Sunday, 3 September 2017

Air Pollution Meeting - next Saturday 9th September 12-2.30PM

It is great to see both the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and our own Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, starting to look at air pollution issues in our borough. The above meeting whilst not council run will undoubtedly feedback ideas to the two Mayors and might be worth popping along to if air pollution is something that particularly concerns you.

In our own micro-environment of MEOTRA we have seen significant changes in road use since the CS2 cycle route was upgraded. Unfortunately and ironically traffic has increased. The ban on two right turns at the Mile End Junction has led to an increase in traffic crossing the junction twice to effect a right turn. The EasyBus, National Express and others now use Grove Road rather than Whitechapel Road (I am told this is because it saves them time due to hold ups in Whitechapel). The terminating of approximately 50% of number 25 buses at Mile End has led to extra congestion in Grove Road especially. Vehicles travelling eastwards now seem to increasingly use Morgan street as a cut through if traffic on the main road is heavy. And then there is the issue of vehicles "resting" on our streets with drivers leaving their engines idling.

One issue with all this extra traffic is that whilst one assumes it leads to extra pollution, no one is actually measuring it. We only have three pollution monitoring sites in the borough - outside Queen Marys University, by the Blackwall tunnel and a "control" in Victoria Park. There is certainly a need for community-based volunteer monitoring and this is something MEOTRA are looking at. 

Some of you may have read about the LBTH Mayor's "Neighbourhood Refresh Programme" across the borough (starting with Weaver's Area) and this is something MEOTRA are keen to have rolled out here. These improvements could include more trees and better green spaces, cycle parking, better lighting, street art, pleasant resting areas; safety and traffic calming measures and paving repairs.

Over the next few months MEOTRA will be getting in touch with residents to discuss ideas for the Neighbourhood Plan and as part of this, we will also be drawing together ideas to tackle air and noise pollution and in general make MEOTRA a more pleasant place to live.

Art Exhibition by local artist Alice Sielle

an exhibition of mobiles, drawings and paintings by


private view
Thursday 7th September 2017

8th-29th September 

 Monday –Thursday 10am- 9pm
  Friday 10am – 7pm  
Saturday 10.30am – 5.30pm.

The Brady Centre
192-196 Hanbury Street
London E1 5HU 
020 7364 7900


"Platanus x acerifolia, the majestic London plane, is a decorative life force that we see everyday in our parks, streets and squares. The most widely planted tree in London, its origins are still a mystery.

It is usually thought to be a hybrid between Platanus orientalis (the oriental plane) and Platanus occidentalis (the American sycamore). But although the hybrid is supposed to be fertile, I never see any seedlings.

It has been suggested that the initial hybridisation could have happened either in Spain or in Vauxhall Gardens, London. However, it was discovered in the mid-seventeenth century by John Tradescant the Younger in his famous garden at Lambeth, and as both the oriental plane and the American sycamore grew there, this could have been the site of their miscegenation.

With its habit of shedding bark in large flakes in summer (allowing it to rid itself of pollutants), and its tough, grime-repellant leaf surfaces, the London plane happily accommodated itself to the soot-blackened streets that followed the Industrial Revolution. However, it is not without its disadvantages. Its leaves take forever to rot and are useless for compost, and the hairs on the seeds are bad news for sufferers of asthma and hay fever.

The planes in Berkeley Square were planted in 1789 and are among the oldest in London. Our parks are full of avenues of magnificent planes – so decorative with their camouflage trunks and gracious foliage, decked in winter with fruit bobbles like magical Christmas trees".