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Plans for Limehouse Circle Line’ waterbus to Stinkhouse Bridge

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:41 05 October 2010

Limehouse Cut... by the old Poplar labour exchange

Limehouse Cut... by the old Poplar labour exchange

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to prevent a high-rise block of flats being built in a proposed conservation area along London’s oldest canal are unveiling plans to run a new waterbus service. Regular stops would include East London’s famous Stinkhouse Bridge, an art gallery, university campus, stadium and museum along the way

By Mike Brooke

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to prevent a high-rise block of flats being built in a proposed conservation area along London’s oldest canal are unveiling plans tonight (Wednesday) to run a new waterbus service.

Regular stops would include East London’s famous Stinkhouse Bridge and link 16 housing estates, four parks, an art gallery, a university campus, stadium, superstore and museum along the way.

Veteran local historian Tom Ridge reveals the waterbus plans at a public meeting at Kingsley Hall next to the Limehouse Cut, where he has joined battle to stop developers encroaching which looks set to end up in the High Court.

His waterbus Circle Line’ would begin at Limehouse DLR station and steam clockwise and anticlockwise along the Limehouse Cut to Bromley-by-Bow, the River Lea to Old Ford and Hackney Wick, joining the Hertford Union Canal past Victoria Park to Bethnal Green and back along the Regent’s Canal through Mile End to Limehouse Basin.

Tom is throwing his idea into the ring this-evening at Tower Hamlets council’s public consultation for the proposed Limehouse Cut Conservation Area, 7pm to 9pm at Kingsley Hall in Powis Road, Bromley-by-Bow.

A conservation area would save the former Poplar employment exchange, one reason the council gave for refusing planning permission to pull down the art deco building next to the Cut’ and replacing it with an 11-storey block of flats.

The refusal has lead developers to start judicial review proceedings in the High Court, claiming the conservation designation is unlawful and should be revoked.

The waterbus service would be the icing on the cake, with regular stops at Stinkhouse Bridge in Poplar, serving three estates and two parks. Other stops would serve the Ragged School Museum, Matt’s Art Gallery, Mile End Stadium, Queen Mary college, Mile End Park, Victoria Park, Bow Church and a big supermarket at Bromley-by-Bow.

Another 13 estates would also be in the loop in Limehouse, Stepney, Bethnal Green, Bow, Bromley-by-Bow and Poplar.

Essential to the loop’ is the Limehouse Cut, a two-mile straight line’ waterway built in 1770 so that barges carrying grain to the City of London along the Lea from Hertford could bypass Bow Creek and the long haul round the Isle of Dogs and not have to wait for the Thames tide.


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