Greens call for rethink over Hackney Wick bridge proposals

22 August 2016

Tower Hamlets Green Party has called for the London Legacy Development Corporation and Tower Hamlets Council to rethink proposed road and pedestrian crossings in the Hackney Wick area and to work with the community to find a workable solution.

An existing pedestrian bridge close to Monier Road is proposed to be expanded into a road bridge, with a new pedestrian bridge building built further north. The new bridge will see the destruction of existing artist communities in Vittoria Wharf.

The party has issued the following statement:

"Tower Hamlets Green Party is extremely concerned at the plans of the London Legacy Development Corporation which will result in the destruction of the artist communities at Vittoria Wharf. The LLDC say that the construction of the footbridge is intended to benefit the community and the local economy, but this ignores the fact that this development is completely unnecessary and replaces a much used existing footbridge. Not only that, but the existing footbridge is being lost due to it being expanded into a road bridge, bringing misery to residents further south through more dangerous roads, increased air pollution, and huge disruption.

This development threatens the destruction of existing communities of artists who are of great benefit to the local area. The proposal to provide studio space in a new development will not replace what is already there; most people will have been uprooted and will be forced to move on. Understandably, there are fears that this could lead to a domino effect of developments and create a wider exodus in the local community as developments proliferate. 

The LLDC is meant to benefit Londoners in the local area, but both this development and the proposal to build three huge concrete factories nearby at the Olympic Park seem to belie that. Indeed, it is easy to see how the two are linked – the expanded road bridge to the south will make the hundreds of trucks estimated to run from this site have easier access to Tower Hamlets. This is unacceptable. The community are understandably frustrated that the LLDC and Tower Hamlets Council have bounced responsibility back and forth. Mayor John Biggs sits on the board of the LLDC, and he should make sure that both Tower Hamlets Council and the LLDC sit down with the local community to work towards alternative arrangements that benefit everyone – including granting the three month extension on evictions which the community have asked for. We will be happy to lend whatever support we can to the community to ensure that Tower Hamlets Council and the LLDC heed their concerns."

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