MP Meg Hillier warns Hackney residents to prepare for “horrendous lockdown” during Olympics
MP Meg Hillier has voiced concerns parts of Hackney could face “horrendous lockdown” during the Olympics, and is urging businesses and residents to prepare for the worst.
With less than 100 days to go until the Games, no formal traffic plans have been finalised by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG).
But based on discussions with the council and Transport for London (TfL) traffic modelling, the MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch is worried traffic restrictions on Homerton High Street will be “immense” and make every day life “challenging.”
She is particularly concerned about one traffic light at the junction of Homerton Road with Ruckholt Road, which will change every two minutes for just seven seconds.
The stretch of road leading down Homerton High Street is already heavily congested.
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“It’s going to be pretty horrendous, what we are picking up is very few vehicles will get through a set of traffic lights which will clog up everything.
“If only one bus and one car gets through every two minutes, it effectively cuts off a section of Hackney South and Homerton,” said Ms Hillier.
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““There will be lockdown for Homerton, we know it’s only temporary but it’s a high price to pay for the Olympics, it could really make it very difficult for people in the area and I don’t think they are fully aware,” she added.
“It’s a such a big project the organisers won’t care about Homerton High Street, and people will need quite detailed plans about how to get around.”
Ms Hillier said the latest revelations back up the concerns of Hackney Wick businessman Michael Spinks, for whom she presented a petition to Parliament two weeks ago asking for businesses to have free access to the area so they can continue to operate.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening has now taken up the cause, and the pair are hoping to get answers from LOCOG in the next couple of weeks.
A TfL (Transport for London) spokeswoman said a lot of traffic modelling had been done to make sure traffic is fair and to keep it moving, and this is why the signal timings had been put in place.
“I appreciate there will be disruptions and changes for people at certain times of the day but they are necessary to make sure the rest of the networks keep moving,” she added.
A LOCOG spokesman said they were working with local authorities and TfL to ensure that people who live and work around our venues can go about their day to day business with the minimum of disruption.