Local businesses kept in the dark over road closures

Andrew Stanley Woodworking is located less than 600 metres from the Olympic site

Andrew Stanley Woodworking is a joinery business located less than 600 metres from the Olympic Site. They use the A12 every day to transport deliveries and send out fitters to and from the West End where many of their clients are based. But they fear that the road will be partially, if not completely blocked for up to 10 weeks before and during the Games.This would severely affect the running of the business. However, they have had no official information or advice from the local authorities.

Andrew Stanley who runs the business spoke to me about his concerns…


“We’ll have to adapt

The A12, which they use continuously to transport materials and products could be reduced to just 1 lane if the other becomes a designated Olympic VIP lane. And it could be cut off for 18 hours a day. This would mean Andrew Stanley having to work overnight, taking deliveries at 4am.

But with a lack of any official information, Andrew Stanley Woodworking and other neighbouring businesses on his site have come to the consensus that the A12 might be completely closed off.

Andrew has had no official correspondence from any authority

“Zero correspondence”

The last time Andrew had any contact with an official body about the Olympic Games was when he was visited 5 years ago by the Olympic Police who are responsible for security around the Olympic Site throughout the Games.

With less than 6 months to go before the Games, and the possibility that road closures could start to take effect 8 weeks before the actual event, Andrew wants to be in a position to start planning.

After contacting various councils for advice, he received an unofficial reply from Newham Council. He has not been asked to fill in any official forms. His local MP has yet to respond.

He feels that no one is willing to commit to any solid information, in case the situation changes.

“Sounds grim”

And today, Andrew told me that a notice has gone up at the Old Ford Junction warning of road works for the next 4 months. This is the business’s main way in and out of the site.

“We’re an afterthought”

A great deal of money is being put into the Olympics and the government is keen to project an image of professionalism around the event. There is a growing sense of excitement as the event draws ever closer.

It has been dubbed ‘everyone’s Games’ by the organisers. But local businesses like Andrew Stanley Woodworks are left feeling forgotten and abandoned.

If you have any useful information for Andrew, please contact us and we’ll pass it on.


Is Crossrail selling North Woolwich short?

The Royal Docks Learning & Activity Centre located on Factory Road, North Woolwich.Council funding was cut last year and they’ve had to rely on private donations and grants. The youth club has since folded and their range of services and workshops are no longer free to the public.

Despite this they’ve battled on, only to be confronted with another hurdle:

The construction of Crossrail has had a serious affect. It’s less attractive to potential donors and people wishing to hire the hall. The drilling fills the air with dust and causes vibrations to the foundations of the building. Hidden behind the railings passing trade is non-existent.

I asked an employee at the centre whether their problems will be solved when Crossrail opens in 2018. The response: “Crossrail is just trains passing by, none will stop around here.”

Diagram created using Microsoft’s Bing maps

Silverlink’s North London Line finished in 2006 and that disused track is set to take trains from Custom House all the way to Woolwich (on the other side of the Thames) without stopping. Crossrail’s planning assessment states:

“Silvertown station will be demolished and passive provision for a new station in the future. The Hybrid Bill proposals do not make provision for a station at Silvertown.”

When the North London Line was removed the DLR between Canning Town and King George V stations was thought be a sufficient alternative. Is this enough? Crossrail stopping in Silvertown would relieve some of the anguish of years of construction for North Woolwich – there should a light at the end of the tunnel.