range. The answer was to introduce the British Aerospace 146 turbo fan aircraft and other regional jets which are faster and larger, and with a longer range (1000 miles radius of London) could serve almost all European airports. These would need a longer runway, however, and so a planning application was submitted to extend the Airport runway from 750 metre to 1200 metres.
In July 1990, nearly three years after the Airport had opened, there was a second public inquiry. The Inspector concluded that the expansion of the airport would be of benefit to the economy of east London and the City, although there would be an increase in noise levels. The Secretaries of State of the DoE and DoT allowed the application subject to conditions and limitations on noise.
Set for success
Once the runway was extended the airport started to attract services to new European destinations. The opening of the new Docklands highways in May 1993 was a milestone in improved accessibility from the City and substantial growth in passenger numbers was achieved in 1993/4. Since then passenger numbers have grown steadily to reach 727,000 in 1996 and the airport's managers expect to achieve more than 1 million in 1997, and 2 million by 2000. The airport was bought from its original owners, Mowlem, in 1996 by Irish interests with the intention of pushing forward with its expansion. While it already had 12 airlines operating from it in May 1997, serving 19 destinations, the new business strategy is to try to secure mature airlines serving the top 25 destinations which are most in demand. With this growth in mind, the airport needs improved public transport links. There is already a bus service from nearby Prince Regent Lane DLR station which calls at the airport but the main step up in accessibility will come with the opening of Canning Town Station in 1998, with the Jubilee Line Extension, DLR and the North London Line a few minutes away by airport shuttle bus. In the longer term, the Woolwich Rail Tunnel scheme would improve public transport connections from south east London and a travelator link between Silvertown Station and the airport would be feasible.
Note by Webmaster: For more information about London City Airport visit the website of the London City Airport Consultative Committee.
11. Pedestrians, cyclists and bridges
Issues and priorities
As much as with any other form of transport, pedestrians and cyclists faced severe access difficulties in Docklands. The river, docks, busy roads, large derelict development sites and railway lines created particular barriers to pedestrian and cycle movement. Much has been done to address these problems.
Priorities have been to:
As the Corporation was not given highway powers it did not have sole, or arguably even the major, responsibility for the provision of pedestrian and cycle facilities. Its powers to plan and deliver such facilities were also limited. It has nevertheless given priority as landowner and developer to establishing a good network of pedestrian and cycle facilities throughout Docklands.
In order to achieve its aspirations the Corporation used its powers as a development control authority and as a substantial landowner. It also needed to exercise considerable powers of persuasion with other agencies including the highway authorities, the Port of London Authority and the National Rivers Agency (now the Environment Agency), and with developers and other landowners.
Within the area of the Enterprise Zone the Corporation's powers were further limited and this made it particularly difficult to secure good links to the Canary Wharf area, although this was finally dealt with through the Master Building Agreement negotiations.
Establishing a good pedestrian network
The basic principles and broad requirements for the pedestrian network were established within area development frameworks. The Limehouse Area Development Strategy (1982), for example, identified a network of pedestrian routes which were to be secured, drawing attention to the need to provide public access to the riverside, Regents Canal Dock (now Limehouse Basin) and to the Regent and Limehouse Cut Canals.
Most commonly, pedestrian facilities have been directly provided, either by the Corporation or developers. Frequently, new or upgraded facilities were secured as part of major infrastructure projects. The Docklands highways, for example, included many new pedestrian crossing facilities. Contributions from developers included extensive lengths of riverside and dock edge walkway. pedestrian rights of way through new developments as well as contributions to major new infrastructure.
Other agencies also contributed to the upgrading of pedestrian facilities in Docklands, including the Department of Transport on the A13 and the local highway authorities. Major enhancement of pedestrian facilities was also achieved as part of the DLR Beckton Extension which included funding to provide pedestrian access both to the individual DLR stations and across the DLR corridor. These faclities include a high quality pedestrian/cycle underpass at Prestons Road roundabout, grade separated crossings at the bowl stations at Cyprus and Beckton Park, and many new pedestrian/cycle bridges including those at Poplar, East India Dock, and Canning Town.
River and dock edge access
In general the Corporation sought to secure full 24 hour public access to all parts of the dock edge and riverside frontage. It also sought to ensure that new developments incorporated high quality landscape treatments in these sensitive areas. It has, however, adopted a pragmatic approach to the inevitable conflicts between access and development and this in certain instances led to restricted hours of access to walkways adjacent to residential areas. (Fig 40 - 129kb)
The Corporation has had to enforce planning agreements which provide public access to the river and dock edge and it has reinforced public rights of access by providing extensive pedestrian signage. It has also contributed to the Countryside Commission's Thames Path Initiative by providing comprehensive signing of the Thames Path route through Docklands between Tower Bridge and Greenwich. This was completed prior to the official opening of the complete Thames Path Route between its source at Kemble in Gloucestershire and the Thames Barrier in Greenwich in mid 1996.
The Corporation has also given priority to ensuring that Docklands is fully accessible to all sections of the community, including the disabled. This is reflected In the specification for the Docklands Light Railway, which for example provides lift access to all high level platforms and allows for wheelchair access onto trains. In recognition of the importance of this issue the Corporation produced a guide Access and Mobility which illustrates good practice both outside and inside developments for use in assessing planning applications.
The Docklands pedestrian bridges
The need for new pedestrian bridges throughout the Docklands area arose from the severance caused by the large expanses of dock water and the major road and rail corridors. For some time the LDDC considered how best to overcome these severance problems in a way that recognised the sensitivity and integrity of the dockscapes, and the sometimes conflicting needs and views of water users, pedestrians, cyclists and developers.
St Saviour's Dock Bridge, Bermondsey
A pedestrian bridge across this dock, (once the mouth of the River Neckinger) was originally proposed in 1981 alongside the proposals to redevelop the historic warehouses at New Concordia Wharf.
At that time the developer was not able to fund the proposed bridge. Subsequently the area blossomed, and the opening of the Design Museum, the Butlers Wharf Gastrodome, and the development of the Shad Thames and Mill Street warehouses have transformed the area. In 1993, one year before the Corporation was due to leave the Bermondsey area, the LDDC decided that the private sector would not now deliver a bridge, and that such a bridge would be enormously beneficial in securing the long term well being of the area.(Fig 41 - 43kb)
A local engineer (Bryn Bird) and architect (Nick Lacey) won the contract to design the bridge, and following many months of consultation with local residents and occupiers, a design was agreed.
The Design: In this significant and sensitive conservation area it was important to ensure that the design was complementary to the adjacent warehouses, and respected a very prominent Thames frontage. The bridge needed to be able to open to allow access to dockside moorings, and to permit overnight closure of the bridge to protect residents' amenity.
The architect, Nick Lacey, proposed a delicate stainless steel cable stay swing bridge, reflecting the form of the cranes on the adjacent warehouses, and presenting a filigree, transparent aspect both from and to the River Thames. The structural principle is a bit like an inside-out bicycle wheel: the suspension rods are the spokes and in place of the (compression) wheel rim we have the horizontal and vertical tubes. The visual effect is one of transparency - a kind of steel spider's web. The contract for constructing the bridge was awarded in February 1995, and the bridge was floated up the Thames and lifted into position on the day after the Docklands bomb on 10th February 1996. It was formally opened for public use by the then Secretary of State for the Environment, John Gummer, alongside a new work of public art for the area, Exotic Cargo, by Peter Randall Page, on lst March 1996.
Limekiln Dock Bridge, Limehouse
This bridge, across the Limekiln dock entrance, was required in order to complete the footpath and cycle link along the riverside route in Limehouse.
It also had to be an opening bridge to respect dockside mooring rights, and to acknowledge in its design its very prominent position adjacent to the Thames.
The design by YRM Anthony Hunt Associates was for a sinuous swing bridge in painted steel. The bridge was opened to the public in March 1996 by Lord David Owen, a local resident.
The Canary Wharf Footbridges
There had been, for many years, LDDC proposals to build or have built pedestrian bridges across West India Dock, to the north of Canary Wharf, and South Dock, to the south of Canary Wharf. These proposals were given even more importance by the decision to build the Jubilee Line and its station at Canary Wharf. After long but ultimately unsuccessful attempts to persuade London Transport to provide the South Dock bridge as a part of the Jubilee Line project in order to spread the benefit of the Isle of Dogs station to a much wider catchment, the LDDC decided that these bridges were of such importance in integrating Canary Wharf and the Jubilee Line with the surrounding area that they should be LDDC funded. It was decided that they should be built as soon as possible, subject to the practicalities of building around the Jubilee Line construction site, and they were to be passed after the exit of the LDDC to Canary Wharf's developers for their long term maintenance.
In order to do justice to the prominence of the sites for these bridges, and to try to elicit imaginative and innovative solutions to the design problems and site constraints, the LDDC decided to go against the then current convention of simply appointing an engineer to design the structure, and instead invited joint teams of architects and engineers to collaborate in invited design competitions. Longlists of architects were interviewed and on the basis of these interviews shortlists were established.
South Quay Bridge at Canary Wharf
The brief for this bridge was a complex one. The bridge was required to cross the dock initially adjacent to the DLR viaduct, and out of the way of the Jubilee construction site. It was a requirement that at a later date it should be capable of being relocated and made shorter, to position it on the desire line for pedestrian movement between South Quay and Heron Quays, and to accommodate the future building out into the dock of the Heron Quays site. (Fig 42 - 44kb) It was also required to be an opening bridge to permit access for larger craft.
Six engineers were selected, and the competition invitation was issued to these six. Within the brief a list of suggested architects was provided, and the engineers were asked to team up with an architect of their choice.
The six competition entries which resulted were of a very high standard, and demonstrated the enormous potential of encouraging collaborative working between the best architectural and engineering practices.
The Design: The chosen design for South Quay, by engineers Jan Bobrowski and Partners working with Chris Wilkinson Architects, was for an 'S' shaped bridge 180 metres long, comprising two identical sections one fixed and one slewing. Each 90 metre section is supported by seven pairs of cable stays suspended from a 32 metre mast. The construction contract was awarded in November 1995, and the bridge was completed in May 1997.
West India Quay Footbridge
A similar competition was also run for this bridge design, but in this case the architects were given the lead role and selected an engineering partner to work with. Once again the competition entries were exciting and innovative. The selected scheme, by architects Future Systems, working with engineers Anthony Hunt Associates, was for a floating pontoon bridge. The objective of the design was to span the 90 metres between the two quays with as elegant and minimal a structure as possible, and to give pedestrians a sense of freedom and space whilst crossing the water. The contract for the bridge was awarded in November 1995 and the bridge was opened by Michael Heseltine, the then Deputy Prime Minister, in September 1996.
St James Garden Footbridge
This fixed bridge across the northern entrance to the Rotherhithe Tunnel forms a vital last link in the pedestrian and cycle network. The design, which uses the metaphor of a butterfly, has two parabolic tubular steel arches splayed as wings, with suspension wires supporting the paved deck. The 22 metre bridge was based on a concept developed by Nick Lacey and Bryn Bird, the designers of the St Saviour's Bridge, but with detailed design by W S Atkins. The bridge is due for completion in November 1997.
Royal Victoria Dock Footbridge
The design for this bridge was also chosen from a design competition in which seven teams submitted proposals.
The winning scheme, by engineers Techniker and architects Lifschutz Davidson, was for an elegant cable stay bridge with a span of 128 metres, swung between two 50 metre masts, at a height of 14 metres above the dock. At 200 metres this is the longest of the Docklands footbridges, and the brief for its design required the needs of sailors and water users to be taken into account as well as those of pedestrians. The bridge connects the Urban Village at West Silvertown with the proposed Exhibition Centre and with the stations at Custom House. The design allows for the future build out into the dock proposed for the Exhibition Centre, and also safeguards for the future addition of a transporter car to operate underneath the bridge, thus allowing passengers to be carried across in security and safety whilst also being protected from the elements. The viability of the transporter, however, is dependent on the full development of the surrounding dock estate.
North Woolwich Road Footbridge
The North Woolwich Bridge, which links the new Thames Barrier Park (currently under construction) with the Urban Village and the Royal Victoria Dock, is being designed as a stressed ribbon bridge by engineer Robert Benaim in association with architect Eva Jiricna. This minimalist structure will connect with the massive Green Dock, which is a central feature in the design of the park. The bridge should be completed in mid 1998.
Development of a Cycle Network
In 1982 there were no cycle facilities at all within Docklands and not surprisingly very little cycling took place in the area.
During the early years of the life of the Corporation cycling was given a relatively low priority. In part this reflected the low status of cycling within the metropolis, with cycling being regarded as an increasingly marginal mode. It also reflected the difficulty of achieving agreements with the local highway authorities.
Nevertheless, some important local facilities were provided. In the Surrey Docks Peninsula the general layout of roads and footways, including some purpose built cycleways along the canal and dock side, has created an environment which is extremely conducive to cycling. In the Royal Docks the Corporation funded the provision of a new shared pedestrian cycleway, 'The Silvertown Tramway' along the south side of North Woolwich Road.
Since 1988 the Corporation has given a high priority to the completion of a network of cycle routes and associated facilities. In 1989 the principle was established of providing an east/west route parallelling the new Docktands highways linking Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs with the City and the Royal Docks.
In 1990 an internal review was made of cycle needs; two studies were carried out: one covering the Isle of Dogs and Wapping and the other the Royal Docks. The review coincided with a greater impetus towards providing for cyclists both nationally and within London, witnessed by the initiation by the London Planning Advisory Committee (LPAC) and the Department of Transport of the '1000 rnile London Cycle Route Network'.
The Corporation's studies identified a core network of routes in Docklands (Fig 43 - 119kb) and priority was given to securing its implementation. In taking forward the implementation of this network a flexible approach has had to be adopted. Some parts of the network had to be modified. An example is at Brunswick Wharf (in Leamouth) where the economic recession put back the implementation of a major new development which was to have incorporated the cycle link between the Lower Lea Crossing and the Isle of Dogs. This led to a radical rethink and a segregated cycle track has now been constructed alongside Aspen Way between the Leamouth Roundabout and Prestons Road.
The east-west route, a major new cycle facility for London, was largely complete by 1994. It has been planned in collaboration with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Traffic Director for London and includes a new cycle route along Cable Street, which parallels The Highway, providing a direct route between Limehouse and the City. This part of the route was funded by the Traffic Director as part of London's first Red Route Scheme.
The complete route, which is more than 9 km long, makes use of local roads such as Narrow Street and Poplar High Street, which have been relieved of traffic by the new Docklands highways, including the Limehouse Link. It also incorporates a segregated cycleway across the River Lea as part of the Lower Lea Crossing and a number of new special cycle crossing facilities.
In the Royal Docks the emphasis has been on providing high quality shared pedestrian/cycle tracks. Shared facilities alongside the docks will be particularly important.
At the time of writing almost 60 km of cycle route had been implemented throughout the Docklands area; just over half of this is in the form of off-street routes making them both safe and attractive to use. Almost all of Docklands is now accessible by safe cycle routes making the area probably the most cycle friendly part of London. A further 15 km of cycle routes are planned, most of this being off road routes within the Royal Docks.
The completion of the new pedestrian/ cycle bridge across the entrance to the Rotherhithe Tunnel in Limehouse will provide the vital missing link in the east-west route by upgrading the link between Narrow Street and Cable Street.
12. Docklands Transport Planning: the analytical side
Although is has not generally been a story of much interest to most Docklands reporters, it is a fact that a considerable amount of analysis has been undertaken to test, evaluate and justify the various transport proposals described in this document. Obviously, in making a case to spend public money, a rigorous justification is always needed, and the modelling and transport teams at LDDC and London Transport have borne the main responsibility for this work.
Assumptions about development patterns, land use, timing, car and public transport use, parking, travel patterns etc, have all been developed, tested, and constantly re-evaluated to check their validity.
This chapter gives a summary of the main issues considered.
Although no fixed land used plan has been prepared for London Docklands by the LDDC, development patterns and frameworks were established at an early stage. The build-up of employment and households in the UDA is illustrated in Figures 46, 47 and 48. (64kb, 71kb and 103kb).
The transport network has been planned to reflect these patterns, and to recognise the needs illustrated by Figure 48 (103kb), which shows the expected distribution of densities at the end of the development phase, and highlights the key growth points.
The end of the development phase, or 'end state' has generally referred to a planning horizon of about 20 to 25 years from the year in which forecasts are made. Forecasts of household growth, however, have generally assumed a shorter planning horizon of about 15 to 20 years.
The location of highest employment densities can be seen to be in the Central Business District of the Isle of Dogs, whilst the greatest attractions for visitors to shopping, leisure, and other developments will be in the Royal Docks.
Although the basic patterns shown in Figure 48 (103kb) have been established for some time, forecasts of the actual scale of growth have varied considerably over time. Figures 44 and 45 (56kb and 44kb) show the changes in projections of employment and population since 1972. A key change has been the growth in expectations for jobs in the area. It is now assumed that there could ultimately be approximately 175,000 jobs in the Urban Development Area. Currently (early 1997) the total is over 70,000 but many existing buildings are not fully occupied. Interestingly, housing forecasts have remained fairly constant at around 50,000 units.
These figures also demonstrate the difficulty of forecasting for an area as complex and large as Docklands (comparable in size to Central London). The capacity for jobs is considerable - but actual development will depend on a range of demand-side factors, as discussed below.
In fact the employment forecasts made in the 1970s and early 1980s were extremely low, and it is not at all surprising, therefore, that schemes like the Fleet Line could not be justified.
No one at that stage believed that the potential in Docklands was as great as the 1990 forecasts later assumed. It would therefore have seemed to be a misuse of public money, at that stage in the 1970S, to commit to the type of major transport infrastructure schemes which have now been committed.
It took the inception of Canary Wharf, in 1987, to open everyone's eyes to the possibilities, and it was only on the strength of this that the LDDC was able to justify the commitments to the Royal Docks road and rail network, the DLR improvements and extensions, and, of course, the Jubilee line.
The Land Use Data Base: land use type, density and timing
A land use data base was established in 1985 in which the forecast short and long term uses of all the sites in Docklands were detailed, and their expected transport characteristics quantified.
These assumptions were reviewed on a quarterly basis, so that estimates of car ownership, parking space, density and type of development, modal split etc, through time, could all be made as accurate as possible.
An extract from the Docklands LUTE (Land Use Trip End) schedule is illustrated in Figure 49 (87kb).
This land use data provided the base information for all the modelling work done to test Docklands schemes by LDDC, London Transport, and the Department of Transport.
Modal split: car and public transport use and parking
Each land use in Docklands, from the smallest to the largest site, has assumptions made about it in LUTE about the likely modal split for different types of journeys from that site. For example a small business development in the Millharbour area, just off Millharbour Road, will have assumptions made about the travel characteristics of its employees, ie whether they are more likely to use bus, DLR, car, either as a commuter or when on a business trip.
These assumptions will have taken account of the availability of parking spaces, proximity of public transport, and Londonwide research on transport characteristics.
Similarly, assumptions have been made about choice of mode of travel for residents living in different parts of Docklands, taking account of information about car ownership in different areas, public transport quality etc.
This data, when aggregated, demonstrates that the likely split between the use of public and private transport varies considerably throughout the area, and of course through time, as public transport improves.
In summary, the forecast modal characteristics of the different areas of Docklands are in Table 7 (45kb)
LDDC controls the parking provision within new developments by the application of parking standards through the exercise of its development control powers.
In the early 1980s, generous provision of parking was encouraged in the Royal Docks and Isle of Dogs, commensurate with the early perceptions of modest public transport access
With the approval of the Canary Wharf development in 1987, in which it was assumed that modal split would be less than 15% by car, it became necessary to review parking standards.
A set of standards was adopted which were consistent with the modal split assumptions for a much higher level of accessibility by public transport.
The current parking standards give different provisions for different land use types and areas within the UDA.
The travel patterns or distributions of travel which have been used in the Docklands models are taken from the London Transport Study (LTS) model of the whole of London which is run by the Department of Transport.
This LTS model is at the time of writing the only source for distribution patterns for all the analytical work which is done on London's new road and rail schemes. The distribution patterns forecast by LTS for London Docklands are illustrated in Figure 50 (21kb), which as might be expected shows different characteristics for public transport patterns than for private vehicles.
The London job market and its effect on Docklands
In forecasting employment levels for Docklands it has been necessary to consider both supply and demand. The early forecasts, produced in the late 1980s, were recognised in hindsight as being too strongly 'supply-led' - they took the view not only that large quantities of new office space would be built, but that it would be fully occupied within two years of completion. in terms of buildings under construction this was not wholly unrealistic, as it was reasonable to assume that developers knew the market and letting potential. But forecasts were also required for the ultimate or 'End State' level of employment which had to make assumptions about the scale and timing of development of sites for which, at the time of the forecast, there were either no schemes or only outline planning permissions or Enterprise Zone consents. These assumptions were inevitably more problematic.
Changes in the London office market
The problems of employment forecasting were compounded by changes in the London office market with the number of major lettings (of over 50,000 sq ft) declining from an average of almost 40 per year during 1987 and 1988 to 20 per year over the period 1989 to 1993. These demand-side factors, combined with the completion of buildings started during the 1987 - 1988 boom, produced an unprecedented surplus of space and necessitated a more conservative approach to employment forecasting, taking both demand and supply factors into consideration.
The revised approach, introduced in 1990 and reviewed each year, recognised that the different parts of Docklands are competing for tenants in different markets. For example, the developments of Canary Wharf and South Quay are increasingly attractive options within the Central London office market, whereas the Royal Docks are seen primarily as a location for large scale but lower density business park, exhibition, retail, amenity and leisure developments. The new forecasts have attempted to identify the 'package' features (including price, accessibility and quality of space) which each area of Docklands has to offer and how this compares with alternative locations - both now and in the future.
Control totals for employment growth
With the transfer of DLR ownership to the LDDC in April 1992, more importance has been placed on short term employment forecasts in order to strengthen revenue forecasting for DLR. In the production of these forecasts, supply side factors have continued to play an important role. The buildings completed on the Isle of Dogs by 1994 had capacity for some 60,000 jobs - whereas the 1992 level of employment (measured by the biennial LDDC Employment Survey) was 25,000. The forecast produced in early 1993 implied that the Isle of Dogs would need to capture some 6 per cent of the total take-up of space in the Central London office market as a whole for these buildings to fill up by 2001. Similar 'control totals' of employment growth have been forecast for each of the main sub-areas of Docklands. A series of lags representing the delay between the completion of a building and full occupancy are then applied to translate these area-wide forecasts to the site specific level.
Predicting further development
The final element in the forecasting process, as mentioned above, has been to estimate the scale, timing and take-up of not yet constructed developments. The pipeline of planning permissions indicates the potential, which could generate 105,000 jobs in the Isle of Dogs, Poplar and Leamouth and 175,000 in Docklands as a whole. In recognition of market and policy conditions, the latest forecasts reflect more housing and less commercial development, particularly on the major dockside/riverside sites in Leamouth and Royal Docks. The level of employment in the End State is uncertain and, in recognition of this, the Corporation has produced a range of forecasts for the long term.
The history of Docklands forecasts is shown in Figure 44 (56kb). These changes reflect developments in the forecasting methods and realities of the market. London Docklands has evolved in unanticipated ways. This process will continue and, no doubt, there are some surprises still in store.
The transport and land use models and their applications
Since 1985 LDDC has maintained several forecasting tools - models - to assist in the process of evaluating transport proposals.
These include the Docklands Public Transport Model (DPTM), used for all strategic public transport planning, the Docklands Traffic Model (DTM), used for all strategic road planning, and a SATURN model, which takes outputs from DTM, and tests local road issues in more detail.
All of these models take their coordinated inputs from LUTE and LTS.
LDDC's forecasts have been updated on a regular basis, year by year. The traffic forecasts have been validated against actual data, drawn, for example from LDDC's cordon surveys and DLR's operational statistics. They have also been independently audited in terms of methodology and outputs and the forecasts calibrated accordingly. This gives LDDC confidence in the reliability of its current forecasts, particularly in the short to medium term.
Use of the models
The evaluation of all the Docklands schemes has been done using these models, and they have also been made available to LT and DoT for independent use.
They have therefore been used to evaluate a wide variety of strategic transport schemes, including:
DLR: Beckton Extension Lewisham Extension Service Planning
13. Financial Investment
Schedule of Transport schemes directly serving or associated with London Docklands and their costs.
Top of Chapter
Note by Webmaster:
Some readers will be interested to know about the progress made in developing the transport infrastructure since the LDDC closed its doors in 1998. There is a good summary of the various projects completed, in progress or planned at the website of the London City Airport Consultative Committee.