Bid to make Gants Hill a destination hotspot during the London Olympics

Politicians have been discussing how to make Gants Hill a destination hotspot for people visiting the capital during the Olympics.

Mayor Boris Johnson has told the London Assembly he will work with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to encourage more people to visit Gants Hill during the Games, which begin on July 27.

London Assembly member for Redbridge Roger Evans asked Mr Johnson if he will promote the area as a destination rather than central London during Mayor’s Question Time at City Hall last week.

Jubilee party

Mr Johnson said he had on several occasions, “had the joy of going to Gants Hill, talking to the people and seeing the benefits of the transport improvements we delivered”.

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But Mr Evans said earlier that day that public transport in the area remained “a bit confusing”. He added: “It’s a junction of five different council wards but there’s a lot you can achieve working together.

“I spoke to Seb Coe (LOCOG chairman) about it last week and he was keen to promote Gants Hill, wanting to raise it with Visit London.”

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There are other upcoming events putting Gants Hill on the map, with Cllr Ruth Clark confirming a Queen’s Jubilee party and the accreditation of a purple flag representing the area as a good place to go for a night out.

Businesses in Gants Hill have given mixed reactions to efforts to draw people to the area.

One business owner said there were still problems with the transport, but he said he was excited about the Olympics and that it should mean a lot of new business. An employee at a bar in Cranbrook Road said: “Gants Hill has changed dramatically in the past few years. It’s changed visually and the pavements are better, there’s new bus stops which is great, more refuse people so the area is much cleaner and the roundabout is much better for pedestrians.”

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