East End Waterway Group

East End Waterway

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As an alternative to cars and overcrowded buses, we would all benefit from a new public transport system going round the Regent’s Canal, Hertford Union Canal, Hackney Cut, River Lea, Limehouse Cut and Limehouse Basin.  Called East End Waterways, this would be a commercially operated regular two-way, eco-friendly waterbus service; with stops at bridges for local residents, workers, students and tourists.

Click image to enlarge

British Waterways is setting up Limehouse Quay in Limehouse Basin for passenger boats along the Limehouse Cut to the Olympic Park, and for restaurants and other boats. Fortunately J-go Training Ltd has expressed interest (on behalf of Concordia Partnership, an intercultural consortium of third sector organisations) in providing an educational training community boat service from Limehouse Quay. It is hoped that this will also encourage a commercial operator to run East End Waterways, employing local people and providing an alternative form of local transport for all, which also takes local residents and tourists to all the places of interest: such as the Ragged School Museum, Mile End Park, Bow Wharf, Victoria Park, Fish Island, Olympic Park, Three Mills and the proposed Lea River Park. Download route info here

Obviously, the historic buildings, structures and habitats must be protected and enhanced where necessary. Fortunately, Tower Hamlets Council has good green and blue grid policies and about three-quarters of the ‘ring’ is now in conservation areas. Limehouse Basin is in its own conservation area and most of the Hertford Union Canal is in the Victoria Park CA. The Council has recently designated the Fish Island CA (near Hackney Cut and on the west bank of the River Lea), Limehouse Cut CA and Regent’s Canal CA.

The Limehouse Cut opened in 1770 and is London’s first canal. On the advice of English Heritage, the new CA includes the former Poplar Employment Exchange at 307 Burdett Road. The site for this was acquired and the Neo-Georgian building was designed when George Lansbury MP was the First Commissioner of Works in the 1929-31 Labour government. Clearly this historic building makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the Limehouse Cut CA.

Permission for its demolition and replacement by yet another block of flats was refused by the Council’s Strategic Development Committee. Unfortunately, the owner /applicant TRILLIUM (PRIME) PROPERTY GROUP LTD is now seeking a judicial review of the Council’s recently designated Limehouse Cut CA, with the intention of having it quashed. We must therefore, send letters and a petition to TRILLIUM asking them to reconsider their judicial review and instead work with the Council and others to allow the retention and adaptation of the building as a training and social enterprise centre called the LANSBURY CENTRE. As such, the building would be a living memorial to George Lansbury MP and his campaigns against poverty and unemployment. As soon as possible would you please:

  • Join East End Waterway Group by emailing or sending a brief message of support
  • Send a letter to TRILLIUM on behalf of your organisation with a copy to East End Waterway Group (Mr Ross Fraser, President, Trillium (Prime) Property Group Ltd, Bastion House, 140 London Wall, London EC2Y 5DN)

Tom Ridge

East End Waterway Group

email: [email protected] and entitle your e-mail ‘East End Waterway Group’

1 Response

  1. Penelope Quinton says:

    I would like very much to get involved with the East End Waterwy Group, I live in White chapel and work with various housing coops and residents associations in East London. Would it be possible to come to your next meeting.

    All good wishes


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