Thames Path Programme

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Sections of the Thames Path / Riverside Walkway within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets


The Thames Path Programme has been established by the Council in response to public nominations received as part of the Local Infrastructure Fund (LIF) consultations in 2017 and 2019 requesting improvements to the Thames Path within Tower Hamlets.

The River Thames is one of the Borough's greatest assets, and the Thames Path serves as one of the primary ways in which residents and visitors can enjoy what the Thames has to offer, providing a range of direct and indirect benefits, including opportunities for leisure, wellbeing, and economic contributions.

There presently exists, however, a number of barriers presented to the public in terms of access, obstruction, poor quality public realm, and a lack of overall vision for the Thames Path.

The Thames Path Programme has therefore been established by the Council's Regeneration Team to consider how to overcome these barriers through the formation of a vision for the Thames Path in the borough, and a range of project-led interventions for specific sites. This work will sit alongside existing enforcement work already underway.

The Thames Path Programme vision for the Thames Path is:

"The Thames Path / Riverside Walkway will be open and accessible for all along its entire length within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, with clear signage as to its route, and access to the Thames where at all possible, and will make the most of cultural opportunities linked to the borough's history and natural assets".

This page will be used throughout the lifecycle of the Thames Path Programme to bring you updates on progress, manage consultations relating to various projects undertaken as part of the Thames Path Programme, provide links to key documents, and provide a platform for continued public engagement with the Thames Path Programme. We encourage you to get involved through both formal consultations and by using the tools this page has to offer.


Sections of the Thames Path / Riverside Walkway within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets


The Thames Path Programme has been established by the Council in response to public nominations received as part of the Local Infrastructure Fund (LIF) consultations in 2017 and 2019 requesting improvements to the Thames Path within Tower Hamlets.

The River Thames is one of the Borough's greatest assets, and the Thames Path serves as one of the primary ways in which residents and visitors can enjoy what the Thames has to offer, providing a range of direct and indirect benefits, including opportunities for leisure, wellbeing, and economic contributions.

There presently exists, however, a number of barriers presented to the public in terms of access, obstruction, poor quality public realm, and a lack of overall vision for the Thames Path.

The Thames Path Programme has therefore been established by the Council's Regeneration Team to consider how to overcome these barriers through the formation of a vision for the Thames Path in the borough, and a range of project-led interventions for specific sites. This work will sit alongside existing enforcement work already underway.

The Thames Path Programme vision for the Thames Path is:

"The Thames Path / Riverside Walkway will be open and accessible for all along its entire length within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, with clear signage as to its route, and access to the Thames where at all possible, and will make the most of cultural opportunities linked to the borough's history and natural assets".

This page will be used throughout the lifecycle of the Thames Path Programme to bring you updates on progress, manage consultations relating to various projects undertaken as part of the Thames Path Programme, provide links to key documents, and provide a platform for continued public engagement with the Thames Path Programme. We encourage you to get involved through both formal consultations and by using the tools this page has to offer.

  • The Thames Path Programme - What has happened, and what's to come

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    Welcome to the first in a series of updates that’ll follow the progress of the Council’s Thames Path Programme, which will follow the progress of the Programme and signpost opportunities to get involved.

    What has happened...

    In response to the 2017 Local Infrastructure Fund (LIF) consultation, residents expressed a desire to see improvements to the Thames Path within the borough. As a result, the Council's Regeneration Team established the Thames Path Programme to undertake feasibility and concept design work for the footpath.

    The Regeneration Team began by producing a Scoping Report, to establish a baseline on where to begin with the Programme. The report outlines:

    • The planning policy context;
    • The Programme's Vision;
    • An Inventory of the Thames Path / Riverside Walkway within the borough, covering accessibility, its physical condition, quality of the urban environment, and cultural offer; and
    • An overview of management arrangements for the Programme.

    The Scoping Report will remain a live document throughout the Programme's timespan, providing an overarching framework for the different work streams and phases that will contribute to making the Thames Path a better route for all. As the Programme progresses, your insights are encouraged to help feed into our understanding of experiences of the Thames Path and how it could be improved. Get in touch using the "Who's Listening" area on the right-hand side of the page, or use the Stories function at the bottom.

    From the Scoping Report, poor legibility of the Thames Path / Riverside Walkway was highlighted as a key issue:

    "Given the ever-shifting nature of the Thames Path, and the myriad of often temporary closures, signage along the Path does not always accurately reflect its true, or current, route. Further confusion sometimes arises by the use of Thames Path along the Riverside Walkway, and vice versa.

    In addition to ambiguities regarding naming, there are also a large number of different signage types for users of the Path to contend with. Alongside the official signs installed by Natural England, there is borough signage, Legible London signage, and more localised signage (such as the information boards on the Isle of Dogs), which due to having been installed at different time periods can sometimes present contradictory information.

    The Regeneration Team subsequently appointed Applied Wayfinding to carry out an in-depth analysis of wayfinding and connectivity along the Thames Path, and identify solutions. Applied produced a Wayfinding & Connectivity Strategy for the Thames Path, which includes:

    • An audit of the existing condition of wayfinding along the route of the Thames Path / Riverside Walkway; and
    • Recommendations for improvements in the form of an Action Plan.

    The Regeration Team will look to deliver the Action Plan as part of the next phase of the Thames Path Programme, detailing ways to help improve wayfinding and legibility, alongside suggestions for other enhancements to the Thames Path to support navigation and enjoyment of the route for residents and vistors.

    ...and what's to come

    Thanks to further responses made during the 2019 LIF consultation seeking improvements to the Thames Path, the Programme is moving forward into its next phase.

    The Regeneration Team will be progressing the following in the coming months:

    • Delivery of wayfinding and legibility proposals from the Wayfinding & Connectivity Strategy;
    • A consultation exercise in Summer 2021 to get your views on ways we can improve accessibility and safety, and make the most of culture and leisure opportunities on and near the Thames Path; and
    • Programming and delivery of projects.

    We welcome you to keep up-to-date with the Programme by visiting this webpage, subscribing for updates via the "Who's Listening" area, or contributing via the Stories function.

Page last updated: 17 September 2021, 11:58