Our transport correspondent, JEREMY CLACKSON, on renewed calls for consultation over traffic calming measures introduced by TfL and the local council that Steve Reed has called ‘roadblocks’
Steve Reed OBE has entered the row over Upper Norwood’s Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme.
Perhaps predictably, the Labour MP for Croydon North has managed to side with the authors of a dodgy petition which has attracted “support” from as far and wide as Chislehurst and Newton Abbot, and against the Labour-controlled local council and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
The measures were introduced just over a week ago without any formal consultation period, and implemented under coronavirus emergency powers while paid for with cash from the Mayor of London, as Transport for London seeks to use the reduced traffic levels of this post-lockdown period to help affect real change to the city’s congested and polluted streets and actively discourage non-essential use of private cars.
With a powerful and active car lobby, previous schemes in the borough have been ditched before they have even completed their trial period. Because of the extraordinary circumstances of this year, Low Traffic Neighbourhoods have been introduced without the usual consultation period, but with the stated intention to listen to feedback and make adjustments to road closures and similar measures as the scheme evolves.
In Upper Norwood, measures have been introduced to stop three residential streets between Church Road and Auckland Road – Sylvan Hill, Stambourne Way and Fox Hill – being used as rat runs by impatient car drivers.
Reed recently moved home to actually live in his constituency for the first time in the eight years he has held the parliamentary seat.
He wrote to concerned constituents at the end of last week calling for an after-the-fact consultation, but yesterday he also issued a brief statement in which he used the loaded term “roadblocks” to describe the measures.
Reed said, “Traffic calming is a sensible objective but the council should have fully consulted residents across the area before implementing the scheme.
“Many of the roadblocks were put in piecemeal and are causing inconvenience to many residents and businesses.
“I have spoken to the council to raise local people’s concerns and suggested they urgently fund a local representative community organisation to engage with residents across the entire affected area to come up with an alternative that has public support.”
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