Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Fishponds Road #SaferStreets consultation out!

Exciting times in Tooting. Finally, almost 2 years after I presented my #saferstreets petition for Fishponds road, the consultation pack has been sent out!

Still we need to get around 40% of households to respond to this. If you live in or around Fishponds Road, or know people that do, please encourage them to respond. It has to be worth trying something different.

The question posed to local residents is:

Are you in favour of the introduction of road closures as a trial measure?

Yes / No / Undecided

The pack goes onto explain:

The council is aware that unnecessary through traffic uses the residential roads in the Fishponds Road area to avoid the traffic queues on the main A24 route. In response to a petition from local residents, the council is consulting on a scheme to limit this unnecessary through traffic.

The proposal is to implement a series of road closures in the area by placing physical barriers across the roads. All traffic would be prevented from driving through the roads. Cycle lanes would be provided to allow cyclists to bypass the road closures.

The scheme would be introduced for a trial six month period after which it would be reviewed with local people to see if the measures should remain or be removed.

These proposals aim to make it difficult for traffic to pass through the area by blocking access to existing cut-through routes. Although some through routes will remain, it is considered that these will be indirect and therefore not attractive to ‘rat-running’ traffic. However it is recognised that local residents will also be affected.

Responses need to be sent to the council by Friday 21 March 2014.

You can view the pdf pack here. Only people who receive this pack in the post are able to respond to the consultation.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Street vandalism - who pays?

This morning, riding along Moyser Road I noticed this damaged bollard. It's unlikely to have been placed at that angle by 'bored youths'. Those foundations are pretty good. My bet is that someone in a car or a van has driven into it.

What get's my goat about this, is as follows.

To the best of my knowledge, we all pay for fixing broken street furniture through our council taxes. So far, so good, but only a certain type of local individual has the ability to damage street furniture like this. That is, people who are driving cars, vans, lorries or buses around locally.

With 45% of local households not owning a car, seems to me a bit unfair that we all pay for the damage that a subsection of our community causes.

Then I wondered, if our council ever makes a claim against the drivers insurance when there is clear evidence that they have driven into, and damaged street furniture. FOI request has been sent off to the council. Questions posed are:

1) Has Wandsworth Council made any claims against the insurers of drivers who have damaged street furniture as a result of a crash or collision that the driver has been involved in? (Please look at the past 3 financial years)

2) What is the cost of replacing or repairing damaged street furniture (as a result of crashes/collisions) each year? For ease, could you please supply the figures for the past 3 financial years.

3) If no claims have been made against the insurers of drivers who have damaged street furniture, could you confirm that the cost of replacing or repairing the damaged furniture has been met from the general public purse.

I choose not to drive around locally, as do many other residents in Wandsworth. Why should we, and those drivers who aren't incompetent have to pay to pick up the pieces from drivers who damage our streets? 

If no individual driver can be identified, why can't a claim be made in the same way that happens when an 'accident' happens involving an uninsured vehicle? 

Damaged street furniture is all over our borough. Take a look the next time you are out and about.