Future of the LTNs – open letter to deputy leader Ian Barnes
Cllr Ian Barnes
All FLDRA members
Ward Councillors with FLDRA connections
Bambos Charalambous MP
Cllr Nesil Caliskan
Dear Cllr Barnes,
Future of the Fox Lane LTN
As a committee we are writing to you on behalf of our members with regard to the consultation and decision-making process relating to the Fox Lane LTN – an issue of concern to all residents – whether within or without the LTN itself, and whether in support or in opposition.
The six month “trial” began in September 2020 and is now into its second year with no end point seemingly in sight. The uncertainty continues to exercise everyone concerned as well as local businesses. It continues to pit neighbour against neighbour whenever it is discussed, seriously fragmenting social cohesion and generating enormous animosity.
No result will be able to satisfy everyone and it will likely continue to be a cause of social friction. Consequently, the decision process is of critical importance. We have considerable feedback from local residents indicating that they are perplexed by the length of time and lack of clarity around monitoring and time scales. Only this week a letter was sent to residents indicating further comments could be made until January. (Regrettably it states that this will close on Tuesday 11th January 2021. Hence the letter needs correction and resending to every recipient.)
On 10th November residents writing in were being met with a message saying the consultation is closed. None of this adds up to a process that is transparent and objective and it significantly prejudice’s the public’s right to comment.
So where are we and what happens next?
On May 26th 2021, in an open webinar, Officer Richard Eason presented a slide that set out a number of milestones, with a decision in late autumn 2021. It is now late autumn . On May 5th 2022, Council elections will be held. Before this date the Council enters a significant purdah period for all key decisions and announcements prior to that date. The Local Government Association states that “pre-election rules restrict activity wider than just publicity. Use of council facilities and resources; the member’s code of conduct, developing new policies and holding of events (including some meetings) featuring elected officials should all be carefully considered during a period of heightened sensitivity.” This period will begin at the end of March. Scarcely long enough to engage in open consultation on a decision as contentious as the Fox Lane LTN.
Moreover the Experimental Traffic Orders themselves, through which the LTN trial has been implemented, have defined expiry dates and must be rescinded.
We therefore request – in the interest of all – that a clear timetable is published for publication, consultation, recommendations, public debate and ultimately the taking of any proposed decision to Full Council meeting, Cabinet or individual member decision. We would like a clear outline and timeline for determining the Fox Lane ETO in accordance with the Council’s due process and it’s approved constitution on road traffic regulatory functions.
As stated above, any report will be subjected across the borough to intense scrutiny and debate. Can you therefore please set out how the findings will be published and what forums will be scheduled in order that all voices are heard in an open and honest discussion?
Letter approved unanimously by all current committee members of the Fox Lane and District Residents’ Association – FLDRA
Liz Partridge, Sabrina O’Reilly, Eleanor Grant, Peter Warford, Christian Ignatiou, John Macrory, Ron Tabor.
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