* UPDATE 261115: Hackney council has conceded that it should consult on the London Fields road closures and will hold a public meeting in Hackney Town Hall, Mare Street E8 1EA, on Monday 14 December 2015 at 7pm. Showing signs of panic, the council has cancelled previously announced drop-in sessions planned for earlier in the month.
THE CANCELLATION by a Labour council of a road-closure scheme in South London will be bad news for Hackney councillors promoting street closures around London Fields.
Protests by residents and businesses in Brixton led Lambeth council to scrap the Loughborough Road experiment or, in Lambeth-speak, its “vision to improve public areas”. The council says it will reopen the street on wednesday 25 November 2015. Two smaller roads will stay closed.
Objectors claimed the council had not consulted them properly and the London ambulance and fire services criticised the SW9 scheme.
Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey (Labour) said of the U-turn : “The council needs to independently examine how it could have made such a mess of this…
“The cost is huge, not just in money but also in the loss of trust in a local council that doesn’t seem to want to listen to common sense.”
Hackney has shown every sign of ignoring the Labour MP’s advice. Both supporters and opponents of the council’s traffic-filtering experiment, closing streets from January 2016 to through-traffic , will be hoping that changes.
That seems unlikely: Hackney is still resisting pressure to publish details of a survey it commissioned last spring that the council says justifies the closures.
Hamish Scott 221115
* Main pic: some of the handsome houses bordering London Fields © DavidAltheer[at]gmail.com
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