Tower Hamlets Council is consulting on proposals for a low-traffic neighbourhood in Bow to improve road safety and encourage walking and cycling as part of its Liveable Streets programme.
The plans aim to reduce some of the 33,000 daily motor vehicle journeys in Bow. Almost half of these vehicles travel through the area without stopping, creating extra noise, air pollution and road safety issues in residential streets.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We want to consult on these Liveable Streets proposals for Bow after several months of engagement with residents, businesses and schools.
“The plans will invest in our streets to make them safer, improve our air quality and make it easier to get around on foot or by bike. We recognise that within these proposals not everyone will agree with all the options. The plans to calm traffic include pedestrianising the Roman Road market area to give safe space to travel on foot or by bike with improved walking routes linking residents to local shops and facilities.”
With public transport capacity limited due to the pandemic, more residents and workers are walking and cycling but some roads are too choked with traffic to allow safe social distancing.
The proposals include wider decluttered pavements, improved street lighting, cycle parking, greenery and school streets where roads will be closed to motor vehicles at drop-off and pick-up times.
Dan Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Realm, said: ‘’We want to hear what Bow residents think about our plans for the area as part of the multi-million-pound Liveable Streets programme. The proposals we are putting forward are designed to improve Bow for all residents, bringing quieter streets, safer and improved walking and cycling routes, and investment to improve the experience for visitors to Roman Road too.”
“We are proposing that the closure of Skew Bridge to traffic, implemented to enable social distancing, be made permanent and that other changes are introduced to St Stephen’s and Roman Road in order to remove the through-traffic from these routes too.”
“This is a bold set of proposals for Bow, and we want to hear residents and local businesses views on every aspect. We’ll take on board feedback to the consultation before deciding on final plans.”
Latest figures estimate that cycling has increased significantly during lockdown and with public transport capacity heavily reduced to allow social distancing, the council is ready to support people to shift to walking and cycling more.
Work is already under way on plans for low-traffic streets in Bethnal Green and will start later this year on the Isle of Dogs and in Wapping.