by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 10 February, 2021
On Thursday Liberal Democrat councillors will be recommending the removal of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood schemes in Sutton North: in Benhill Wood Road and Grennell Road. This is the result of a recent Court judgement, which says that the guidance we were required to follow by the Government and the Mayor was unlawful. This guidance prevented consultation with you in advance of the schemes being put into place. In September.
In other parts of the borough, ward councillors will be consulting residents on new proposals, in line with the Council’s consultation guidelines. We do not plan to do this in Sutton North.
Since September we have listened to the feedback from residents on these schemes, have conducted surveys, and have held Zoom meetings with Groups of residents. It is apparent that the schemes have diverted traffic onto other residential roads, instead of onto main roads as had been intended. We had suggested ways of alleviating the worst impact by converting the schemes to camera-closures which would allow neighbouring residents through (as well as easing the way through for emergency vehicles). However it is not clear there is sufficient support for these changes to make them acceptable.
Our schemes were designed to make the environment in Sutton better for everyone by reducing traffic and pollution on residential roads, encouraging walking and cycling and helping us to avoid a “car led recovery” from COVID. Our initial agreement to these trial schemes was based on the hope they would address traffic and speeding problems that residents have been talking to us about for many years.
We know that a significant number of residents will share our aims, and be disappointed at this turn of events. We remain committed to our goals, and will use the useful data and consultation responses to inform any future proposals at a later date. Sutton Council does not have funding for traffic schemes except through grants from Transport for London. The TfL grants for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods are the only ones available at present, and it is unlikely that funding for replacement schemes will be available in the near future.
Ruth, Marlene and Steve1 Comment