Update: Bow Liveable Streets trial suspended


Update (14 July 2019):

Following an assessment of the Bow Trial, we are not going ahead with the planned road closures for the week commencing Monday 15 July. We would like to thank the community for their feedback and remain committed to devising a plan which takes into account the wants and needs of all for a cleaner, more sustainable and liveable Bow.

We will continue to work with communities across the borough as part of the Liveable Streets programme to improve the look and feel of public spaces and make it easier, safer, and more convenient to get around by foot, bike and public transport.

Tower Hamlets Council will be undertaking a traffic management trial in Bow from Saturday 13 – Sunday 21 July as part of its £15 million Liveable Streets programme to tackle air pollution, improve road safety and encourage active travel.

The four year initiative aims to improve the look and feel of public spaces in neighbourhoods across the borough and make it easier, safer and more convenient to get around by foot, bike and public transport. The council also wants to reduce the number of people using‘rat runs’ and taking shortcuts through residential streets to encourage more sustainable journeys and to improve air quality and road safety.

Following initial online and face to face feedback from Bow residents, 66 per cent said they wanted to reduce the impact of traffic in the area. As a result, traffic restrictions will be trialled in Antill Road, Coborn Road and Tredegar Road to prevent drivers using the residential roads as a rat-run. The trial will help the council understand the effects these changes have on the road network and will allow residents and businesses to experience the positive impact reduced traffic has on the local area.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: "Our Liveable Streets programme is about making your neighbourhood a more pleasant place to live, work and visit. The feedback we’ve had from our consultation with residents is that in general they support plans to prevent rat runs on roads and so we will be carrying out a traffic management trial for a period in Bow.

"We need to achieve the right balance and will see how the trail works while continuing to listen to the views of our residents. I am aware that some residents will be inconvenienced by parts of these temporary changes. After the trial we will return to the old layout and assess the evidence."

Traffic on Coborn Road and Antill Road will be heavily reduced for eight days and only buses, cyclists and pedestrians will be able to travel on Tredegar Road between the junctions with Fairfield Road and Parnell Road between 7am and 8pm. The changes to the Tredegar Road and Fairfield Road junction are not the final proposals.

Staff will be on site at each location to seek views on how the changes are working for residents and businesses, as well as demonstrating how the area could be improved if the proposals were to go forward on a more permanent basis.

The roads will be re-opened as normal on Monday 22 July. The findings of the trial will then be used to help develop proposals for ways to improve the area’s streets. This could see Bow receiving its share of the funding – £3.3 million – as part of the Mayor of London’s Liveable Neighbourhoods scheme.

Cllr Rachel Blake, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Planning, Air Quality and Tackling Poverty said: "Research shows our young residents have up to 10% less lung capacity than normal and so as an area with some of London’s worst pollution, we must look closely at measures to improve air quality and road safety.  

"These measures are a temporary trial and we will work with residents as we consider any final proposals."

In other areas, residents and businesses in Brick Lane and Barkantine can also suggest improvements to their area through online surveys until 22 July. Or for Brick Lane, people can pop along to the Kahaila Cafe, 135 Brick Lane on Saturday 13 July 2019 from 10am - 12 noon to share their views.

For Bethnal Green and Wapping, workshops are now being held to develop plans. This follows feedback from residents through online surveys and drop-in events.

For more information about the pilot and programme as a whole, visit www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/liveablestreets or email your feedback to liveablestreets@towerhamlets.gov.uk

The following temporary changes will be made to the road layout during this time:

  • Coborn Road will be closed to motor vehicles between Tredegar Road and Malmesbury Road.
  • Antill Road will be closed to motor vehicles east of the junction with Lyal Road.
  • Antill Road will be made two-way between Selwyn Road and Lyal Road.
  • Tredegar Road banned right turn into Coborn Road will be removed.
  • A bus gate, which allows only buses to pass through, will be in place on Tredegar Road between Fairfield Road and Parnell Road operating from 7am – 8pm every day. Other motor vehicles will be able to pass through outside of these times.
  • Suspend ten parking spaces on Fairfield Road outside 55-67 Fairfield Road to ensure that there is enough space for two-way traffic.
  • The council has consulted with the emergency services, bus operators and Transport for London to ensure they can deliver their services using the changed road layout.
  • Residents will still be able to access properties and parking spaces on the closed roads.

 Liveable Streets programme 2019-22

Phase one

  • Bow - April 2019
  • Bethnal Green - April 2019
  • Wapping - April 2019

Phase two

  • Brick Lane - June 2019
  • Barkantine - June 2019
  • Shadwell - January 2020
  • Old Ford Road West - January 2020
  • Mile End West - June 2020
  • East Ferry St Johns - June 2020

Phase three

  • Southern Grove - October 2020
  • Burdett Road South - October 2020
  • Cephas Street Area - May 2021
  • Teviot and Brownfield - May 2021
  • Bethnal Green South - October 2021
  • Whitechapel - October 2021
  • Spindrift and Island Gardens - April 2022
  • Aberfeldy - April 2022
Posted on Friday 12th July 2019