Apology at last for triathlon gridlock on Isle of Dogs

By Rob Virtue on November 6, 2012 4:31 PM |

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Transport bosses have finally apologised for the chaos caused by a triathlon in September which saw thousands of motorists stuck in gridlock on the Isle of Dogs.

Transport for London director Vernon Everitt wrote to Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick admitting the group made mistakes.

Mr Everitt wrote: "I am sorry that your constituents were caught up in this, and plainly we must do better next time."

He added for next year TfL would force the organisers, IMG Events, to pay police to manage on-street problems and provide large signs at key areas seven days before the event in a bid to prevent the chaos, which was caused by the closure of roads, such as at Aspen Way.

Many people, including an eight-month pregnant mother of two, who was trapped in her car in heavy traffic for over four hours contacted The Wharf to say they were not warned of any impending transport issues in the days leading up to the event.

But Labour MP Mr Fitzpatrick was unimpressed with the letter, sent by managing director of TfL's customer experience Mr Everitt on behalf of Mayor Boris Johnson.

Mr Fitzpatrick, who wrote to the mayor demanding answers, said: "The reply from TfL and Boris won't give much comfort to the people who experienced significant disruption.

"Residents must have a cast-iron guarantee they will not face disruption next year and this means leaving all options on the table including relocation of the event.

"We're still waiting to hear back from the organisers and I will be raising the issue at a meeting with (Tower Hamlets') Mayor Rahman next month.

"I want to hear from any constituent who experienced disruption on that day who hasn't come forward."