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28 October 2014

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You are in: London > London Local > Tower Hamlets > Community Life > Access to Arnold Circus under threat

Arnold Circus protest

Pupils from Virginia Primary School

Access to Arnold Circus under threat

Schoolchildren are leading a protest against plans to re-route the 78 bus through historic Boundary Estate, which contains the park area of Arnold Circus

For more than a hundred years Arnold Circus has been the hub of the small community around Boundary Estate in Shoreditch.

The UK’s first public housing development, the estate was built on the rubble of a slum, and it has since fallen into and out of disrepair.

Today, it is a grade II listed building and the bandstand on Arnold Circus entertains brass bands and community groups.

"The new route turns the park into a roundabout"

Naseem Khan, friends of Arnold Circus

However, some visitors to Arnold Circus are now outraged by plans from Transport for London to re-route the 78 bus past it at the end of this year. Currently a quarter of the circular road is a thoroughfare for vehicles, but by 2007 the entire road could be used, with a bus going past the circus every 12 minutes.

Friends of Arnold Circus, a local conservation and community group, has been collecting signatures against the proposal this week – totalling 200 so far.

Parents and children of Virginia Primary School, which is across the road from Arnold Circus, are leading the protests.

“Our children have loved working on Arnold Circus and watching the seeds they planted grow,” says Clive Davies, Acting Head of Virginia Primary school.

“We are concerned about the rerouting of the 78 bus, as this will be an additional safety hazard for the children who work and play around Arnold Circus. We hope that Transport for London will reconsider.”

A Transport for London spokesperson told BBC London: “Currently, there is a lengthy walk to the bus stop for many residents and the rerouted 78 will mean that hundreds of people, particularly elderly residents, will benefit from a bus which will run nearer to their homes.

“We will be happy to work with Hackney and Tower Hamlets Councils on potential road traffic calming measures for the area in response to the concerns of some residents.
“We also understand that the bandstand at Arnold Circus is sometimes used for community days and would be willing and able to temporarily change the bus service to accommodate such events.”

Naseem Khan, Chair of Friends of Arnold Circus says: “We support the 78 bus, but these changes make it worse for users and far, far worse for people wanting to use the gardens of Arnold Circus. The new route turns a park into a roundabout.” 

last updated: 04/06/2008 at 10:56
created: 11/10/2006

You are in: London > London Local > Tower Hamlets > Community Life > Access to Arnold Circus under threat

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