Councillors in for grilling on Roman Road traffic ban from Mile End families

Traffic ban in Roman Road... one of 17 planned on Tower Hamlets mayor's check list. Picture: LBTH

Traffic ban in Roman Road... one of 17 planned on Tower Hamlets mayor's check list. Picture: LBTH - Credit: LBTH

Families faced with plans to ban traffic from Roman Road Market and a ‘bus gate’ letting only public transport through to St Stephen’s Road are staging an online meeting to quiz councillors.

Traffic ban in Roman Road... one of 17 planned on Tower Hamlets mayor's check list. Picture: LBTH

Traffic ban in Roman Road... one of 17 planned on Tower Hamlets mayor's check list. Picture: LBTH - Credit: LBTH

It is being organised by Mile End’s tenants and residents organisation who want to question their Bow representatives about Tower Hamlets Council’s proposals.

The Thursday evening meeting is being arranged at short notice on Zoom at 6.30pm tomorrow, July 16.

It follows a petition launched on Saturday by Roman Road traders fearing the scheme will discourage shoppers and kill off the famous East End street market.

Protesters objecting to Roman Road traffic ban. Picture: Mike Brooke

Protesters objecting to Roman Road traffic ban. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Mike Brooke

Councillors Asma Begum and Val Whitehead have been invited to present the scheme, followed by questions put by residents.

The meeting is aimed at families living within the area defined by the Mile End Road, Regent’s Canal, Lichfield Road and Coborn Street and needs advanced registration which returns a link by email to join in.

The scheme effectively draws a north-south dividing line between the adjoining Bow East and Bow West neighbourhoods, say critics. The traders notched up 8,000 supporters on their “save our streets” Facebook page at the weekend demanding no bus gates or road closures on top of all the tough parking restrictions that have already been brought in.

Hundreds sign petition objecting to traffic ban in Roman Road. Picture: Mike Brooke

Hundreds sign petition objecting to traffic ban in Roman Road. Picture: Mike Brooke - Credit: Mike Brooke


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“I was annoyed that my area was going to be calved in half,” petition organiser Carlton Bolter told the East London Advertiser. “This scheme is about pollution — but diverting traffic down the Mile End Road gives out more emissions.”

They met two councillors on a fact-finding mission on Saturday. One was cabinet member Dan Tomlinson who outlined the bus gate idea to stop through traffic with three closure options at peaktime, all day 7am-7pm or 24/7.

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The Mile End families joining tomorrow’s online meeting aim to put councillors “on the line” over whether the barrier down the middle of Bow will divide the community as the traders predict.

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