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Ilford Lane closed to traffic tonight following last night’s mass gathering

Cecil Road at the junction with Ilford Lane (credit: Google Maps)

Ilford Lane is set to be closed to traffic this evening, following yesterday’s issues with crowding as people celebrated Eid.

Only buses and emergency vehicles will be permitted to drive through from 7pm until midnight. Other vehicles will be diverted to avoid the road.

Last night, some drivers parked the cars in Ilford Lane, blocking the road to traffic.

Redbridge Councillor Khayer Chowdhury has Tweeted to say tonight’s closure is to stop that happening again.

Earlier today, the local police and Redbridge Council issued a joint statement urging local people to follow the guidance by Public Health to keep safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Leader of Redbridge Council, Councillor Jas Athwal, said: “We want people to enjoy the summertime and especially times of celebration both safely and peacefully. We certainly don’t want to see a repeat of the scenes that marred Ilford Lane last night.

“We’re still in the middle of a global pandemic, and people must be mindful of that. Gathering in large groups is not safe for individuals, their friends or their family members who they may end up inadvertently infecting with the virus.

“Sadly, rates of COVID-19 has increased in several areas in the north of England. We want to keep local people safe and prevent that happening in Redbridge. We all need to play our part to keep ourselves and our friends and neighbours safe, so please maintain social distancing (keep 2 metres apart), wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and wear a face-covering if you’re in shops, on public transport, or in a confined space.

“If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, please stay at home and get tested as soon as possible and follow the instructions of NHS Test and Trace if they contact you.”

Last night, police were called to disperse hundreds of people who had gathered in the streets.

While the majority of the festivities were good-natured, a fight broke out as people were leaving.

One man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker.

Local police commander, Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, said: “While we accept that celebrations take place, and have no desire to spoil these for the community, if they descend into violence we absolutely will step in.

“A number of calls were received last night from concerned members of the public and while we appreciate this is a time of excitement and celebration, the sight and sound of such a large group was concerning and even distressing for others.

“That this size of gathering has taken place during a pandemic is concerning. I remind all of our communities to respect each other and ensure that the government guidelines around social distancing are followed.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM


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