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Current connections around Poplar and the Isle of Dogs
The masterplan site has excellent connectivity to Greater London. The area is well connected by public transport and the arrival of the Elizabeth Line at Crossrail Place will improve this further. The City of London is only 15 minutes via the DLR and 30 minutes cycling. From Poplar Station, the emerging cultural hub at Canning Town is only 5 minutes and Stratford is 20 minutes on the DLR.
Diagram showing existing connections around Poplar and the Isle of Dogs
Masterplan connectivity strategy
The masterplan strategy is to both upgrade existing and create new north-south and east-west connections. The existing route from Poplar High Street to Poplar Station and across Aspen Way can be improved in terms of both accessibility and quality. A second north-south connection will link Poplar High Street to the current Billingsgate Market site and Crossrail Place. The new bridge link across Aspen Way is envisioned as a green, landscaped pedestrian and cyclist bridge and will allow for a future, secondary entrance to Poplar Station.
Proposed cycling and pedestrian connections
Areas for change and improvement
Despite having excellent city-wide and regional connectivity, local walking and cycling routes within the masterplan area can be much improved. Aspen Way, Trafalgar Way, North Dock and the DLR rail lines and depot all create physical barriers and restrict movement within the site and to adjoining areas. Not only does Aspen Way create a major physical barrier limiting north-south connectivity, but it also forms a socio-economic barrier between some of London’s most deprived communities in Poplar and some of London’s most affluent in Canary Wharf.
The masterplan can help address such barriers to connectivity and improve the experience of pedestrians and cyclists. Currently, in many locations the pedestrian experience is poor and disjointed. Level changes and limited signage make access to Poplar station and between South Poplar and Canary Wharf difficult to navigate. Within the site, there is currently limited direct public access to the dockside or to the new Elizabeth Line Station.
In terms of east-west connectivity, a new dockside promenade and public space will link West India Quay to Trafalgar Way and the forthcoming development at Wood Wharf. This link will improve wider pedestrian connectivity and help deliver the ambition of a ‘Thames-to-Thames’ walking route. Additional east-west connections north of Aspen Way can also embed the proposed redeveloped DLR depot site into the wider street network.
The masterplan area has good vehicular connectivity, however congestion along both Aspen Way and Poplar High Street has some negative impacts on the surrounding areas. In particular, air quality and the environment around Aspen Way is poor and additional development has the potential to increase vehicular traffic.
The masterplan will promote active forms of travel, including walking, cycling and public transport, as the preferred means of transportation. However, vehicular access to new development will still be necessary for servicing, accessibility, and emergency services. Two new east-west vehicular routes are proposed with controlled access. Both routes will be pedestrian and cyclist priority.
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