Update on Marsh Lane Fields Bridge Proposals

By Katy Andrews

I expect everyone knows by now that a planning application is due to be dealt with by LBWF Planning Committee on Tues evening, 26.3.13, that would entail the removal of a “safe routes to school” dedicated cycle/pedestrian bridge and a nearby vehicular access bridge into Marsh Lane Fields across the Dagenham Brook (aka Leyton Level Brook).

The fields are the only part of the Leyton Marshes Lammas Lands that is not (bizarrely) within the Lee Valley Regional Park. WF Council have recently tried to rename the Fields as a “Jubilee Park” – there has been no consultation at all about this. Now they want to turn the area into an events venue!

Marsh Lane is part of a designated cycle route between Leyton (and Wanstead) and Hackney Marshes & the Hackney Cut towpath on the Lea Navigation. West of the Dagenham Brook bridge, the Lane is an unadopted BOAT, and continues over a railway footbridge and through the golf course northwards on a recognised Right of Way. To the south-west it follows the Old River Lea to the Friends Bridge (where it joins the Sustrans route) & across the river to Hackney Marshes.

Permission is being sought by Borough officers, apparently under intense political pressure from certain councillors, to replace the two bridges over the Dagenham Brook by a wide road-bridge – intended to be used by heavy lorries “for events.”

A small footpath beyond, to the north and west of the new road-bridge, would be widened where it joins the Marsh Lane BOAT, with significant loss of vegetation, to provide a large vehicular turning point. (This was not mentioned in the officer’s report to councillors, which is all they are likely to know of the application.)

There has been no consultation with Marsh users, cyclists or local schools & residents about these proposals.

I know the weather is not the kindest, but it would be very helpful to have a significant turnout of local people for the planning committee meeting.

We will have a short demo from 7.10pm on the Town Hall steps before the meeting.

Local residents in the 1980s and 90s fought for 11 years to stop just such a road being built across the Marshes to link Church Rd to the Freight Road (“Orient Way”).

Please help to try to stop it again this Tuesday!

Hoping to see lots of people at the WF Town Hall in Forest Road E17 on Tuesday evening!

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