Brick Lane, the iconic area of London which attracts over 18,500 pedestrians every day could become traffic-free at evenings and weekends as part of Tower Hamlets Council’s Liveable Streets programme.
The council said that after a trial of 24-hour motor vehicle restrictions in 2020, parts of Brick Lane could be closed at evenings and weekends to give safe space for diners, shoppers, traders and visitors.
The council are proposing to:
- Pedestrianise sections of Brick Lane in the evenings and the weekends (Brick Lane will be open to all traffic before 5.30pm on weekdays) to support businesses to trade safely and make use of outside dining space.
- Improve the accessibility of Brick Lane with dropped kerbs and new disabled parking spaces.
- Enhance the neighbourhood with improved lighting, planting and traffic calming measures to create a better and safer environment for the local community and visitors to walk and cycle around Brick Lane.
- Installing new cycle hangars and cycle stands to encourage sustainable travel.
- Creating accessible and safer school travel routes to improve air quality and road safety for children.
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “We’re delighted to share our proposals for Brick Lane after almost two years of community engagement.
“We know that thousands of vehicles cut through the area every day without stopping which is harmful for residents and the environment.
“Liveable Streets allow us to invest in neighbourhoods to make them safer, more welcoming as a destination and easier to get around on foot or by bike.
“Outdoor seating, greenery and less traffic can encourage more residents and visitors to support local shops, markets and businesses as we move out of lockdown.”
Dan Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Realm, said: “We know there’s a growing demand for safer walking and cycling routes in the borough, especially since the start of the pandemic.
“There’s a huge potential to walk and cycle more of our journeys but we need to provide low-traffic routes as road safety concerns discourage active travel.
“I urge all residents and traders to have their say on how we can make Brick Lane safer for residents and visitors.”
Alongside the potential road changes, the council is also investing in improved links to Allen Gardens, new wayfinding signs and refurbishment of the Banglatown Arch.
A public consultation into the proposals runs until Wednesday 14 April.
For more information about the Brick Lane proposals, visit talk.towerhamlets.gov.uk/LSbricklane