Peter Morgan, Coulsdon’s self-appointed one-man-band anti-road safety campaigner, has announced that he will take steps to block council moves to have car-free zones around some of Croydon’s primary schools.
Morgan claims the council has acted illegally by not taking notice of objections and failing to meet their obligations under the Traffic Management Act over its strict parking restrictions applied close to three Croydon primaries in the past year.
Earlier this month, the council announced that its trial schemes – at Woodcote Primary in Coulsdon and Heavers Farm Primary and St Chad’s Catholic Primary, both in Selhurst – which had operated throughout the school year since September 2017, would be made permanent. Other schemes would be considered if schools applied to the council.
But Morgan is asking the Secretary of State to block the council’s move.
Morgan claims that the council fined 2,924 drivers for parking in the schools’ car-free zones in the first six months of the trial, which could have raised at least £190,000.
Morgan is the local rep for something called the Alliance of British Drivers.
It opposes road closure schemes of all kinds on the grounds that they might create an inconvenience for some, and claims that the associated fines are often used as money-making schemes by councils to exploit unwary motorists. In reality, most road fines, like parking fees, are ring-fenced to be used for road and traffic improvements only.
With the car-free zones around schools, the ABD has claimed that there was no measures taken to assess whether the parking ban helped to improve air quality, saying “it is exceedingly unlikely that excluding vehicles from a very small area for very limited times of the day would have any impact on air quality”. This despite scientific evidence that air pollution produced by traffic is causing thousands of Londoners to die each year.
Morgan’s organisation also claimed that no evidence on road safety benefits was provided by the council. Though last year Morgan made claims it was more dangerous to walk to school than it is for children to be driven to school – presumably because of the risk of pedestrian school children being hit by a speeding ABD member.
Of the car-free zones, they said, “Such schemes just cause vehicle users to park further away outside the boundary, causing wider parking problems, or they turn-up and park earlier. It causes major problems for delivery drivers, or other visitors to homes within the boundary, as drivers are often not aware of the scheme.” Obviously, ABD members have trouble obeying road signs…
Morgan has not yet made clear what his grounds for asking the government minister to intervene might be. In the past, he led a seemingly one-man campaign to stop the Croydon Tramlink being built, and more recently he was behind a Judicial Review against the borough’s 20mph speed limits, which was lost and resulted in London ABD members having to pay £3,500 to Croydon Council towards legal costs.
Those who know Morgan well have been expressing some serious concern for his well-being, and are predicting that he might implode in a puff of self-induced rage come September 22: that’s the day when the Mayor of London has said that all the capital’s boroughs should participate in World Car-Free Day.
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