The Addiscombe traffic balls-up is set to be discussed at a public meeting next week.
The organisers were unable to confirm whether a proposal to change the name of Lebanon Road to “Alderman Watson Boulevard” will be on the agenda.
But according to a local community group affected by the controversial and poorly consulted changes to the one-way system along Addiscombe Road, “Recent road changes have divided opinions in Addiscombe…”, nah, everyone agrees it has been a gigantic balls-up by the council, “… and we are now keen to come to a solution that is agreeable to everyone.”
Good luck with that.
“The objective of the meeting is to find a group of individuals representing all of the key views and to take matters forward,” the ECCO website (which was set up by a couple of Lebanon Road residents) states, just a tad optimistically.
It’s also a curious position to take, since this area of the borough has the benefit of probably more residents’ associations per square mile than almost any other area in the whole United Kingdom, as street by street along the residential roads that spring off from the A232, there seems to be another separate group of community-spirited neighbours who have banded together to try to represent their common interests.
And in one thing all of these groups agree: they’re fed up with having their street used as a rat run by motorists and delivery drivers.
Trouble is, perhaps because of some vested interests, the council has singularly failed in taking an overview of the problems created by rising traffic levels, to provide a more holistic solution than what it has offered so far, which has amounted to a piecemeal roll-out of one way streets, with all of the associated knock-on effects for neighbouring roads.
The notice of the meeting offers car parking at the venue, rather than encouraging people to walk or to use public transport. So they clearly haven’t properly grasped what is at the root of the problem.
The meeting is being staged at the behest of Addiscombe East’s councillors, Labour’s Maddie Henson and Tory Jeet Bains.
“Whatever your views, please come to ensure that they are recorded,” the notice states.
There has, of course, been two formal consultations conducted in the area in the past four years – the first of which just failed to consult anyone living in roads neighbouring Lebanon Road (somewhat conveniently for the then council cabinet member who lives on Lebanon Road), before that residential street was made one-way.
This latest meeting does not appear to have any formal status within council procedures, though it is indicative that the changes which the council have implemented, rolling along the Addiscombe Road, have simply and entirely predictably, shunted the problem (sometimes literally) east towards Ashburton.
The meeting takes place at 7pm next Tuesday, January 8, at Ashburton Hall, Ashburton Park, Lower Addiscombe Road.
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