Back in April, MERA reps attended the Tower Hamlets Licensing Sub Committee to object to the licensing application for the Live Site in Victoria Park along with fellow objectors who included Councillors Joshua Peck and Mark Francis.
The bulk of the meeting was taken up with the hearing of evidence relating to the )
The preparation of the application by the organisers had completely failed to address some very significant concerns relating to the impact of the events on local residents in Bow and Mile End.
From MERA's perspective:
- our major concern related to people leaving the Live Site late at night and attempting to get home via public transport at Mile End.
- We shared concerns about the impact on the sleep of working people of late night disruptions night after night for 17 nights in a row.
Specifically the licensing application was completely silent on how people leaving Victoria Park late at night would be managed and where they would wait to access public transport.
While some people may be local and able to walk home, it was very clear that many thousands of people would have to wait a very long time to get on tube trains leaving Mile End Station (The tube trains will be full of people leaving the Olympic Park). It would also be neither possible nor safe for thousands of people to access and wait for trains on the platforms of the Station. We suggested it was imperative that another Bethnal Green Tube Disaster was avoided.
- Dispersal from the site was acknowledged to be critical – and yet they had no crowd management plans or egress marshalling plans to show us how this will be managed in Grove Road and around Mile End
- There were very significant holes in the data and conclusions of the Transport Plan.
- the site capacity at any one time is now limited to 20,000 people. After representations by MERA and others plus further investigation, the Council recognised there was no way – as we predicted – that local transport could cope with 30,000 leaving the Park very late at night.
- There are no changes to the proposals for the Opening (27th July) and Closing (12th August) nights of the main Olympic Games. These were recognised to be special one-off events.
- The hours for licensed activities on other nights have been changed to ensure these finish earlier. The aim is to get more people to leave even earlier which will help with the pressure points re Bethnal Green and Mile End tubes. For the rest of the Olympic Games period (ie 28th July - 11th August 2012)
- Sunday to Thursday: all entertainment and music (live and recorded) to stop at 10pm and alcohol to stop at 11pm
- Friday and Saturday: all entertainment and Music (live and recorded) to stop at 11pm and alcohol to stop at 11.30.
- Changes to the allowed times for set-up and take-down so that further disruption to nearby residents is minimised. These now relate more closely to the hours normally allowed for building works in a residential area.
- Scope granted for the Council to change level re decibels limits to sound heard in Waterlow Crescent if residents complain and say situation is untenable
Specifically these is what THEY state are the Victoria Park opening hours (see below for evidence as per screendump from the site)
BT London Live, TfL and Tower Hamlets Council may like to note that tonight we will be monitoring what happens tonight in the vicinity of Mile End Tube Station - and the homes of members of this Residents Association.
If necessary, we will be photographing and videoing the management of the arrangements relating to the health and safety of people trying to access Mile End Tube Station - and uploading these to Flickr for discussion with bodies responsible for the enforcement of licensing conditions and the health and safety of people trying to use public transport.
MEMBERS - Please contacts us (see side column as to how to do this) if you are adversely affected after 1am by tonight's celebrations.
REFERENCE: Full text of Item 4.3 of Minutes of Licensing Sub Committee on 26 April 2012 and and Licence
Application for a Time Limited Premises Licence, Victoria Park, Bow, E3 - Live Nation (Music) UK Ltd
- Concerning reducing nuisance; there will be a ‘hard finish’ to the programme on the days of the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies. At other times during the festival there will be a staggered finish to ensure egress nuisance is reduced.
- Concerning public safety; staggered activity finish times will provide more transport options. Bethnal Green and Mile End underground Stations will be prioritised as dispersal hubs. There will be CCTV coverage and MPS response services. The crowd management plan is being developed and will soon be publicly available. There will be up to 2000 staff servicing the event. Emergency evacuation can if necessary be accomplished in under five minutes.
- The applicant offered that a single point of contact number be made available to residents.
- Concerning crime and disorder; stewarding and marshalling levels and security are supported by the Metropolitan Police.