FOI request detail

Request for information regarding intended future tree planting / Greening of Upper Thames street

Request ID: FOI-1855-2122
Date published: 10 December 2021

You asked

1/ Are there plans to add green walls and more trees and hedges on Upper Thames Street? 2/ with respect to the Blackfriars underpass; are there any intentions to improve the appearance of the wall surfaces? London is a world class city, and this is central London, but entering the tunnel is like a journey to a coal mine. Could the surfaces not be clad with something non-porous? Even advertising hoardings? Basically anything that erases the severe appearance. It is less a question about cleanliness, but improving matters with better finishing.

We answered

Our ref: FOI-1855-2122/GH

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 15 November 2021 asking for information about future tree planting / greening of Upper Thames Street.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold the information you require.

TfL has no imminent plans for tree planting at this location.  However, during the next financial year (2022 -2023) it is likely that we will be carrying out trial pits providing the locations prove to be suitable: suitability is always dependent upon various factors and constraints, including underground services and highway sight lines.

Tree planting is normally our first option for greening of the highway but if this isn’t viable then we look at alternatives such as hedges, wildflower verges and shrub beds to meet our key commitment of increasing our biodiversity across London. We are also exploring the possibility of installing more sustainable urban drainage systems including raingardens on to our network in preference to green walls that are higher maintenance and of lower benefit to the ecosystem. 

Your feedback concerning the Blackfriars underpass have been passed on to the relevant teams, however, there are currently no plans to change the wall surfaces at this location. Given TfL’s current finances and the lack of a viable funding package due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are unable to consider implementing such schemes at this time. 

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

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