A Tower Hamlets road scheme could be dressed with colours from the Central Foundation Girls’ School (CFGS) uniform, as part of innovative traffic calming measures designed to protect local school children and improve the look of the area.
Harley Grove is home to CFGS, and suffers from congestion and road safety problems during the general mayhem of school drop-off and pickup times, which staff have been trying to marshal for a long time. Last year there were five crashes on Harley Grove, three involving vehicles failing to give way at the junction with Bow Road. Project Centre was appointed to work with CFGS to come up with proposals for delivery by Tower Hamlets council that would address the ongoing traffic and safety concerns.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, visited CFGS to hear for himself the proposed solutions before they go out to consultation on the 11th June. The consultation to develop the proposals will run until 29th June.
Mayor Biggs said: “An all-female team has been pulled together to work with the students and help them understand the problem, collect data and develop and consult on the proposals.
”It’s a great opportunity for students to get hands-on with a project that will improve their immediate environment as well as teach them vital skills about what it is like to work in the engineering sector where women are still sorely under-represented. I am delighted the council is working with students so they can contribute to their local community”.
Keith Hanshaw, Managing Director, at Project Centre, said: “As someone who grew up round the corner to Harley Grove this is an exciting project for us to be involved in.
“Whilst this project ultimately aims to improve safety it has been great for the team to work with and inspire the young women to get involved in engineering and showcase potential career options they may not have previously thought about. I hope to see them working at Project Centre in the future.”
The students have already undertaken a site visit and assisted the design team in collecting survey data and giving their thoughts and opinions on the emerging proposals taking into account how the road is currently used and their observations on the needs of all road users for access.
Nafeesah Choudhury, Year 8, said:
“Being a Rights Respecting School encourages us to use our voice. This encouraged me to get involved in the project. It has made me develop my confidence and communication skills and made me look at our school in a different light”.
Fahmida Rahim, Year 10, said:
“Being part of this project has opened my eyes to how much planning goes into changing one street”.
The options under consideration include:
One way anticlockwise movement on Harley Grove
Narrowing the road at the junction of Harley Grove and Bow Road to discourage stopping/waiting on double red lines
Right turn ban at the junctions of Harley Grove and Alfred Street onto Bow Road
School travel plan to encourage parents and pupils to travel to school by public transport, walking and cycling, reducing vehicle pickup and drop-off.
Wire-frame bollards with human figures are proposed at the top of Harley Grove (junction with Bow Road) and outside the entrance to the school to raise awareness to drivers of the students crossing, create a gateway to the scheme and to give a uniqueness to the area.
Cllr David Edgar, Cabinet Member for the environment said: “”It’s important that young women are inspired to consider an exciting career in engineering. This project was a chance for pupils at CFGS to see this.”