Letter: City traffic plan angers borough

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The Independent Online
Sir: Christian Wolmar, in his article 'A bombshell for London drivers' (22 June), is accurate in saying Tower Hamlets will put up strong resistance to the City's traffic exclusion plan.

We are enthusiastically in favour of traffic calming to improve the environment and make streets fit for people to walk and live in. Tower Hamlets and its neighbourhoods have an excellent record on that score when we are allowed the chance. We would warmly welcome any prospect of a traffic plan for London based on improved public transport, which is co-ordinated city-wide, preferably by a strategic authority.

What we object to is the arrogant way the City of London is trying to bulldoze its plan through and push traffic on to neighbouring boroughs instead. Tower Hamlets is sick of being treated as a wasteland on which roads and traffic that no one else wants can be dumped, for example the Blackwall Bridge proposal, which local people fiercely oppose. Just because we are a poor borough doesn't mean we lack spunk, and we will put up a fight for a decent environment.

Michael Cassidy, in your phrase 'the City's top politician' said at last Friday's CBI/Evening Standard conference on London that it was a good thing London has no strategic London-wide authority. Your article said he wants a voice for London as a whole. I'm afraid this 'Fortress City and hang the rest' traffic plan is a good illustration of why the City of London is badly placed to aspire to leadership of London's residents. By all means let us put people before traffic, but not the City before the rest.

Yours sincerely,

GWYNETH DEAKINS

Chair

Policy Strategy Committee

Tower Hamlets

London, E2

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