A bus gate in E1W? Be careful what you wish for Wapping residents – you might just get it. The Bow Liveable Streets trial, the star of which was a bus gate on Tredegar Road, that was supposed to last for eight days was cancelled after just eight hour on Saturday on the orders of Mayor Biggs after chaos ensued.
The plan for the trial which was supposed to last from Saturday 13th July through to Sunday 21st July was to close Coborn Road to motor vehicles between Tredegar Road and Malmesbury Road, part closures of Antill Road east of the Lyal Road junction and Antill made two-way between Selwyn Road and Lyal Road.
The existing banned right turn into Coborn Road would be lifted and a bus gate would be in place on Tredegar Road between Fairfield Road and Parnell Road between 7am – 8pm every day and ten parking spaces would be suspended.
Everybody upset. Everybody happy.
Result? Total chaos in Bow. On the positive side the Bow Liveable Streets trial did manage to upset everybody in equal measure as can be seen by the storm of outraged / supportive tweets flying around at the weekend.
Even the Bow residents (and non-residents who were just poking their noses in because they have a vested interest) who were happy were unhappy because some people were unhappy when they thought they should be happy.
“Poorly managed but told us plenty”
@MayorJohnBiggs made very good use of Twitter with one reply to a comment being “It was poorly managed, but told us plenty. The objective – to reduce unnecessary traffic, particularly through traffic that should stay on main roads – remains. Bow is a fine area but will be better with less traffic and pollution. No change [is] not a choice.”
The pro-cycling evangelists were upset the trial was cancelled, the black cab drivers were pleased the trial was cancelled, the Uber drivers were lost (and upset), some local residents thought the trial was great, other residents thought it was a disaster, some said there had not been enough leafleting, others complimented the Council on the comprehensive leafletting, some praised the Mayor, others were not quite so pleased with him.
It certainly got people talking. Well, throwing insults at each other on Twitter.
Below are a few random tweets which are completely unrepresentative of the responses although, as ever, Councillor Andrew Wood (Conservative, Canary Wharf) is one of the most sensible commentators.
It’s great that this has provoked such a debate, and interesting that (as we already know) there are such opposing views. We need to change travel in the borough because our air quality is so poor. But we need better consent and preparation. Not anti-car, pro-people.
— Mayor John Biggs (@MayorJohnBiggs) July 13, 2019
Really poor show that you allege your officers poorly managed this with no evidence whatsoever and knowing they can’t speak for themselves. Very bad leadership. You should be standing up for your officers not undermining them.
— Alistair Polson (@AlistairPolson) July 14, 2019
What were the particular problems there? Surely a trial needs longer than a working day to bed in and provide any useful data?
— Ian Smith (@iankmsmith) July 13, 2019
The scheme was well advertised with many thousands of leaflets delivered and the InterWeb used to advise locals. Some pretty disgusting threatening behaviour from some locals observed. Not a moment to be proud to be from Bow
— MEOTRA (@MeotraE3) July 13, 2019
Nothing of the kind. Very poorly advertised with notice very shortly beforehand and by leaflet only – 1-2 weeks before. Don’t talk stupid.
— Bill (@SimianTwin) July 13, 2019
In a democracy if you cannot take people with you on a journey then you run into problems e.g. Bow
I think tactics of green lobby are flawed, so convinced of rightness, you struggle to sell change to unconvinced
Look at what happened in Australian election in May? Brexit vote!
— Andrew Wood (@Andrewwood17) July 14, 2019
A waste of good hot air
And of course Twitter is unrepresentative at the best of times so everyone who did comment was wasting their breath anyway but it made them feel better. Or more upset.
LW is not brave enough to have looked at any comments on Facebook, we have been told it is not a pretty sight.
Others have started a petition to Rushanara Ali MP: Action to stop the bus gate in Tredegar Road Bow and other changes that are linked
End result? The Council remains committed to devising a plan but at the moment nobody knows what the plan is.
So Wapping residents who are itching to see what the plans are for their very own bus gate might want to chill as at the moment all bets are off. Or possibly on. Whatever.
Related Internet Links
- Bow Liveable Streets trial cancelled
- Liveable Streets
- Liveable Streets? Unbelieveable incompetence. – Tom Ling on Medium