What Does a ‘Liveable Neighbourhood’ Mean?

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Bow East Councillor, Rachel Blake, wants to hear from you.

Rachel kindly wrote the article below.

For as long as I’ve lived around Roman Road, people have been talking about how to keep the shops and market thriving and encourage more residents to use the local shops and more visitors.  Recently, residents have been contacting us as your Councillors, demanding the Council takes more action to improve Air Quality around schools.  When I was first elected as a Councillor in 2014, I started discussing how to make Roman Road a ‘liveable neighbourhood’ and stop commuters using Tredegar Road as a rat run. Now we have the funding from the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to make this happen. But what does a ‘liveable neighbourhood’ mean and what does it mean for Roman Road and Bow?

A liveable neighbourhood is somewhere it is easy to get around by walking, cycling or public transport. But it isn’t just for the sake of it should also be safer for people with mobility difficulties, pushing buggies and in wheelchairs and it should also make it more pleasant to be out and about.  With more people around in a liveable neighbourhood, local businesses should be able to enjoy the benefit of a safer and more pleasant neighbourhood too, as more residents are walking along the high street and choosing to stop and shop. Sadiq Khan has committed to funding investment to make our streets healthier and Tower Hamlets successfully bid for some of these funds and identified Bow for the investment.

And so in Bow, there is huge opportunity to make sure that this money leads to safer and healthier streets where local shops and the market can thrive.  Many of the main roads around Bow are heavily congested during rush hour as well as being home to a residential community.  Tredegar Road, St Stephens Road, Parnell Road, Old Ford Road are all used by commuters trying to get quickly onto the A12, while residents suffer poor air quality and struggle to get back to their own homes.  At the same time, it is not unusual for Roman Road to get completely snarled up just because of one big lorry holding up the buses and this can lead to late deliveries for our local shops.  We are also hearing from parents at Olga and Malmesbury Primary schools who would like to see less traffic on the school drop, to improve air quality around those schools and protect kids’ lungs.

The Mayor of London has allocated £3.3m to tackle some of the problems we face in Bow but the hard work starts now! The consultation on the issues and ideas is due to start in April 2019 and so as your local Councillors, we are really keen to get as many residents and businesses involved as possible – to hear from you about what you would like to see change and suggestions you have to make our streets healthier, better for local business and better for Bow.

Please send email your suggestions to Cllr Rachel Blake here.


  1. last year at a launch of the research programme to identify the needs of older People in Tower Hamlets we were introduced to an older peoples Champion, Denise Jones. We have not heard from her since. like everything else in politics we ask for things and we are promised but we rarely see any change. What happened to Denise? There are many issues at the moment with truncated bus services in the Borough that are causing misery for older people, people with disabilities and mothers with buggies. Action please. Maureen Childs

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