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New measures to stop illegal street trading on Tower Bridge

PUBLISHED: 14:00 10 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:16 10 April 2019

The new measures will stop illegal street traders on Tower Bridge. Pic: City of London Corporation

The new measures will stop illegal street traders on Tower Bridge. Pic: City of London Corporation

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New measures are being rolled out to stop illegal street traders operating on Tower Bridge.

Tower Hamlets Council and the City of London Corporation have signed a legal agreement between them to enforce a clampdown on the 125-year-old bridge.

The City of London’s Bridge House Estate owns the 800ft-long bridge, but a legal quirk meant City officers had no jurisdiction over the bridge’s northern side, which is controlled by Tower Hamlets Council.

Traders including peanut sellers have been hawking their goods on the grade I-listed crossing for months while officers were often powerless to stop them.

City bosses were “mortified” that traders continued for “several months” to burden the bridge, which Tower Hamlets has been reluctant to send staff to patrol due to a lack of resources.

And they raised fears that hawkers would cause a nuisance as thousands more tourists flocked to its walkways for the Easter holidays.

At a meeting last week, City of London councillor Christopher Hayward, said: “I don’t believe we have had any response from Tower Hamlets, they have had several months to read the details now. “

He added: “We’re all mortified by it. We will try it again and keep trying.”

Another City of London councillor Sylvia Moys told the meeting: “I expect Tower Hamlets to get on with this and have it ratified without any more delay whatsoever.”

One trader – who asked not to be named – told the Advertiser: “I have been on this bridge for over a year. I have never seen anyone tell me to stop.”

The trader, who sells pots of peanuts and almonds for £2, added: “I’m not worried, if they come, they come.”

A City of London Corporation spokesman said: “We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with Tower Hamlets that will enable us to work together to prevent illegal street trading on Tower Bridge.

“Illegal trading on our bridges is not acceptable and creates health and security concerns for members of the public.

“It is only right that we continue to keep our city clean and safe for our workers, visitors and residents.”

A Tower Hamlets spokesman: “We have been involved in discussions with the city about sharing enforcement powers in this area so as to maximise the coverage in place. The formal agreement on this was finalised this week.”

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