New date set for introduction of Browning Road bridge closure scheme
PUBLISHED: 12:31 13 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:54 13 August 2019
Three weeks after it was paused due to protests, an experiment to reduce the amount of traffic crossing an East Ham bridge is set to begin once more.
The six month pilot scheme to restrict access on the Browning Road bridge was originally due to start on Monday, July 29, but Newham Council halted it that same day to allow it to further consider the concerns of residents living north of the bridge.
The plan had been to only allow vehicles registered as belonging to people living in one of 18 listed roads, as well as other exempt vehicles such as the emergency services, to cross the bridge.
Residents in two nearby parking zones had criticised the local authority for not consulting them, calling for an end to the restriction. People living in other parking zones had been consulted.
Councillor Zulfiqar Ali, cabinet member for highways and sustainable transport, said: "Following the concerns raised by the residents in Little Ilford and Manor Park we have looked at the impact of adding some extra streets to the exemption list, and found this will have little detrimental effect on the desired improvements to air quality and road safety."
Those living in the newly-exempt roads, which are on both sides of the railway line, will be sent a letter by the council.
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The scheme is now set to begin at midnight on Sunday, August 18 and during the six months it is active, the council will monitor both air quality and traffic flow. They will also collect feedback from those living in the area.
Drivers living in the exempted streets who have a residents, business or disabled permits will not have to do anything - but those who do not will need to register with the council to avoid fines.
The pilot scheme was introduced following a study which revealed that more than 80 per cent of vehicles travelling from Romford Road used the area as a cut through to High Street North.
Cllr Ali added: "Our residents have told us they want their neighbourhoods to be cleaner, greener and safer.
"The Browning Bridge pilot scheme starts to address these problems. But it's not the end.
"If we are to improve air quality as well as the health, safety and well-being of our residents, more changes to the way we use our roads in future will have to be considered."