Yesterday saw the publication of paper 14-371 which refers to the outcome of the consultation for the proposed trial on the Fishponds road area. Download the paper here
The headlines are:
399 responses were received (17% of households canvassed) with 29% supporting (115) and 64% opposed (257)
Officers recommend that no further action be taken.
Looking into the details what can we learn?
Executive asked for a 40% minimum response rate to deem the consultation effective.
Only Tooting and Furzedown wards had a turnout in the recent local elections which were the same day as the European elections of over 40%. Does this mean that the local elections weren't effective in most of the borough? Is it realistic for the executive to set a target response rate for a consultation higher than the average turnout for local elections? See ward by ward turnout here
Concerns from local residents, 91 people thought that they would increase congestion and delays, 38 people thought that there must be a better way, 9 people suggested a one-way system for Broadwater road, and 6 flagged a 20mph limit.
If we total these comments up as people who opposed the scheme, but agree that there is a problem, we have 144 people. If we can view those people as wanting the problem fixed the numbers would look like this: 259 wanting problem fixed - 113 wanting nothing to be done.
If the committee chooses to take no action, then this doesn't bode well for progress in Wandsworth for the next four years. This consultation was the fourth in 12 years as a result of other groups, and me petitioning calling on our council to act. Our council has monitored traffic levels in the area and found them to be over and above levels which are fit for residential streets.
I'm quite happy for a different approach to be advocated by the council to fix what is a recognised problem.
The important questions in terms of putting in place solutions are:
Who do we ask to come up with solutions?
If the local community doesn't like the look of the solutions, (because they don't believe they will work, even if they are evidence-based), do we just shrug our shoulders and do nothing?
The other week I wrote a fairy tale about this - The Prince and his toothache - well worth a gander if you haven't looked at it already.
I'm due be a father in September. I want my child to be able to grow up in a community where they are able to safely cycle to school. Where as a family we don't need to share horror stories about how someone's 'need' to not 'wait' behind me or my wife on our bikes has resulted in them almost killing us.
Other parts of London have successfully made huge changes to their street environment to the wider benefit of all members of their local communities. I'm more determined than ever to ensure that our community can benefit too, but I really will need your help.
Do get in touch if you live locally, and share my desire to see a better neighbourhood.