Dozens protest demolition of cycle bridge and building of 'rat-run' road linking A12 to Olympic Park
PUBLISHED: 12:21 02 August 2016 | UPDATED: 14:25 02 August 2016
Nearly a hundred people protested plans to demolish a cycle bridge and instead build a road into the Olympic Park from Hackney Wick last night.
The group braved the rain on the “treasured” Monier Road pedestrian and cycle bridge to voice their objection to proposals for a road bridge between Stratford High Street and the A12, through “idyllic” Hackney Wick and Fish Island.
The plans would see a new pedestrian bridge built 70 yards away at Stour Road, but cyclists would have to share the road with cars, lorries and buses.
Protestor Paul Reynolds, 51, of Roach Road, said: “It will create a rat-run through the Olympic Park which will lower the air quality.”
An online petition has generated 700 signatures while 120 letters will be sent to the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).
Campaigners have called the proposal “appalling for a number of reasons,” saying the vehicle bridge will make it more dangerous to cycle, increase pollution and noise for neighbours in Omega Works and see nearby Vittoria Wharf in Bow demolished.
They also say there is no need for a vehicle bridge as there is already a perfectly good one 500 yards away.
“Residents of Hackney Wick have seen so many changes to their area over recent years,” the petition reads, “but building a new bridge to accommodate buses and vehicles is simply a step too far and will transform the area from a tranquil, creative hub, which people love to live in and visit, into a monstrous traffic jam.
“We, the taxpayer, the residents of Fish Island and Hackney Wick, residents of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham and citizens of London say ‘hell no’ to a new bridge.
“It simply cannot progress. There must be another way: a sensible solution.
“Don’t build a vehicle bridge underneath a block of residential flats. Keep Fish Island green and protect London’s air.”
But a spokesman for the London Legacy Development Corporation said the new bridge would “significantly improve connections around Fish Island, Hackney Wick and into Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, helping the area properly benefit from the regeneration investment being made there”.
He added: “As well as supporting existing residents and businesses, the bridge will connect the area with the 1,500 new homes, businesses and schools that will be built at East Wick and Sweetwater.
“This bridge received planning consent in 2012 and we have undertaken extensive consultation on these proposals. The plans are supported by many local residents and businesses and we are keen to work with local people to ensure the bridge benefits everyone.”