Why the Fernleigh Road Quieter Neighbourhood Statutory Consultation should be declared null & void
An open letter from a Fernleigh Road resident to Cllr Daniel Anderson on why the Fernleigh Road Statutory consultation should be withdrawn.
Dear Mr Anderson,
I refer to my earlier email below. I am writing to you again following the meeting of Fernleigh Road and Woodberry Avenue residents last week and to reiterate my earlier points.
The overall conclusion of the meeting was that the consultation, which closed on Sunday, has not been properly communicated to residents , is ill conceived, does not explore all available solutions to the overall traffic problem (including adjustments to Green Lanes) and therefore should be withdrawn. A revised consultation, incorporating the comments from the first consultation should take place once the local election outcome is known.
Our reasons are set out below:
1. Many residents did not receive the leaflet notifying them of the consultation and if they did, it did not boldly state that it was statutory. The document was very similar to the consultation document sent out last year and therefore confusing for those people who received it . More importantly, given the failed postal communication, many residents who have no internet access have not had enough time to view the proposals and respond.
2. Aspects of the consultation do not follow the Council's own consultation protocols as set out in the Engagement Framework document.
3. The range of questions (sections 6-10) of the consultation are too narrow to allow residents to properly express their views and allow the Council to reach a complete and rounded solution to the traffic problems affecting the whole area, including consideration of adjustments to Green Lanes, which may alleviate the need for traffic calming measures on adjacent roads (see below).
4. To date there has been no confirmation that the comments made in section 11 of the current consultation, and those made in the pre-Christmas consultation, will be considered and given equal weight to the answers to questions 6-10. If this is not done residents' views will not have been fully canvassed. It is unclear whether or not all responses to both consultations would be fully included prior to any decision making.
5. In particular, with regard to Fernleigh Road, we would generally support the need for 20mph traffic calming but would request that instead of the proposed speed hump/cushion just east of Haslemere Road, either a speed table or speed bumps are placed at the junction with Haslemere Road. There is currently nothing in Fernleigh Road to indicate the T junction. Installing a speed table at the junction of Fernleigh Road and Haslemere Road would slow traffic at this dangerous junction coming from both ends of the road and remove the need for a modified speed hump/cushion to the east of Haselmere Road. If speed humps or cushions are needed elsewhere, they should be placed in both sections of the road (top and bottom) – the most obvious location would be mid-way between each end of the road and the junction with Haselmere. In addition, no consideration appears to have been given to installing speed warning signs or cameras.
6. The solution to the traffic problems in Winchmore Hill needs to be a complete holistic solution and should include consideration of adjustments to Green Lanes. By the Council's own admission it is the changes to the configuration of the A105 that has necessitated the Quieter Neighbourhoods initiative in our area. The options presented do not include more effective measures such as:-
(i) Replacing the traffic lights on Green Lanes outside Sainsbury's and at the foot of Station Road with mini roundabouts or adjusting the phasing to improve traffic flows thus reducing traffic jams and the pollution caused.
(ii) Recessing bus stops on Green Lanes so that the road is not blocked
(iii) Cats eyes at raised and uneven surfaces that the cycle lane scheme introduced so that they are visible to pedestrians and cars .
Changes to Green Lanes should be considered as this may reduce the need for traffic calming measures elsewhere. If, for no other reason, changes to Green Lanes should be implemented in order to address the increased levels of pollution which we are all being subjected to due to the traffic congestion. In particular for those residents living close to the main road. Has there been any air quality measurements or any environmental impact analysis carried out for Green Lanes since the introduction of the cycle lanes scheme?
In summary given the flawed consultation process ; the potential that other, more effective, traffic calming measures have not been considered ; the impact of the traffic calming on many local households and the looming local elections, the consultation should be postponed and revisited after the election once the opportunity has been taken to improve the process.
Most importantly, the issues which we have raised regarding Green Lanes should be addressed first and without delay. Traffic calming measures on adjacent roads should not be implemented until the effectiveness of changes to Green Lanes have been assessed.
I trust that you will give proper consideration to my and other people's comments.
A Fernleigh Road resident (Name withheld from publication)