The docklands cover 22 square km from London Bridge to Beckton. There are four main areas, which are, Wapping and Limehouse, Surrey Docks, Isle of Dogs and Royal Docks. The area has gone under a load of projects on order to improve the area. These projects consist of the Docklands Light Railway, London City Airport, Transport and redevelopment of the old factories and housing. In order to improve access to the area the Light Railway was opened in 1987 at a cost of i?? 77 million. The train is unmanned and programmed by a computer to stop at the certain locations.
It connects the Isle of Dogs to the main rail and the underground network and the city itself. Future plans are already being made to extend the route eastwards to the Royal Docks. The London City airport gave a further boost to the docklands that was previously a Short Take Off and Landing airport. This has been developed on the quay between the Royal Docks at Beckton. Brymon Airways and London City Airways offer scheduled flights to domestic and European destinations within a 600km radius of London.
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Along with the Light Railway and the airport other transport schemes have been established, the network of red brick roads in the EZ, is linking the Isle of Dogs to the city. The docklands highway is one of the newest schemes and includes the Limehouse link, a cut and cover road. In 1988 a high-speed river bus service was introduced to serve commuter and tourist attraction. However this has brought about its disadvantages, as the capacities of the existing schemes are unlikely to meet the passenger demands created by new developments such as, Canary Wharf.
Along with the problems of escalating costs, for instance the Limehouse Link has rose from i?? 85 to i?? 140 million even before the work had started. Due to the need of new roads many council houses are being demolished. There has been too much emphasis on road developments rather at the expense of public transport. Housing has gone under some huge building schemes in which have been promoted by the LDDC, mainly at Beckton, Wapping, Surrey Docks and the Isle of Dogs. In 1988 nearly 9000 new houses had been built and work had started on over 15,000 more homes, and a further 8000 are planned.
River frontages are popular locations for the new homes and seem to have been targeted by the purchasers new to the area. The development of the Royal Docks promises 1500 ‘social homes’ in which 25% of the new jobs to be made available to local residents and provision of social facilities. The Tower Hamlets Council has made a deal with the LDDC that the council tenants after being homeless due to the Limehouse Link that they should be re-housed. Another deal was that 2000 Canary Wharf jobs and i?? 2.
5 million towards training for local people. There have been complications with the new housing. Over 80% are private sale, mostly being to expensive for the local people and in Newham a small 4% of new private sales are to the locals. The rising prices are of no help with some penthouse flats reaching i?? 1 million. Over two-thirds of the land given to the LDDC in 1981 has been earmarked for local authority housing. There seems to be an inadequate concern for the needs of the locals rather than the new ‘Yuppies’.
Since 1981 the population of the Docklands has been growing and is expected to rise throughout the 1990s, which had brought about the concern for new roads and transport schemes along with the new housing. However this could have been seen the other way round with the housing and new transport attracting the new population in which tends to be the upwardly mobile and professional population. This has been aided by the growth of the business sector like Canary Wharf. Friction has therefore been created between the old and new population and in which it is still growing.
Employment had been a problem for the locals since the major docks closed down, and with the slogans ‘why move to the middle of nowhere when you can move to the middle of London’ has attracted people from outside the city. Between 1981 and 1987, 8000 new jobs have been created to the Docklands, a rise of 34&. By 1991 a further 25,000 jobs were expected. The jobs were in three sectors, finance and business services; distribution, hotels and catering; printing and publishing.
However even though they have provided 8000 new jobs, 5000 have been transferred form elsewhere, an example is the firms are bringing in their own employees. Only 3000 jobs are new and didn’t exist before. Another problem is that the jobs do not match the work skills of the locals and only 13% of the incoming firms are locals. 13,000 jobs were lost from the traditional sectors since 1981 and in 1988 52,000 residents were unemployed. The local councils have attracted approximately i?? 440 million in grants since 1981.
This has allowed the LDDC to offer an array of subsidies and incentives to developers, including cheap land and prepared sites. Problems have been caused due to the money going to the LDDC such as, local councils have had their resources cut back by rate capping and capital spending controls. The LDDC have faced criticism from local boroughs, community groups and organizations like the Docklands Community Council for its lack of democracy, local consultation and communication. If the London Dockland rejuvenation was a success or failure is remains to be seen.
The Docklands has been described as a test bed of government policy but the position of the Docklands being next to the city of London it is hard to see it being repeated. After this rejuvenation of the Docklands has left two environments that exist side bi side, one luxurious for wealthy incomers and the other unfounded estates, parks and community facilities where the locals live. If the two will ever merge it is something we will have to wait and see. I believe however that the rejuvenation has had it successes as before there was nothing going for the area at all.
However the LDDC (London Docklands Development Corporation) was set up 1982 by the government to revitalize the economy of the docklands to do this they planned to modernise the existing buildings there by building offices and flats they started furthest upstream at the Tobacco dock and at St Katherine’s dock they where both developed the tobacco docks where turned into shopping area and St Katherine’s dock was developed as a tourist area, despite the regeneration of these docks they did not attract they many people to them especially when compared to other places in London.
These two docks where small and easy to develop the hardest task for the LDDC was to develop the much larger Isle of dogs to aid them the government declared the area a enterprise zone this meant that companies that moved there where able to build there without paying taxes and bills the planning procedures time was also reduced allow the companies to save money and build faster.
One of the biggest changes to the Isle of dogs was the opening of the Docklands light railway in 1987, this allowed people to easily and quickly gets around the isle of dogs this was aided by the construction of better road and rail links to the area. Although the Isle of dogs was developed well and extensively the royal docks where left derelict and unused. The Isle of Dogs where developed well enough to allow it to begin to thrive again this is mostly because of the city airport this is the most used area in the docklands it was designed to allow the business people to travel easily in the docklands.
Business was not the only area focused on during the revitalisation of the Isle of Dogs they also built more Housing in the area however this kind of mass development caused controversy among the community living in the docklands prior to the redevelopment they claimed that the housing and facilities where too expensive for them to use an that the LDDC did not cater for them in there plans for the area London Docklands became a port during the Roman times and it was a very important one because it was a nodal point of many rivers. Itself, it was the river Thames.
Many goods were sold alongside this river, and the port became very busy. But later on, the river became too busy and large ships could not pass in many places because of the overcrowding. Things only got worse when ships became a lot larger, and London got more popular, many laws were passed. Many decades later, people grew tired of the whole concept of overcrowding of ships, and so built own docks for private ships alongside the river in the Dockland. Also the industrial revolution was in conduction, so trade increased and therefore more space for ships were needed.
As the space was running out, new ports were needed, so the Royal Docks were built further downstream to the first ports. Thousands of people worked in the docks by now. But this work was often dangerous and very badly paid. In the 1960’s, workers complained because of this and demanded more pay, so the docklands became more expensive to run. So instead of the workers, containers, which were more efficient and cheap, were invented so workers were laid off. But still the rivers were not big enough to accommodate these ships who took the containers, so problems began again, and because of this, in the 1970’s Docklands were closed.
These were the reasons of decline. There was a sharp loss of workers in the Docklands, there was not enough space for many ships, many ports had to move to other parts of London, and also The Docklands closed because of this. This led to decline as businesses set up elsewhere; most of docklands became derelict land. The land was not used for a purpose anymore. Also the houses that were built there, were built quickly and the areas were set up very rapidly too, this meant that environmental quality and house quality was very bad and people did not want to live there any more.
People started to go and live somewhere else in London and other areas. These declines were mainly caused by problems in the area and with the structure of the whole area. Problems included mainly the factors of money, land, space and work force. One of the main problems was space. The Dockland’s were not designed to support huge ships, by their thousands at one time. They were also not deep enough to allow for the new bigger ships, which reached down a great amount. Container ships could not be sufficed, so other ports started to open, namely Tilbury and Antwerp, which could support the new bigger ships.
As well as not having enough space now, the Dockland’s were in constant battle with other ports to get business and investors. Soon they could not handle it, with the growing expense of running the whole port, so they closed. The amount of space and the size of the ports were a big problem. Another problem was the fact that there were so many job losses, because of these new containers and in the end; they could not fit inside anyway. Also workers who lived there were very limited with their skills and could not handle the new technology.
Because of the closing down of the docks now, the areas became run down. This was problem, as no-one would want to live there let alone set up a business there, 40% of land was derelict now. There was a lot of derelict land now with a lot of street thugs and crime and graffiti hanging about. Another Problem was that the land was owned by a council who did not have the will to redevelop the land. The derelict land in some places was very run-down, and so it would be very expensive to clear and redevelop. If redevelopment did not happen, investors and entrepreneurs would not even consider entering the area.
There was also a problem with routes to other areas of London. The roads did not clearly link to London main areas. This meant that it would be expensive to trade and communicate with other parts of London. There were no airports for transport to other countries or other places in England. Neither were there proper fast and hard wearing trains or train stations. The main transport was by ships, and this was very slow, not to mention the docks were also packed. At this point counter-urbanization was taking place; all of the urban qualities of the area were being stripped off the Docklands.
This meant that all of the functions and homes that were there became rundown and worse than before. This also meant that the docklands could in no way keep up with the latest technology, which is so valuable when you want to lure investors your way. Housing in the area was also a problem. There were terraced housing in most places of the London Docklands. This meant there was not much lure for normal families to come there and also the workers would not have liked it. The houses were built fairly fast in the past, so they were not very hard wearing at all.
These needed to be replaced. Even when the Docklands were a good market place, their image was of a run-down town. What the whole area needed was a nicer image as an attractive place to come and work and live with your family. Entertainment and activity centers were needed to put this image on to appeal to the families of workers to come there to live and also work, and educate their young. The LDDC was formed as a result of regenerating the London Docklands. LDDC stands for London Docklands Development Corporation.
They invested 1.86 billion pounds into the whole project. Transport was the main investment, where nearly half of the money went. The Docklands Light Railway was improved and extended to go into other parts of London. It was also made more reliable so that it could carry more passengers. Five new stations were also developed. 72 miles of new roads were also built in the Docklands leading into other parts of the London, and some roads were improved. Pedestrianisation also took place, where high specification pedestrian and cycle networks were placed, with special help to disabled people.