Councillors call for review of Greenwich traffic measures

Greenwich Conservative Councillors have called for a review of new traffic measures implemented in the Royal Borough of Greenwich since March, to assess their impact on residents and businesses.

Councillor Matt Clare, Opposition Spokesperson for Transport, Environment and Climate Change, used a meeting of the Council's Highways committee to request that officers review the measures taken since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, many of which have been implemented without prior consultation.

Councillor Clare and Councillor Nigel Fletcher (Leader of the Opposition), have issued a statement in which they recognise the need for measures to encourage safer walking and cycling, but add:

"However, we are deeply concerned that in some cases a lack of consultation by Greenwich Council has resulted in some potentially very unpopular schemes being rushed through. Despite the current COVID-19 situation, it is wrong for the Council to implement traffic schemes without seeking the views of local residents or considering the potential impact on businesses.

"We are therefore calling on the council to review all traffic measures implemented since March on which there was no prior consultation. This should focus particularly on the use of “Experimental Traffic Orders.  Feedback on recent schemes from residents and businesses should be invited through online channels to reduce administrative burden, but this process should begin immediately, without waiting for the statutory consultation timetables."

The Chair of the Highways committee and other members agreed to the request for a report to be brought back to the next meeting of the Highways Committee. The Opposition Group will request that residents and businesses now be given the opportunity to provide their own feedback before then.

ENDS

Full statement by Councillors Clare and Fletcher:

"Greenwich Conservatives support measures which promote safe cycling and walking. Indeed we hosted a Zoom meeting for residents and local groups in May to exchange views on safer cycling routes. The output of this was fed into the council to assist in bids for safer cycling routes.

"However, we are deeply concerned that in some cases a lack of consultation by Greenwich Council has resulted in some potentially very unpopular schemes being rushed through. Despite the current COVID-19 situation, it is wrong for the Council to implement traffic schemes without seeking the views of local residents or considering the potential impact on businesses.

"We are therefore calling on the council to review all traffic measures implemented since March on which there was no prior consultation. This should focus particularly on the use of “Experimental Traffic Orders.  Feedback on recent schemes from residents and businesses should be invited through online channels to reduce administrative burden, but this process should begin immediately, without waiting for the statutory consultation timetables.

"In parallel there should be a report back to the Highways Committee on the impact of recent schemes on traffic flow and local businesses in the Borough.

"We all want to see increases in walking and cycling, and much cleaner air, but during the current situation many residents, including vulnerable people and key workers, remain reliant on travel by car. It is vital that traffic schemes strike the right balance and proceed with public support."