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‘Trapped’ families call for 30mph speed limit on A12 Blackwall Tunnel Approach

PUBLISHED: 17:32 14 July 2015 | UPDATED: 17:37 14 July 2015

Little Malak Hassaini, aged 9, joins protest on A12 Blackwall Tunnel Approach Road [photos: Rehan Jamil]

Little Malak Hassaini, aged 9, joins protest on A12 Blackwall Tunnel Approach Road [photos: Rehan Jamil]

© Rehan Jamil

Thousands of families in London’s East End are calling for a 30mph speed limit along the A12 Blackwall Tunnel Approach road.

Mums, dads and children stage protest at Zetland Street crossing on A12 Blackwall Tunnel Approach RoadMums, dads and children stage protest at Zetland Street crossing on A12 Blackwall Tunnel Approach Road

They want the 40mph limit reduced at the only crossing junction on the six-lane dual-carriageway running through in Poplar where it crosses Zetland Street and Lochnagar Street.

Up to 100 campaigners and their children from the Teviot and neighbouring Brownfield housing estates along the A12 staged a protest on Saturday, at the crossing they say doesn’t give them enough time to reach the other side.

“The A12 cuts right across our community and many homes are on the edge of this busy road,” angry campaigning grandmum Cissy Townsend told the East London Advertiser. “Cutting the speed will make it safer for us all to get around.

“We have two crossings, but anyone with kids can’t get across in time. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

Aerial view of A12 crossing on Blackwall Tunnel Approach Road (Google image)Aerial view of A12 crossing on Blackwall Tunnel Approach Road (Google image)

She is founder of Teviot Action Group giving voice to 2,000 families on both estates which has now launched a petition demanding “no more cars in our back yard”.

The families, backed by Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association which manages the estates, plan to hand the petition to Tower Hamlets Council and also send to the Transport Department in Whitehall.

The A12 Approach opened in 1972 is now one of London’s most congested and polluted highways, according to London Assembly statistics.

It also cuts Poplar in half, isolating families and businesses alongside the Lea River around Abbott Road.

“We’ve been protesting for years,” Cissy added. “The road can’t take any more traffic.

“The pollution is so toxic that many children in the six schools in the area have inhalers. We have to wash our curtains at least once a fortnight because they get so dirty.”

The campaigners say reducing the speed limit won’t cause traffic jams—the A12 is already gridlocked regularly with tailbacks sometimes stretching several miles back to the A11 Bow Roundabout and Hackney Wick during rush-hour.

They also want more “escape” routes such as Twelvetrees Crescent which they say could filter some of the traffic eastwards across the Lea.


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