Tower Hamlets

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2022 Healthy Streets Scorecard results

Tower Hamlets comes 7th place overall and the borough is falling behind leaders City, Islington and Hackney. This year’s scores are disappointing, in particular it has one of the lowest scores for School Streets in the whole of London: just 5% of schools have a School Street compared to leaders Islington with 49%. And this is even though 71% of households don’t have a car and the vast majority of trips are made by walking, cycling and public transport.

On Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs), 29% of streets are in an LTN which compares relatively well with many boroughs (though not with neighbour and leader Hackney at 70%). However, the new administration has pledged to consult on removing LTNs. 

Tower Hamlets scores are buoyed by high scores on 20mph speed limits and parking – but the borough’s resident parking scheme allows ‘roaming’, and this encourages short trips. It should be replaced with small-area Controlled Parking Zones. 

Looking at new data published this year to reflect population density, Tower Hamlets scores lower than it should, when taking account its high density. When we account for housing density it would currently expect to achieve an overall score of 8.7, far more than its overall score of 6.1.

If the new administration is serious about acting on climate change, air pollution and the health and safety of its residents, it must introduce more transformative schemes such as LTNs, School Streets and protected cycle lanes urgently. All eyes are on the recent change of council leadership in Tower Hamlets from Mayor John Biggs and Labour, to Aspire and Mayor Lutfur Rahman. Rahman has pledged to consult on removing the LTNs Biggs put in place. Biggs himself had not introduced many active travel measures, particularly in the last year, which may have in fact helped his opponents into power: analysis of voting results across London suggests that, where council leaders offered no progressive voice on active travel, opponents were able to gain ground. In fact, as well as losing seats to Aspire, Labour also lost their first seat to the Greens, who were pushing for half-complete LTNs to be finished. In the year before the election, Tower Hamlets had increased School Streets provision, but little else, and its overall score shows a borough falling behind as a result. We wait to see how Aspire and Rahman square the circle of a declared climate emergency, the negative impacts of car use and its current policy statements.

"We are disappointed that Tower Hamlets has fallen to seventh place in this year's Healthy Streets Scorecard, despite 71% of households not owning cars, and equally dismayed that the new Mayor has pledged to remove LTNs. Better Streets for Tower Hamlets wants to see progress towards safer, healthier streets and this requires the rapid introduction of more transformative schemes such as LTNs, School Streets and protected cycle lanes."

Spokesperson for Better Street for Tower Hamlets

"We're disappointed to see Tower Hamlets fall back in this year's Scorecard. Council pledges to remove modal filters that protect neighbourhoods from through traffic, and the introduction of controlled parking zone roaming, are not likely to help improve the score. We welcome the newly-elected mayor's commitment to "reduce air pollution, support local businesses, and ensure our borough is safe and convenient for all road users. " We now need to see concrete plans to make our streets safer and our pavements clear of obstruction, so that everyday walking can play its key role in cutting pollution, congestion and road danger."

Spokesperson for Tower Hamlets Living Streets

The Healthy Streets Scorecard combine scores for nine indicators to create an overall Healthy Streets score for each borough. See the graph below for 2022 results (includes 2019 – 2021 results for comparison). For more detail visit the London-wide overview of the 2022 results. You can also:

Scorecard (factored score) chart explained

In the chart above, each borough has been given a factored score. Factor scores are composite variables which provide information about a borough’s placement on a scale. Factor scores are given by F=XB, where X is the indicator normalised score for a borough and B is the factor score coefficient (or weight). Each indicator is weighted as 1, or 0.5 if there are two parts to one indicator, for example Modeshare has a weighting of 1, Active travel – walking has a weighting of 0.5 and Active travel – cycling has a weighting of 0.5. The borough’s total factored score is the sum of all indicator factored scores which is then factored to 10 (multiplied by the number of indicators/10) to give a value on the scale between zero and 10. We can then compare boroughs against each other on the scale.

London Low Traffic Neighbourhoods map

See your borough’s LTNs – and all LTNs in London in the London LTN map

For results analysis visit Low Traffic Neighbourhoods indicator results

Instructions for map (below)
To navigate the key, click the top left hand corner.
To open in a new window, click the top right hand corner.
Zoom in and out using the + and – buttons.