The debate is how do we make the river accessible for everyone, of whatever ability. Clink Street is, and has been for some time, a nightmare for many people.
At the beginning of this year I had the good fortune to meet David Morris, himself disabled in an electric wheelchair, the Advisor on Disability Access and Inclusivity to Ken Livingstone and now to Mayor Boris Johnson, seconded to LOCOG to sort out access to the Olympic Park and more recently to issues of inclusivity for London generally, outside of the Olympic Park. During the Olympics 100,000 wheelchair users are expected to visit London. The best mode of transport for them is by Riverbus, which can accommodate at a time many wheelchair users to access most parts of the centre of our city. How do they get to the piers to access the Riverbuses? We must adapt this city to be accessible for all.
David Morris died in April, with unfortunate timing, at the age of 51, the day before a major meeting was to be held at the RIBA, to secure funding from LOCOG for the legacy from the Olympics, which of course then never materialised. In his memory Steve Lowe curated the exhibition “1 City Many People” at City Hall, as part of the London Festival of Architecture. This exhibition has been extended at City Hall until Friday 30 July in the Gallery around the Debating Chamber on Level 2. Please visit.
David said that in his wheelchair to get to the end of Clink Street made him feel that his spine had been shattered. Please also notice people with baby-buggies trying to get to the end of Clink Street. There must be another way. The River is for everyone. The London Promenade would be for families and leisure cycling, not a commuter fast route, for all abilities. At sufficient width, with shared use, and brought onto the existing land as much, and where necessary, to make the river accessible for everyone. Please be so kind to consider the greater good and not so much of self interest.
Extending the riverfront walkway without interruption will rob us of the surprise and wonder that deviations from the monotony of the straight line offer. The riverfront walkway should be an addition to, not a replacement for, examples like Clink Street.
But for those who just want to get from A to B, the diversion via Clink Street is not going to steal anyone's time.
It is a lack of imagination to think that we need more of the same. Please let's invest in showing people the wonderful back and side streets that this proposal will discourage.
What breathtaking hubris. You don't decide what "the debate is" Mr Davis. We all do. I resent the cheap and incorrect shot you make about self interest. Perhaps your own self interest and self importance is behind your vitriol. I think you are conflicted out of this discussion. My concern is truly for all the people of this city. Clearly yours is not.
Mr Davis's argument about wheelchairs in Clink Street would be more easily and cost effectively solved by a simple adjustment in its cobbled surface. I am sure there would be some support for that. The pedestrian surface at Covent Garden is a good example.
As it happens, Clink Street is one of the few lengths of the Thames Path where you can walk with a relative amount of security that you won't be hit hit by a fast moving bicycle.
If the Mayor were ever to invest in any new river-walk infrastructure, far better that the money is put towards the north bank that has a very long way to go to catch up with the south.
Clink street at its narrowest point outside Clink street studios is only 3 metres wide and I guarantee that not only do you run the guantlet of a constant stream of cyclists but joggers as well.The cobbles themselves are not original ,and were lain down about 10 years ago to add that extra patina of age.until then it was just tarmac.
Could it be that they were revealed rather than put down, nigel? There are areas where tarmac has worn away showing that it had been placed on top of cobbles. I think I've seen that in some of the ways into Guys from BHS.
Re London Promenade and Clink Street wharves 'bypass operation' ...
Listed waterside wharves being deprived of their historic river context? A modern recreational walkway slapped against these rare survivors of London's industrial heritage? Surely this is not something that organisations like English Heritage will be happy with? Or any Londoner who values our history?
Why must London's riverfront be homogenized? Why must the highly individual streets to the south be shunned in favour of a standardized motorway of human traffic on the edge of the river? Are Winchester Palace and Southwark Cathedral not sufficiently interesting to be worth a tiny detour? Are they less worthy of being seen than the new office complexes on the north side of the river? The promenade effectively dumbs down Bankside, with London's industrial river heritage additionally Disneyfied and discounted.
A direct parallel may be drawn with Venice, a city in which there is variable access to the Grand Canal. Who would think of putting a homogenized walkway in front of the historic buildings there for the sake of easier access? Why should we value London's historic waterside buildings any less?
Meanwhile, what would the area and its committed residents lose from this? At whose gain?
Michelle/Graham the historical context of these wharfs was lost as soon as they became the loft spaces of the uber wealthy.My building Clink street studios retains the spirit of the original context of these wharfs,spaces for work.I find it slightly disingenious
when people post here when their underlining reason if that they wish to protect their river view.