Liveable Streets Bethnal Green

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Old Bethnal Green Road

The Liveable Streets Team are pleased to inform you that work is due to begin on Old Bethnal Green Road on the 12th June 2020. A notification letter about the works is being sent out and local residents and businesses should receive this in the coming days, it can also be found here.

We will be working hard with the team on site to make sure any unnecessary noise is kept to a minimum and everyone on site will be briefed about good neighbourly working practices and following current Government guidelines regarding social distancing.

Regular updates on the work happening on site along with photos will be posted on our new website, alternatively if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the Liveable Streets Team via or phone us on 0203 092 0401.

Covid-19/Coronavirus Update

Our Liveable Streets programme team are following Government advice and are currently working remotely, work is continuing as planned on the projects and the team will adhere to all guidelines set out by the Government.

We will update the website with any changes to the programme and hope you will continue to help us improve the look and feel of your neighbourhood.

For Covid-19 updates from Tower Hamlets or to join our mailing list please click here.

Consultation results

The consultation results report has now been published and has been sent to residents and businesses within the project area. If you would like a copy of this report, please click here.

Construction Phase

Our Liveable Streets programme will improve the look and feel of public spaces in Bethnal Green. The programme is part of the Love Your Neighbourhood initiative which aims to improve the area for all Tower Hamlets residents by making changes to the street infrastructure.

We’ve listened to your concerns on issues including:
• Air pollution which in areas is at unhealthy levels, affecting children and adults’ health and life expectancy
• Cut-through traffic which equates to 57% of all vehicle journeys
• Anti-social behaviour, drug dealing and crime in Arnold Circus and Middleton Green

What is being proposed and why are these proposals important?
Following co-design workshops in June and July, five new schemes were proposed to improve the area for walking, cycling and public transport, improve air quality and help discourage cut-through traffic and anti-social behaviour.

Every day there are over 21,000 vehicle movements within the Bethnal Green area. Of these, 57% are vehicles travelling through the area and not stopping.

This means over 12,000 vehicle movements are from non-residents of the local area and these vehicles are contributing to the already unacceptable level of air pollution on your streets, outside your schools and around your local shops. These vehicles bring excessive noise as well as anti-social behaviour which make your streets feel unsafe for walking and cycling. Although some of our proposals will mean that some of you may have to travel longer distances in your cars, the scheme will improve air quality and road safety throughout the area and give the streets back to the residents.

The designs have been discussed with local emergency services who have given their support for the proposals.

For the Bethnal Green cabinet report, click here. Please click here to see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

See the map below for an overview of the proposed Schemes.

Click on the coloured Scheme buttons below and scroll down to look at the detailed proposals for each area.

Arnold Circus area

Columbia Road area

Warner Place area

Old Bethnal Green Road area

Sale Street area

To be implemented

More information

Arnold Circus area

“Arnold Circus should be closed to traffic and become a pedestrian and cycling area.”

See below for proposed plan for Scheme 1.

Residents have long suggested that Arnold Circus should become a new public space for all to enjoy. To improve the area for pedestrians and to allow for a vibrant community space we are proposing to close the area to motorised vehicles except for the section between Calvert Avenue and Navarre Street. This will stop cut-through traffic in this area and allow for new seating, play areas, more trees and better street lighting. These improvements will also help to tackle drug dealing and anti-social behaviour, particularly in the Boundary Estate area. Additionally, new CCTV will be put up in the area.

To help make room for the new public space, we are proposing several road closure points. These will give access to pedestrians and cyclists but will prevent the 2,400 journeys that currently use Arnold Circus as a cut-through, helping improve air quality in the area and making it quieter and safer. We will ensure there is no net parking loss across controlled parking zones A1 and A5.

To prevent a new through-traffic route, two road closures are proposed on Virginia Road. Virginia Road will also become two-way between its junctions with Austin Street and Swanfield Street.

Existing road closures on Palissy Street and Rochelle Street will be relocated closer to Arnold Circus as part of the proposed public space.

Navarre Street is proposed to become one-way (southbound) to accommodate the improvements on Arnold Circus. Access will be via Calvert Avenue

Improvements to the pavements and street lighting on Ducal Street will create a pleasant and safe environment for walking.

To improve walking and cycling connectivity between the area and main transport hubs, a new pedestrian friendly crossing is proposed on Bethnal Green Road.

New seating, play areas and additional tree planting and vegetation will be put in around Arnold Circus. Street lighting will also be improved.

To improve cycling conditions, additional cycle parking is proposed as well as a safer cycling route through Arnold Circus.

See below for proposed visualisations for Scheme 1.

Artists impression of Arnold Circus

Columbia Road area

“Make the neighbourhood a one way system that prevents vehicles to short cut and pollute the neighbourhood.”

See below for proposed plan for Scheme 2.

We have listened to your comments about the narrow pavements, excessive guard railing and difficulty of crossing outside the junction of Columbia Road and Gosset Street, and so we are proposing a new public space. This would be a space the whole community could enjoy, with new planting and seating and improved air quality. We also propose to introduce public artwork in this new public space.

To help prevent 4,000 vehicles travelling through your neighbourhood each day (Schemes 2 and 3), we are proposing two road closures on Columbia Road; at the junctions with Gosset Street and at the junction with Barnet Grove. Less traffic allows us to make improvements to the public space, alongside walking and cycling environments.

There are current;y 4,000 vehicles travelling through this area each day, and pollution levels inside a car can be twice as much as those on the street. To help the flow of traffic around the area and improve air quality we are proposing a one-way system on Virginia Road and Chambord Street

Virginia Estate is a key walking route through the area and we are proposing to improve this route with new pavements, street lighting and planting.

A wider pavement is proposed on the southern side of Columbia Road to create a better walking environment.

See below for proposed visualisations for Scheme 2.

Warner Place area

“There is far too much rat running traffic using Squirries Street, Gosset Street, Pollard Row and Warner Place to get between Bethnal Green Road and Hackney Road. This needs to be stopped if these streets are to be at all liveable.”

See below for proposed plan for Scheme 3.

Residents told us they wanted the area around Warner Place, Gosset Street and Squirries Street to be improved with more trees and a nicer public space for people to enjoy. We are proposing a new pocket park at the junction of these streets which will include new planting and seating.

Road closure with pocket park on Old Bethnal Green Road will restrict motor vehicle access, and reduce through traffic and air pollution, creating a new look public space for those who live in the area.

To help with the flow of traffic around the area a one-way system is proposed on Squirries Street from its junction with Ivimey Street to Gosset Street. It is also proposed that Gosset Street and Wellington Row would become a one-way system.

One of the main cut-through traffic routes in the area is between Hackney Road and Bethnal Green Road via Squirries Street and Warner Place. Over 2,000 vehicles use this route every day as a cut-through adding to congestion, poor air quality and road safety problems. We propose to implement a road closure on Gosset Street to remove access for motor vehicles and prioritise walking and cycling.

Changes to the way traffic moves around the area are also proposed to improve road safety and air quality in an area where children and families walk every day to the nearby infant school.

See below for proposed visualisations for Scheme 3.


Old Bethnal Green Road area

“Old Bethnal Green should be filtered to reduce cars travelling through the area and past the schools.”

See below for proposed plan for Scheme 4.

We are proposing a transformation of the central part of Old Bethnal Green Road. This will reduce the daily 7,900 through-traffic journeys made by drivers who don’t stop locally; improving air quality and road safety.

But, we don’t just want to remove traffic – we propose investing heavily in this area by widening pavements, planting trees, providing new seating, and creating three new pocket parks. This will link Middleton Green with nearby shops significantly changing the look and feel of this part of Bethnal Green for the better. These improvements will also help to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime around Middleton Green.

We propose road closures with pocket parks on Teesdale Street, Canrobert Street and Old Bethnal Green Road to help reduce cut-through traffic and to improve air quality.

Creating wider pavements, new seating areas, additional planting and improving street lighting will make people feel safer and enjoy walking through the area. The proposed traffic changes as well as a contraflow cycle lane will improve the cycling environment along Old Bethnal Green Road.

8,300 vehicles a day pass in front of Elizabeth Selby Infant School and Oaklands Secondary School, of which 50% are cut-through traffic. The proposed one-way system with contraflow cycle facility along Temple Street will help reduce through-traffic and improve air quality in the area and the proposed one-way system on Warner Place, Mansford Street and Old Bethnal Green Road will help to reduce through-traffic outside schools and improve air quality for children in this area.

See below for proposed visualisations for Scheme 4.

Sale Street area

See below for proposed plan for Scheme 5.

To tackle anti-social behaviour we are proposing changes around Sale Street to create a safe community space for residents and visitors to enjoy, while removing cut-through traffic and improving air quality.

Currently, Sale Street is mainly used by cyclists and for parking cars. A new pocket park is proposed next to St Matthews Church with seating areas and improved street lighting which will create a safer feel in the area and discourage anti-social behaviour. The proposal also includes plants to help filter any excess surface water. This will increase the biodiversity, improve the air quality and make the area look better.

New cycling routes and cycle parking facilities, improved street lighting, better, more level pavement surfaces and more seating will create an improved walking and cycling environment.

See below for proposed visualisations for Scheme 5.


To be implemented

As a result of previous consultations there are some existing schemes which will be implemented in the area.

Cheshire Street (A) will benefit from a widened pavement outside the shops, new seating areas, tree planting and improved street lighting. As well as a pocket park on the corner of Kerbela Street and improved walking and cycling routes with more cycle parking facilities.

A road closure will be implemented on Bacon Street (B), west of Brick Lane.

A one-way system will be introduced on Wood Close (C).

An additional pedestrian crossing will be implemented on Dunbridge Street (D) next to its junction with Ramsey Street.

A two-way system will be introduced on Derbyshire Street (E) between Buckfast Street and Vallance Road with a road closure at the junction of Derbyshire Street with Vallance Road.

More information

A number of maintenance issues and small local improvements have been brought to our attention by residents. As part of the scheme we are pleased to be able to address a number of these, which include:

  • CCTV – additional CCTV cameras are proposed in anti-social behaviour hotspots.
  • Decluttering of Bethnal Green Road – unnecessary street furniture will be removed and a deep clean of pavements and remaining street furniture will take place.
  • Street Lighting – over the next two years the street lighting across the whole area will be updated with new energy saving LED lights. In addition, in areas like Ducal Street new lighting columns are proposed to improve visibility and safety in the area.
  • Cycle parking – a further 100 cycle stands are proposed in the area of Bethnal Green to ensure that those passing shops, going to school, or visiting friends have somewhere to lock their bike.
  • Secure cycle parking for residents (Cycle Hangars) – more hangars are proposed in the area so residents have secure parking for their bicycles.
  • Cycle training – anyone who lives, works or studies in Tower Hamlets is eligible for up to 4 hours free cycle skills training.  The sessions are run by Bikeworks on behalf of the council.  For further information and to book a session visit the Bikeworks website
  • Trees – as part of the proposals we shall be planting an extra 50 trees in the area.

You may also be interested in the following:

  • Cycle training
    Free family and adults cycle skills courses are available. For more details, visit
  • Cycle parking
    To make a request for on-street cycle parking or residential cycle parking or find out about existing cycle parking please email
  • Play streets
    You can apply to close a street for a short time to let children play. For more information, please visit:

Have your say

Starting in April 2019, Tower Hamlets Council has been undertaking an extensive engagement process in the Bethnal Green area. This has included:

• May 2019: Early engagement. We heard from over 650 local residents who told us about the issues in Bethnal Green and what they wanted to see improved. You gave us your feedback through our online survey, interactive map, drop-in sessions, councillor meetings and meetings with groups in the community.

• June and July 2019: Co-design. We invited the local community to two workshops where attendees were presented with plans showing suggestions to improve the area and tackle issues based on your feedback from the early engagement. We asked attendees for their thoughts on the plans and used these comments to further shape the designs to the desires and needs of the community.

• October and November 2019: Public consultation. From Monday 28 October to Monday 25 November we asked for your views on the final designs. 2,036 of you responded to the online survey or sent back hardcopy surveys from the consultation packs that were delivered to over 10,000 addresses. Two drop-in sessions on Saturday 9 November and Thursday 14 November 2019 were attended by over 100 residents during this time, and provided the opportunity for you to review the proposals with the project engineers and discuss any tweaks.

• Throughout the engagement period: We also met with emergency services, council departments, Safer Neighbourhood Teams and Transport for London.