Liveable Streets FAQs

    What are the benefits of the programme?

      • A network of pedestrian-friendly, low traffic zones connected by formal crossing points, to make walking safer, easier and more accessible.
      • A more pleasant walking environment with improved pavements, planting trees and shrubs, improved lighting and public art, to improve the attractiveness of walking routes and reduce fear of crime.
      • A network of cycle-friendly, low traffic zones connected by formal crossing points, to make cycling safer, easier and more accessible.
      • Increase in cycle facilities, such as secure parking at public transport hubs and shopping areas, hangars in residential streets
      • Improved public realm in retail areas to attract visitors, such as greenery, street furniture, street lighting etc.
      • Provide new public seating, green spaces and tree planting to create a healthier environment.
      • Encouraging customers to spend more time, feeling safe and comfortable.
      • Wider pedestrian routes, allowing easier movement for shoppers of all ages and abilities.
      • Improved local streetscape with reduced noise and road danger.
      • Residents will be able to access better connected routes to the borough’s town centres and to neighbouring boroughs.
      • More opportunities to allow school streets, play streets and areas for community events.
      • Schemes will remove potential risks by calming traffic and providing quiet and/or segregated routes for active travel 
      • An increase in cycling and walking among residents will reduce demand on the local road network and public transport services, particularly at peak times.
      • Less traffic will reduce toxic emissions, improve air quality and road safety, and reduce noise pollution – creating a more pleasant environment for all.
      • Increase opportunities for physical activity.
      • More pleasant public spaces will make the borough more attractive to residents and visitors.


    How will you increase the number of people choosing to walk or cycle? How will this be achieved?

    Providing safer, better-connected routes throughout the borough will enable people of all abilities and ages to walk and cycle. This will also be supported by promoting free cycle training and other relevant complementary measures.

    This will be done through a variety of on-street infrastructure projects across the borough, such as changes to road layouts to give priority to walking, cycling and public transport. These projects will be supported by complementary measures to promote active travel.

    What is an active travel complementary measure?

    Complementary measures aim to reduce barriers to walking and cycling within the community. Barriers include lack of secure cycle storage in residential areas and public transport interchanges; safety fears about cycling; access to a bicycle; and maintenance of bicycles.

    Complementary measures such as walking tours, historic walks, free cycle training, free access to Dr Bike (cycle mechanic) at council events, the installation of cycle hangars and hubs will help mitigate against these barriers. This will increase the number of users choosing sustainable modes of transport.

    What areas does the programme cover?

    Seventeen areas were chosen, covering approximately 60 per cent of the borough. These areas have been split into four phases of work across the next four years. The map below shows the project areas and phases. 


    How were the areas selected?

    The rationale for selecting these areas is:

    • Phase one: Substantial work on traffic management reviews has already been carried out in these areas. Following public consultation several schemes have since been built. The public consultation generated many more suggestions for further public realm improvements and provides a strong basis for exploring further changes in these areas.
    • Phase two: These areas tie in with the council’s strategic plans developed by the town centres team, as well as other traffic management reviews that are due to be implemented around the same time.
    • Phase three: Three of these areas are planned to tie in with known Transport for London (TfL) proposals for complementary measures, including cycle routes. New areas have been added to extend the geographical scope of the works into areas where there are known complaints and wider issues that need to be addressed.
    • Phase four: The areas in this phase seek to tie in with development masterplanning due for construction around this time.

    When does each phase of the programme start and finish?

    Details of the overall programme, including the dates for each phase and area, can be found on the Council’s website with links to each project area.

    What kind of improvements might be implemented?

    Improvement projects will vary in each area but are likely to include some of the following:

    • Widened footways
    • Planting trees and shrubs
    • Modal filters (features, such as bollards or signs, used to limit access to streets, to certain methods of transport) / road closures
    • Parklets / pocket parks (parks created on small plots of land, that are accessible to the general public)
    • School Streets
    • Facilitate requests for play streets from residents and community groups

    How can residents and businesses be involved in the design of their local area?

    Throughout the programme, there are several stages when residents and businesses can provide feedback on improvements they would like in their area. These stages are:

    • Early engagement – residents and businesses make comments and suggestions on an interactive map of the area
    • Workshops – Residents and businesses can provide feedback to influence the design of their area
    • Consultation – We request feedback on the proposed design that has been developed in conjunction with residents and businesses.
    • Implementation – If the projects are approved by the council, the design will be constructed over an agreed timescale.

    Where can I submit my ideas?

    For each project area, you can submit your ideas and views through an online survey. We will also be holding events throughout the programme where you can come and talk to us. More information on these events will be provided online as they develop.

    Will I be notified when the engagement starts in my area?

    Each area-based scheme will begin with an early engagement survey. A leaflet will be delivered to each household and business within the area, giving details on how to feed into this survey.

    Schemes will also be promoted through the council’s social media, website and regular newsletters. You can subscribe for newsletter updates on each area via the council’s website.

    Will there be more cycle facilities as part of the Liveable Streets programme?

    Yes, the programme aims to improve the cycle network around Tower Hamlets, increase connectivity in residential areas and provide facilities suitable for users of all ages and abilities.

    Cycle Future Route 5

    TfL is proposing to introduce a new cycle route between Hackney and Westferry. It would connect with the cycle routes between Stratford and Aldgate and Barking to Tower. Parts of this route are proposed through or alongside some Liveable Street areas, and it is expected that TfL will release further information for consultation on the route designs in the coming months.

    What is a School Street?

    A School Street is a scheme where traffic is moved away from the school gate to reduce the impact of vehicle emissions on children’s health and improve road safety. They may involve closing a road to traffic either permanently or at school opening and closing times, or introducing traffic management to discourage idling at the school entrance and reduce congestion.

    By moving traffic away from the school gate we will deliver a safer, more pleasant environment for everyone using the street. At the same time we will maintain access for residents, businesses, pedestrians and cyclists and encourage trips to and from school to be made by sustainable modes. For details of proposed schemes, visit http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/schoolstreets.

    How can my school apply for a School Street?

    Twenty schools have already been prioritised for action, according to air quality statistics, Parking Action areas, the status of their school travel plans etc. In addition, other schools in the Liveable Streets project areas will be reviewed to potentially benefit from a School Street scheme. Speak to school staff regarding the individual School Travel Plan and participation in Transport for London’s STARS accreditation scheme.

    Will buses be impacted by these projects?

    Any works which may affect the bus routes will have to be agreed with Transport for London (TfL). Changes to any routes, bus stops or times can be found on the council and TfL website. We may implement measures to improve bus reliability and we will aim to not affect access to bus services or their reliability.

    Will parking and loading be affected?

    In some areas we may propose to reduce or reorganise car parking to allow the installation of additional cycle parking, new public spaces and infrastructure. Where parking reductions do occur, specific facilities (loading and disabled bays) will be installed to enable loading activity and improve accessibility for disabled users, to ensure businesses can be serviced and easily reached by all customers.

    How will these projects impact emergency services?

    When the council makes any changes to road layouts, the emergency services are included as statutory consultees. This means that the council must consult with them and if they raise objections about the proposals, the council must reconsider the plans.

    Regular meetings will be held with the emergency services to allow them to inform us of any issues that are occurring in the new road layout. This will allow the council to mitigate against these issues promptly.

    Where can I find the air quality levels for my area?

    London Borough of Tower Hamlets operate four real-time air quality monitoring stations in the borough. These are located at Mile End, Victoria Park, Millwall Park and Blackwall Tunnel Approach. The Blackwall Tunnel approach monitoring station is managed by TfL for the council. 

    They measure pollutants in real time which means that the pollution levels are constantly being measured and the results recorded. Results of real time monitoring can be found on the Air Quality England website. In addition to the real-time stations, the council monitors nitrogen dioxide emissions at 90 other locations. For more details, visit the council’s website.

    Further questions

    If you have any further questions about the programme, please feel free to contact us at: liveablestreets@towerhamlets.gov.uk.

    How will these projects impact other housing estate providers and land owners in the area?

    One of the programme aims is to reduce the overall amount of through-traffic, make it safer and more convenient to get around by foot and bike. As part of the project, it is important that we assess the benefits and impacts to the area as a whole and will work with Tower Hamlets Homes and other housing providers where necessary. Discussions with these groups are on-going throughout the project.

Shadwell proposals FAQs

    Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA)

    We are currently working on an EqIA and will be adding to it throughout the consultation period. This document will be made public once the consultation has concluded.

    Translated consultation documents

    A copy of the consultation leaflet and survey are available in Bengali upon request. Please contact us at: liveablestreets@towerhamlets.gov.uk

    Cycle Hangars

    You will be able to request a cycle hangar in your location by emailing: liveablestreets@towerhamlets.gov.uk

    Other projects

    Dellow Street – Most of the amends have been implemented along Dellow Street, Lowood  Street and Bewley Street. However, there are still some outstanding works that will occur. These will be implemented outside of the Liveable Streets Shadwell project. If you have any questions regarding the works, please email transportation@towerhamlets.gov.uk 

    Cable Street to Bethnal Green cycle route – Tower Hamlets are starting to look at this cycle route independent of the Liveable Street Shadwell project. 

    Butcher Row cycle crossing – TfL are the highway authority responsible for this crossing and are looking to improve the design of the crossing for pedestrians and cyclists. 

Scheme 1 - School Streets

Scheme 2 - Watney Street

    Will pavement widening make the road too narrow for large vehicles?

    We have carried out extensive vehicle tracking on fire engines and refuse vehicles to ensure there is no disruption to existing vehicles that are allowed to access Watney Street. This showed that HGVs and large transit vans will still be able to access down Watney Street following the completion of the pavement widening.

Scheme 3 - Enhancing the neighbourhood

    What is a raised table?

    A raised table is an elevated section of the road ( built into the existing road to prevent vehicles from driving quickly in a given section. Zebra crossings are often raised to help people cross the road and slow vehicle speeds

    What is a blended crossing?

    A blended (‘Copenhagen’) crossing is a continuous pavement at quiet side roads which gives priority to pedestrians. These are designed to encourage vehicles to slow down when entering and exiting side roads as well as provide priority to pedestrians when they are crossing.

    What is street decluttering?

    Street decluttering is the removal of street furniture (i.e bollards and posts) and associated objects (broken signs, overflowing bins, broken hanging baskets etc) in order to protect pedestrians from harm or injury and provide more space for people to use the footway.

Scheme 4 - Cable Street

    How will the banned right turns be enforced?

    The proposed banned turnings for Cable Street will be highlighted through new signage and enforced by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.

Scheme 5 - 339 bus route

    Can the 339 bus route be re-routed?

    We have been engaging with Tfl regarding the possibility of re-routing the 339 bus route, however, due to the operational impacts of re-routing the bus route, TfL has advised that the bus route should remain as it currently is.

Coronavirus Related Information

    Why is the council consulting during the Coronavirus pandemic?

    We are passionate about maintaining an ongoing and robust engagement programme at this time to move forward with the programme and to ensure the public is aware and fully informed of the Liveable Streets objectives. The programme has simultaneous benefits for the health of our residents and the sustainability of the borough in the face of both the Coronavirus pandemic and the climate emergency.

    The government has contributed a £250million emergency walking and cycling fund for local authorities to make these alternatives viable. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Transport for London have also announced plans to transform parts of central London into one of the largest car-free zones in any capital city in the world.

    Why is the Liveable Streets programme important right now?

    The Liveable Streets programme is crucial to the health and wellbeing of Tower Hamlets residents now more than ever. We want to contribute to minimising the cycle of car use, exposure to air pollution and the subsequent increased risk of coronavirus. By continuing to live in air polluted areas, our residents remain vulnerable to poor health generally and especially now during the current pandemic.

    Social distancing may last for years, and public transport capacity is predicted to drop by 85-90% to curb the spread of the virus through social distancing. In response, people may opt to use private motor vehicles. As the fastest growing population in London, this would be an inefficient use of limited road space and oversubscribed car parking facilities.

    What is Streetspace?

    In line with the coronavirus response and the easing of some movement restrictions, we have seen an increase in people walking and cycling in some streets in Tower Hamlets. Crowded pavements and cycle lanes will make it difficult for people to maintain social distancing as they return to work or education. Public transport must only be used when necessary to ensure that people making essential journeys can get around as safely as possible.

    The council are working with Transport for London to identify places where temporary changes are needed to support social distancing or that would benefit from cycling and walking improvements. The changes could include but are not limited to the widening of pavements, a change to the road layout or the introduction of dedicated cycling space. For more details, visit the Streetspace for Tower Hamlets page.

    Is it okay to deliver a leaflet to my house during Coronavirus?

    We believe it is crucial, along with all Post Office and Parcelforce deliveries, that our Liveable Streets engagement material continues to be distributed to the people living within the project boundaries. Our leaflet distributors actively monitor the latest guidance from Public Health England, and we are confident in their compliance with safety measures and legislations. We were also reassured to learn Public Health England have advised there is no perceived increase in risk of contracting the coronavirus from handling post or freight.

    As postal and freight sectors are permitted to operate during the lockdown under the governments key workers stipulations, we take our responsibilities very seriously during this time. From their experience with other coronaviruses, these types of viruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters, parcels or identity documents. However, it is sensible to wash your hands thoroughly after contact with anything outside of your home and to avoid touching your face.

    With regards to the handling, printing and preparation of the materials delivered on behalf of the Liveable Streets programme, face shields with adjustable foam headbands are worn at the print and fulfilment facility, in tandem with social distancing measures on site. Latex gloves are worn while on the premises and hands are washed, in line with government guidelines, on entry and exit from the building.

    I am considered a high-risk person; do I still receive engagement material?

    We understand and respect each residential property has a unique set of wishes and requirements during the lockdown and our distributors have reiterated they will not deliver to an individual who has requested not to receive material.

    Where can I find more information?

    If you have any concerns or further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Liveable Streets team below.

    liveablestreets@towerhamlets.gov.uk  (External link)

    0203 092 0401 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)

    Liveable Streets 

    6th Floor Mulberry Place 

    PO Box 55739 

    5 Clove Crescent 

    London E14 2BG