Thursday 14 July 2022

East End Canal Festival - 16th % 17th July 2022 (Sat & Sun) by the Art Pavilion, Mile End Park

 Flyer for the upcoming East End Canal Festival

This weekend Regent's Canal Heritage are hosting a bumper two-day festival to celebrate 200 years of the well-loved and well-used Regent's Canal in the East End.

Both days are packed full with a range of activities including boat trips, workshops, floating cinema, storytelling, canal art, pond dipping, plenty of live music and much more. 

Saturday 16th July, 11am-5pm
Sunday 17th July, 11am-5pm

Art Pavilion & Regent’s Canal, Mile End Park, Clinton Rd, London E3 4QY

How do I book?
All activities are free but booking is required via Eventbrite or on the day

Further details below

BOAT TRIPS: every 20 minutes. Book at the Information Desk.

WORKSHOPS: Canal Art Painting, Wire Sculptures, Canal Critters. Family wooden boat making 12-2.00 each day. Alpona Painting Saturday only.

ACTIVITIES: Mahogany Carnival Costumes, Geezers with Games, Henna painting (11-1.00), Mr Bubbles.

FILM SHOW: on a boat. 11.30-12.00, 12.15-12.45, 1.00-1.30, 2.15-2.45, 3.00-3.30, 3.45-4.15, 4.30-5.00 

STORYTELLING: Book at the Information Desk. 11-11.30, 11.45-12.15, 12.30-1.00, 2-2.30, 2.45-3.15, 3.30-4.00, 4.15-4.45

POND DIPPINGSunday only: Book at the Information Desk. 11.00, 11.45, 12.30, 1.30, 2.15, 3.00, 3.45, 4.30

STALLS: Matchgirls Memorial Campaign, Bow Heritage Trail (Sunday only), London Canal Museum, Friends of Mile End Park, Regent’s Canal Heritage Tombola, Zacchaeus Project, Inland Waterways Association, E1 Waterbirds (Saturday) and Cranbrook Community Garden (Sunday).

FOOD: East End WI Tea and cakes, ice cream & Aman’s Punjabi Kitchen on the forecourt, One Two More Pizza (on a boat).

MUSIC: All day on the island. Including: Esther Whyatt, Bengali Dance by Udichi School of Performing Arts, Pan Vibration (Steel Pan), Bow Django (Swing with a twist), Niki Stevens (indie folk and blues), LunaBarge (folk duo), Schembe Soup, and Abdiel's Pearl

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum Annual General Meeting - Sat 16th July, 2.30PM

 Map of the Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Planning area

The Roman Road Bow Neighbourhood Forum Annual General Meeting (AGM) is next Saturday 16th July 2.30 pm, St. Paul's Old Ford, St. Stephen's Road, E3.

Your support is needed as the neighbourhood plan approaches the crucial final stage of a local referendum.

After more than six years of community engagement, research and writing, the finalised neighbourhood plan for Bow has now been scrutinized by an independent examiner. The examiner required some minor modifications to improve some maps and add small amounts of text for clarification, but concluded:

'I recommend that the Plan, once modified, proceeds to referendum on the basis that it has met all the relevant legal requirements.'


The new Council cabinet has taken longer than expected to consider this recommendation, but it is hoped to make a decision on 1st August. If the examiner's recommendation is accepted, a local referendum on the plan will then have to take place by mid-October. Everyone will be able to vote who lives in the plan area and is able to vote in local Council elections.

If a majority vote in favour of the plan, it will guide decisions over the use and development of land and future planning applications in Bow until 2031. It will become part of the statutory development plan for the area, sitting under the Tower Hamlets Local Plan 2031 and the London Plan 2021.

What are the main themes of the plan?

•     A thriving high street and local economy
•     Green streets that encourage walking and cycling
•     Beautiful public spaces
•     New life for our local heritage
•     High quality affordable housing
•     A resilient and well-networked community infrastructure

Where can I read the draft plan?

The plan and supporting evidence is on the Forum website

How can I get involved?

•    You can join via their website. Joining entitles you to vote at Forum meetings
•    Come to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 16th July
•    Consider joining the Forum committee, which will be elected at the AGM

The Forum needs more people to help steer the plan through these final stages. The committee currently meets online once a month. They would love to hear from you if you are interested. Please send a short email saying in a few sentences who you are and why you want to join their committee to:

Sunday 10 July 2022

Petition to keep the Antill Road Vehicle Filter

 Montage photo of Antill Road, E3

Please sign this petition on the council's website if you would like to keep the Antill Road Scheme which is locally popular:

Sign to Keep the Antill Road vehicle filter

Many residents of Antill Road and surrounding streets, welcome the vehicle filter which has been a great success by:
(i) dramatically reducing the vehicle traffic rat running down the street.
(ii) reducing pollution resulting in much cleaner air.
(iii) making walking, scooting and cycling safer and more welcoming.
(iv) making it safer for children to cross the road.

What is this to do with us in MEOTRA?

  • Antill Road is literally just the other side of the tracks to us and they need their neighbours' support.
  • The rat runners pass through the Coborn Road Bridge and this affects us directly.
  • Meotra parents walking their kids to Malmesbury/Olga and Chisenhale Schools have noticed an improvement.
  • The council say they are reversing the road closure - but it isn't closed: ALL EMERGENCY VEHICLES CAN DRIVE DOWN ANTILL ROAD WITHOUT ANY OBSTRUCTIONS. Don't let them make you think otherwise!
  • What a waste of money to rip it out within a couple of months. Will TfL ever give the borough a grant again?
Below are some maps showing the rat run used by out of borough vehicles driving in on the A11/A12 of a morning. They rat-run along Alfred Street, Malmesbury Road and Coborn and then along Antill in order to by pass the Mile End/Grove Road Junction.
Some coming via the A12 along Tredegar Road even do a U-eey at the Coborn railway Bridge to circumvent the no right turn into Coborn from Tredegar Road.

These two rat runs have caused Coborn Road to become quite an accident spot. (That is an article for another day).

What is there not to like about the existing scheme?
Well those wanting an exemption have to pay £20 per year. Some have an issue with that. I guess all borough residents could be given free access to all these ANPR-controlled routes? But why should residents who don't drive subsidise drivers?

How else can you help?
Please circulate the petition info to WhatsApp groups you belong to (perhaps from your local schools etc).

Below are some roughly put together route maps (thanks Google traffic) that illustrate some of the routes.

The classic dog-leg need to get to Hackney/Bethnal Green/ Old Street and beyond of a morning having come along the A11:
Map showing the regular route from the Blackwall tunnel to Bethnal Green

The Alfred Street-Malmesbury-Coborn/Antill Zig Zag which by-passes that pesky Mile End Junction:

Map showing rat-run used by vehicles to avoid the Mile End Road traffic lights

The sneaky avoid the "No Right from Tredegar Road" U turn:

Map showing the sneaky U turn used to avoid a traffic camera at the end of Tredegar Road.

Tuesday 5 July 2022

Antill Road - Removal of [short-lived] closure scheme

 Photo of a traffic-free Antill Road, E3

Today many MEOTRA residents received a letter from Tower Hamlets Council stating that the Antill Road closure is to be removed on 18th July 2022. Less than four months after it went live. (a copy of the letter is below)

You may remember getting the scheme up and running has been quite a journey (see and Making a Mountain out of Antill and Liveable Streets - Antill Road Exception Scheme). It never ends.

So we have a new Mayor and his manifesto includes some admirable pledges:

  1. Work with the Mayor of London to tackle air pollution in Tower Hamlets.
  2. Only introduce traffic reduction measures through consultation with, and by the consent of the people of this borough.
  3. Reopen our roads, and abolish the failed Liveable Streets scheme, which has seen emergency services and vulnerable residents' access blocked.
  4. Monitor the effectiveness and safety of cycle lanes, such as on Bow Road.
  5. Avoid penalising those in our community who drive, who in many cases are not responsible for the bulk of air pollution.

But the letter we have received isn't consultation?  It is just stating what is going to be done. 

The emergency vehicles are not inconvenienced by this scheme at all. - There are none of those notorious road-blocking planters. It seems it is being ripped out just because the Liveable Streets/LTN brand is toxic.

I have requested a copy of the paperwork relating to the review that was carried out. 

MEOTRA would very much like to hear what you think of the changes. Please take a couple of minutes to complete a very short online form. It might well be the thing has driven you mad or you've found it helpful. Please let us know.

A copy of the letter is below.

Copy of the letter received by local residents indicating the ANPR traffic cameras are to be removed.

A technical drawing of the planned changes to remove the Antill Road traffic reduction layout.