Local Liberal Democrat Councillors Lisa Rajan, David Hubber, Paul Noblet, Simon Hughes MP and myself have been inundated with emails from concerned passengers in Surrey Docks about the future of Greenland Pier. This also affects people who use the service and live just over in Lewisham.
We held a meeting on Monday morning with Gill Davies, Southwark Council's Director of Environment and Leisure. Our main aim for the meeting was to get Southwark Council to stop the temporary closure of the pier on 28th February, and instead keep it open for the Thames Clippers boats to use. We know how vital and valued the commuter boat service is and how many people rely on it. We also wanted to ask for a temporary pontoon to be installed if the existing one really does need to be removed for repairs.
We divided the pier issue into two parts - the immediate future, following the official Notice to Quit served on Thames Clippers, and the longer term future of the pier.
As far as the immediate situation is concerned, the Notice to Thames Clippers was, we were told, a legal requirement to enable the pier to be inspected and repaired as necessary. Thames Clippers should be granted a temporary licence to enable them to continue to use the pier until such time as it may be removed temporarily for any works. We have stressed that there should be no discontinuance of the service on 28 February, nor until it is essential for the pier to be closed, and we were led to believe that this would be the case. We also asked that users should be given one month's notice before the pontoon is actually removed.