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Chadwell Heath families fight for solution to subway of fear

PUBLISHED: 12:52 10 March 2009 | UPDATED: 09:46 11 August 2010

RESIDENTS demands for a pedestrian crossing and more CCTV cameras above a dangerous subway have been squashed. The notorious Eastern Avenue subway in Chadwell Heath, which has seen a spate of muggings and violent gang attacks on residents, was discussed

RESIDENTS' demands for a pedestrian crossing and more CCTV cameras above a dangerous subway have been squashed.

The notorious Eastern Avenue subway in Chadwell Heath, which has seen a spate of muggings and violent gang attacks on residents, was discussed at a meeting between council and TfL officials, police and neighbourhood watch representatives on last Thursday.

The meeting at Warren School, was not open to the public, but the POST was invited along by Wilson Chowdry, co-ordinator of the Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch Association.

Earlier this year, residents of the surrounding areas decided they wanted the subway closed and a pedestrian crossing on the A12 in its place.

The plans were dismissed as unfeasible and unsafe.

Chris Tudor, planning manager at the Transport for London Road Network, said: "To provide a safe crossing you have to have the right traffic environment and on the A12 we have not got it."

He said that the high speed limit of 50mph could cause more traffic accidents between cars and pedestrians.

He added: "What we do not want to do is to give people a false sense of security."

Plans for increased and long term CCTV camera installations were put on ice due to funding issues.

A Barking and Dagenham council officer said: "The council has no funding available for CCTV installations at the moment."

Police said that there had not been any crime reports near the subway since December but Mr Chowdry said that not every incident was reported to the police.

The proposed extension of bus routes to help elderly people avoid the subway was also dismissed because residents had previously campaigned against it.

TfL offered to put a pedestrian crossing at the Whalebone Lane junction instead but that would depend on funding and on the community's enthusiasm for the project.

Wilson Chowdry said he would collect signatures for the alternative plan to go ahead.

He said he would put lists for a petition up in the shops around East Road, Whalebone Lane and Somerville Road.

He later told the POST: "We need a long term solution. I think the crossing at Whalebone Lane is too far away form the subway but there is nothing else on offer." He said he would continue to fight for CCTV installation along the A12.


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