Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Traffic counts - not necessary

The traffic measures which have been implemented to allow the essential gas works to take place on Trinity Road are pretty significant.

If residents happened to petition on something like this, it is likely that the council may suggest that the potential for traffic displacement to neighbouring streets would mean that it wouldn't work. eg Kettering Street paper 15-238

I did the following FOI request to see if any consideration had been given to taking traffic counts to see what actually happens when compared to the traffic models.


The response is:

Wandsworth Borough Council, Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police Traffic Division had considered traffic count variables on Trinity Road for the traffic management plan for the works.  Transport for London’s Traffic Flow Data system was used to ascertain the volume of traffic.   The Council did not undertake a traffic count for each of the roads listed below as Officers did not consider it necessary.

This raises three questions:

  1. Why were the fears of traffic displacement raised as a  reason to recommend no further action for the trial proposed for the Kettering Street petition? 
  2. Why wasn't this information used as part of the Fishponds Road area consultation to highlight to residents that their fears of traffic gridlock were unlikely to occur? 
  3. Why is it that councillors on the relevant committee aren't questioning officers given that they are aware from local groups of the evidence that contradicts council positions? 

Don't forget to add your support to the petitions that the Lib Dems are supporting me with locally. It is only with your support that we'll be able to make positive improvements. Labour and the Tories seem too dead set against making positive things happen for the time being.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Serendipity – Kettering St trial

Last night I returned home to find that a trial, of sorts, was taking place on Kettering Street. It has taken place without public consultation, and by all appearances seems to be a low cost solution.

Early morning view
Early evening with contractors present

Fallsbrook Road end of the street

Of course this is to allow the contractors to make good the water leak that has followed from the burst main the other week at the end of Southcroft Road. But it highlights just how quickly action can be taken if there is the will. 

What must residents do to get improvements?

I’m left asking the question, just what is it that councillors on the committee need to hear from local residents in order to act? The reason given for recommending no action on Kettering Street was that no-one had been hurt in the previous 3 years. Does that mean that we need people to be hurt for action to be taken? When the Fishponds proposals went to consultation, the outcome (if you dug into the detail) confirmed that residents agree there is a problem, but not how to fix it. That was reason enough for the committee to agree to do nothing. 

People getting hurt on Upper Tooting Road as a result of collisions from drivers using the back roads as short cuts as yet are not deemed to be the council’s problem as Upper Tooting Road is managed by Transport for London. 

I’ve written to Cllr Cook and Cllr Kaddy as the relevant cabinet member and chair of the committee asking them to clarify what residents can do to improve their streets. I'll keep you posted with the responses I get. 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Inertia over the decades in Wandsworth

Whilst I really feel like progress is being made to create safer streets in Wandsworth, a spate of tweets the other evening highlights how it is the politics that really is the sticking point to taking action.

Yet, the councillors on the relevant committee feel like they are taking action asking for another strategy document to be drawn up instead of trialling temporary changes.

Plus ca change eh?

With problems such as:

Air pollution
Climate Change
Cost of living (associated with fuel costs)

Doing nothing really isn't an option. But it seems to fit perfectly well with our local councillors.

With a bit of luck, hopefully in the coming months we'll see TfL publish their proposals for both Balham High Road, and Tooting Town Centre. Both are listed on their Roads Modernisation Programme, and given the quality of work that is starting to appear, I'm optimistic that we could have equally high quality proposals for the local area.

If that is the case, then, I hope perhaps a few more people may be inclined to listen to the proposals that I, and others, have been advocating for over several decades now.