London Fields road-closure row rumbles on

LonFieldsCrick: London Fields CC v Sovereign (fielding) 030514 © David Altheer

CAMPAIGNERS against the London Fields road closures are still unhappy, despite the Hackney council launch of its promised consultation.

Leading objector Mike Hood told Loving Dalston that the council had said the questionnaire would give “residents and business in the affected area” a choice of options.

“However,” he said, “it is clear the questionnaire is open to the general public, including visitors, who can and will be manipulated by pressure groups that were campaigning for the original road closures.

“Hackney council has gone against its word, yet again.”

Brenda Puech (supplied)
Brenda Puech: Hackney Living Streets likes the latest development

Brenda Puech, of pro-group Hackney Living Streets (HLS), had earlier told this website that she lived in an estate facing London Fields.

She added: “However, as HLS representative, all of Hackney is my area of interest and I could be involved in a scheme anywhere in Hackney.

“Many members of our campaign and all the original members are local to the area, living in Middleton Road, Malvern Road, Grand Union Crescent and other E8 addresses. They originally lobbied the council.

“We are now being supported by members of Hackney Cycling Campaign and HLS, from all parts of Hackney.

“We are delighted to see the original scheme improved by the addition of bus gates on Lansdowne Drive and Pownall Road, enforced by CCTV, ensuring that through-traffic is blocked while buses can pass and local drivers can still drive to their homes and park locally.

“We believe that motor traffic will not just be displaced to neighbouring streets, but that through-traffic will avoid the area and that the trial for this option in early summer will provide an opportunity to test this.”

The council said in a press release this week that it had planned to close 13 junctions to through-traffic early this year 2016, at the same time as consulting residents about the trial.

In response to “local concerns and high levels of public interest”, however, Hackney made a U-turn, promising instead an “independent consultation with residents before a decision was made on whether to proceed.

Hackney council neighbourhoods cllr Feryal Demirci at London Fields cyclists breakfast © david.altheer@gmail.com 180614
In the Fields: Councillor Feryal Demirci, a leading promoter of the scheme

In response to “local concerns and high levels of public interest”, Hackney would instead undertake an “independent consultation with residents before a decision is made on whether to proceed with any traffic schemes in the area”.

Hamish Scott 140116

* If you have not seen Hackney council’s consultation pack, which has been distributed to 11,500 homes in the area, and you would like a paper copy, write to: London Fields Consultation, Streetscene, LBH, Keltan House, 89-115 Mare Street E8 4RU. Or see FAQs on line.

* Backstory: London Fields scheme hits barrier; Hackney council takes on drivers; Hackney U-turns; After the London Fields party; Little fires in the FieldsLondon Fields summer of love

* Main picture: a ball heads for the boundary as London Fields CC bats to Sovereign. All pictures on this page, apart from that of Brenda Puech, are © DavidAltheer[at]gmail.com and for sale for reproduction. 

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2 thoughts on “London Fields road-closure row rumbles on

  1. Though I welcome the decision to hold a consultation I share Mike Hood’s concern about a consultation lacking a mechanism to ensure it is weighted towards the demands of local people rather than, as at present, being vulnerable to being hijacked by lobbying groups.

    As it turns out, any trial before the end of December last year would have been impossible to evaluate. Traffic data for affected streets was still being collected in December 2015.

    Some of the training date is potentially misleadingly out of date. Most surprisingly Hackney council had no specific data on pollution levels for streets within and on the edge of the area of the filter scheme. it would not therefore have been possible to evaluate change due to the lack of baseline data. Dome monitoring equipment is now in place, so at least now any trial can now be evaluated.

  2. Minutes of Hackney Living Streets in April and July 2014 show it had three and five members in attendance – hardly evidence of huge local support. Most of these don’t appear as core supporters of the Fume Free streets lobbying group. Two have cross membership with Hackney Cycling Campaign.

    As no recent minutes of HLS meetings are available, it’s hard to see evidence for the assertion that it enjoys support from “all parts of Hackney”. The claim that either HCC or HLS represents wider views certainly wasn’t evident at the town hall meeting.

    The best research evidence which evidences traffic reduction through capacity reduction suggests a reasonable “ball-park” figure of 12% traffic reduction – or 88% traffic displacement.

    Based on this, the full-closure option [option 1] could result in 6,000 to 8,000 vehicles being displaced on to Richmond Road and Queensbridge Road.

    Having previously exaggerated levels of traffic on Middleton Road to bolster the claims for traffic filtering, the same lobbyists are now exaggerating both the levels of support they enjoy and levels of traffic evaporation that could be achieved to sustain their push to turn the streets of London Fields into a maze.

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