Children come out to play as Bethnal Green road is closed to traffic

Room to cycle safely after school in Bethnal Green

Room to cycle safely after school in Bethnal Green - Credit: LBTH

Children came out to see for themselves the first part of a council programme to close roads to traffic outside Bethnal Green’s Elizabeth Selby Infants' School.

The Liveable Streets work includes new street lighting, trees, more greenery and space for play.  

The Tower Hamlets Council programme has been delayed by Covid and last year's controversy with protests against barriers being erected.

There were 8,000 vehicles a day using Old Bethnal Green Road before the barriers went up.

Now things are said to be quieter for the school around its pupil entrance in Pollard Street, with wider and more level pavements, cycle paths, crossings and green open spaces.  

Old Bethnal Green Road blocked to traffic... children come try the new play zone

Old Bethnal Green Road blocked to traffic... children try the new play zone with headteacher Ann Wood, the mayor of Tower Hamlets and council members - Credit: LBTH

“Children can now walk to school safely,” Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs said. “There’s still work to be done in streets nearby, but we’ve made progress in challenging circumstances.”   

Similar schemes are already underway in other parts of Bethnal Green as well as Millwall and Wapping, while work is set to begin this summer on the next phase in Bow, Brick Lane and Old Ford Road.