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Walking and cycling at heart of new Tower Hamlets transport strategy


Encouraging walking and cycling to relieve traffic congestion and reduce overcrowding on public transport is at the heart of Tower Hamlets Council’s new transport strategy.

The ambitious 20 year plan was formally adopted by the mayor at last week’s meeting of the cabinet.

It aims to make the borough one of the best places in London to walk and cycle by reducing car use and improving access to buses and trains.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “As the fastest growing borough in the country, we must plan for the future by enabling residents to travel more efficiently and sustainably.

“Our ambitious strategy will improve the quality of the air we breathe and enhance the health and quality of life of those living, working or visiting Tower Hamlets.”

The strategy has been informed by a consultation which saw 2,800 residents and businesses have their say. It seeks to meet the Mayor of London’s target for 90 per cent of trips made by residents to be on foot, by bike or on public transport.

It is complemented by the council’s ongoing Liveable Streets programme – a multimillion pound package of public realm improvements in 17 areas around the borough. Work will start on the first set of improvements in the new year.

The strategy will also see families benefit from 50 School Streets to be introduced around the borough. They work by addressing car use in the immediate vicinity of schools, improving air quality and making the roads safer for children.

A cycling plan will be published in 2020 with proposals for increased separated cycle paths and parking across Tower Hamlets. The council will also promote incentives for businesses to scrap polluting vehicles and invest in clean, sustainable transport for deliveries and services.

David Edgar, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “We’re working closely with Transport for London and local businesses to provide better access to get around Tower Hamlets.

“Our existing road and public transport capacity will not keep pace with the growth of our population so this strategy sets out alternatives to car use to keep the borough moving and make sure our transport system is accessible, affordable and fit for the future.”