Bow road closure trial cut short after aggressive behaviour from people opposed to plan
PUBLISHED: 10:00 17 July 2019
Tower Hamlets Council says it abandoned its Liveable Streets road closure trial in Bow because of traffic redirection issues and people being “aggressive” towards staff.
Parts of Coborn Road, Antill Road and Tredegar Road were closed or restricted on Saturday (July 13) as part of planned traffic ban until Sunday, July 21 - however, after assessing the trial on the weekend, the council decided not to continue with it this week.
The trial is part of the council's Liveable Streets programme to improve "the look and feel" of public spaces and make it easier and safer to get around by foot, bike and public transport.
The council has insisted its commitment to the aims of the programme has not wavered and a new trial would be implemented later in the year.
A council spokesman said: "This was a significant traffic management operation that involved careful planning in advance and required the deployment of a number of staff.
"The decision to postpone it was not taken without careful thought.
"During the first day of the trial it became clear that the way traffic was being routed away from the road closures needed to be improved.
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"It was also regrettable that a minority of those opposed to the trial chose to direct their frustrations at staff working on the ground in an aggressive manner.
"We welcome the views of residents, but it has to be in a constructive and appropriate manner."
Staff were on site at each location to seek feedback on the changes from residents and businesses, as well as demonstrating how the area could be improved if the proposals were to become more permanent.
The spokesman continued: "While views about how to deliver change may vary, we all have a responsibility to explore every possible way to deliver a cleaner, more sustainable and liveable Tower Hamlets."
Bow is the first of 17 areas identified for the four year programme.
The findings of the trial would have been used to help develop proposals for ways to improve the area's streets.
The council will now "consider the lessons" from this trial and the feedback received, then work with residents to come up with "modified proposals" ahead of a new trial.
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