JEREMY CLACKSON reports on the latest gear change in the niggling roads dispute between south London councils over lorries trucking rubbish – including potentially radioactive waste – to and from the Beddington Lane incinerator
Sutton Council has pulled up the hand-brake and made an emergency U-turn over its plan to redirect HGV traffic heading for the Beddington Lane incinerator into Croydon.
Using typical CouncilSpeak, a senior Sutton official in Sutton confirmed in writing yesterday that the consultation over their council’s proposal to ban heavy lorries from Beddington Village, re-routing them up and down the Purley Way, has been “paused”.
The consultation might even have been illegal, judging from the no-nonsense language used in a letter from Steve Iles, one of Croydon Council’s most senior executive directors, to his counterparts in Sutton, which threatened calling a costly public inquiry into the road traffic management scheme.
LibDem-controlled Sutton had wanted to impose a traffic restriction for Beddington Lane and Hilliers Lane which daily would re-route thousands of heavy goods lorries, and their polluting emissions, up and down the Purley Way, through Croydon’s Waddon and Broad Green wards.
Inside Croydon has seen an email sent yesterday by Mary Morrissey, Sutton’s grandly titled “strategic director of environment, housing and regeneration”.
In it, she wrote, “As you may be aware, on publishing our proposals, we received a significant number of objections, largely from businesses and the BID in the Beddington area which were concerned about the impact of the HGV ban on their operations, but also from LB Croydon, due to concerns over the impact of the diversionary route on their network and residents.
“As a result, officers have paused the implementation of the proposal and the formal determination of the objections, to take some time to engage further with businesses and Croydon to better understand their concerns, and to ensure that other planned works to the highway network in the area, such as the TfL works to the tram retaining wall, and the work at Asda junction, are completed.”
It amounts to an admission by Morrissey that Sutton’s consultation had not been conducted properly. Heaven knows, she must be miserable now.
“We will also be using this pause to undertake further monitoring, to validate our original modelling and assumptions about levels of HGV traffic. TfL are aware.
“We intend to fully engage with ward councillors and local residents throughout this process.” Which would be a first.
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