Protests over Olympics late music in Victoria Park 17 nights running

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 April 2012

Tens of thousands of Olympic revellers are likely to pour onto the streets of the East End after midnight during the two weeks of the summer Games.

Tower Hamlets councillors are worried the revellers leaving live events at Victoria Park will be trapped at Mile End and Bethnal Green night after night—unable to catch last trains which will already be packed with spectators from Stratford leaving at the same time.

There is also anger by families living near the park that live music is being licensed for 17 consecutive nights till 11pm including weekdays, with alcohol on sale till midnight.

A formal objection to the late licensing has been lodged at the Town Hall this week by Labour opposition leader Joshua Peck, while families who have organised a petition are planning to protest to the council’s licensing committee.

“Olympics spectators will be leaving at the same time as 30,000 people pouring out of Victoria Park—all trying to get onto the Central Line,” Cllr Peck told the Advertiser.

“This means massive queues in the streets with people stranded, many of them drunk.”

He holds a crisis meeting with TfL and the Olympics organisers on Friday to try and tackle the problem he says hasn’t been planned for.

London Underground is extending services by an hour during the Games, with last train westbound leaving Stratford 1.30am to reach Mile End at 1.35am and Bethnal Green about 1.40am.

But that won’t be enough time for crowds leaving Vicky Park, say objectors. Families in Bethnal Green, Bow, Old Ford, Hackney Wick and South Hackney living within earshot of the park are also worried about noise.

Labour’s Marc Francis said: “The nightly disturbance is right through the week when many face work the next morning.”

The petition signed by 200 households so far is being handed to the licensing committee on April 26.

Cllr Peck’s formal objection states: “The Live Nation application for live music until 11pm and recorded music and film until midnight, seven days a week for 17 consecutive nights, would be an unacceptable public nuisance to thousands of people.”

He is proposing a licence until 10pm Sunday to Thursday and 11pm Friday and Saturday.

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