Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this programme needed?

Every day over 16,000 vehicles use our residential streets to cut through the area. Those journeys don’t start or stop here. These road users are not visiting family or spending money in local shops. This scheme is about addressing that to improve local streets for locals people.

I’ve lived in the area for years. Is this about taking my car away from me?

The main reason for this scheme is to give the streets back to local people and to share the road space with all road users. All properties in the area will still have access by car. Where some parking restrictions occur, loading bays and disabled bays will remain to ensure businesses can be serviced and easily reached by all customers. Parking spaces will still be available in Roman Road Car Park.

Won’t this harm local business?

The main shopping areas of Bow can still be reached by car. There will be space for deliveries and access to disabled bays. This scheme will also give improved access for those that want to walk or cycle to the high street. A recent study by Queen Mary University showed that most customers either walk or cycle to the shops on Roman Road (85%). Improvements to the street (wider pavements, benches and plants, better bus lanes) will improve accessibility for all customers. A more pleasant environment will mean that customers will stay on the high street for longer and spend more in local shops.

Won’t the changes hamper the emergency services?

The emergency services have been consulted and changes have already been made to the plans following their feedback. Consultation with the emergency services will continue throughout the project.

London’s emergency services also receive a final veto on the Liveable Streets schemes across our borough.

How will a few small changes to roads in Bow really affect pollution in London? Is it really worth it?

Ultimately, this is a question about personal choice. But air quality in London and our borough is already at dangerous levels. This scheme proposes solutions to protect some of our most vulnerable and precious residents – our kids. The School Streets programme means that roads outside schools will be closed between 8:15am to 9:15am and between 3:00pm and 4:00pm. Enforcement will be carried out by number plate recognition and local residents living on school streets can be exempted from these restrictions. This scheme will not solve all of London’s air quality problems. This scheme is the first step to making positive changes and our neighbourhoods will see gradual and ongoing improvements.

Isn’t this really all about gentrification and taking Bow away from locals?

Any change can be unsettling. This consultation is about creating a local environment that is pleasant for locals to spend time in. Over the years, roads in the area have been getting busier and busier. Without changes traffic will grind to a standstill 24/7. Anyone that lives along the main roads in Bow knows the impact that heavy traffic and traffic noise has on their lives. The point of these changes is to make sure that locals can enjoy the East End as it used to be: a pleasant area rather than streets in gridlock. Nicer streets that people like to spend time on can lead better business. Rather than getting rid of local business gems, these changes are about adapting the area so that it can survive through the challenges that all high streets face.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

We would be happy to answer any questions you have about the scheme. Please send us a message on Facebook and we will be happy to talk!

If we feel that your question is likely to be asked by other people, we will update this page with your question and our answer.