Saturday 28 July 2018

Traffic Calming Plans for Harley Grove

Mayor John Biggs, Cllr Val Whiteread and pupils look at traffic calming plans
CFGS pupils meet Mayor Biggs & Cllr Whiteread

In early June the council consulted on a scheme for traffic calming on Harley Grove and neighbouring streets including Coborn Street. The proposed scheme developed by Project Centre with the help of pupils from Central Foundation Girls’ School (CFGS) seeks to address ongoing traffic and safety concerns.

In the last year alone there were five crashes on Harley Grove, three involving vehicles failing to give way at the junction with Bow Road.

The options under consideration include:

  1. Making Coborn Street one-way northbound 
  2. One-way anticlockwise movement on Harley Grove
  3. Narrowing the road at the junction of Harley Grove and Bow Road to discourage stopping/waiting on double red lines
  4. Right turn ban at the junctions of Harley Grove and Alfred Street onto Bow Road
  5. A school travel plan to encourage parents and pupils to travel to school by public transport, walking and cycling, reducing vehicle pickup and drop-off.
  6. Wire-frame bollards with human figures are proposed at the top of Harley Grove (junction with Bow Road) and outside the entrance to the school to raise awareness to drivers of the students crossing, create a gateway to the scheme and to give a uniqueness to the area.

Whilst it is great that pupils are getting involved with a project that will improve the environment around their school, MEOTRA residents and others have a number of concerns about the proposals. We have written an objection letter:
"MEOTRA objects to the proposal to impose one-way traffic on Coborn Street. There would be a deleterious effect on Coborn Road, which can barely cope with the traffic it takes at the moment. The traffic comes largely from the connection of Mile End Road via Tredegar Road to the A12, and partially to the connection of Mile End Road to Roman Road and its hinterland. 
Problems also arise from too many people bringing children to Malmesbury Primary School by car.
If there are to be any changes to the traffic system in the area, there should be a wider examination of traffic and pollution in the area, carried out in conjunction with local residents. 
Harley Grove stands in the Tredegar Square Conservation Area, and brightly coloured paving would detract from the historic quality of the Conservation Area. The whole scheme should be submitted for Conservation Area Approval."
The local cycling group, the Tower Hamlets Wheelers, has also objected to the proposed scheme and have suggested, rather than introducing one-way systems (which generally increase traffic speeds - not a good idea near schools), that both Harley Grove and Coborn Street are closed to motor traffic at their junctions with Bow Road. They also suggest that these roads are made into School Streets (ie they are closed to non-residents' vehicles at school run times).

When the MEOTRA committee recently met with our local councillors they indicated the proposals are very unlikely to go through, i.e. Coborn Street will not become one way. One factor being the highly undesirable effect the scheme would have on the pupils of Phoenix School who have very specific school transport needs.

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