First the ‘good’ news: The Chancellor’s November statement included an annual £700 million cuts to Transport for London (TfL). I quivered with fear thinking, that’s the dangerous gyratory redesign gone. But no! The £700 million annual cut is to the TfL operating budget not the upgrade budget. Rumours are that Mayor Boris agreed the cut in order to avoid cuts to the police service. The gyratory redesign is likely to be protected; we wait and see what the slash to our transport operating budget will bring.
Redesigning the god awful gyratory system that forces traffic into narrow, densely populated residential streets has been a no brainer ever since I’ve lived here – 26 years and counting. TfL have no sense of urgency however. So accidents, deaths from collisions and pollution, poor public health that hits our children and our elderly the hardest continue unabated whilst they tinker with the deckchairs. Eleven o’clock yesterday morning and yet another long vehicle attempts to navigate its way from York Way into Wharfdale Road:
It’s a joke. Wharfdale Road in Islington, like its sister roads Swinton and Acton Street in Camden, is not fit for traffic, pedestrians, cyclists, businesses or residents as it is. Someone needs to have strong words with TfL – yet again. Local folk have asked our politicians time and again to do this, and they have. But TfL wends its merry way taking its time whilst we all suffer day in and day out.
TfL have promised us consultation in February 2016. This is after their consultations started in 2011. Their most recent delay? Another bl**dy consultation this time in early 2017. What is going to take them an entire year? There is no reasonable excuse for this. We want the high level consultation we’ve been promised in Feb 2016 to be followed within four months with detailed plans for final consultation. And then we want works to start. Quickly.
So, here’s the thing… If we want to see TfL take us seriously we have to take action ourselves. Below is some sample text, copy it, edit it, write your own, do whatever but PLEASE email the Mayoral candidates NOW. Their email addresses are below. If you write your own, copy us in. If you get a reply forward it to us (email@example.com). We’ll keep everyone updated.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Lib Dem)
Draft text to play with
I am writing to ask what your position is on the desperately needed redesign of the King’s Cross traffic gyratory system. I live/work/study/visit King’s Cross and am concerned about safety for all road users, pollution in this densely populated area and lack of decent public realm.
Transport for London have been consulting on a redesign since 2011. They intend to consult on a high level proposal in February 2016 and on final details in 2017. They have changed these dates regularly. I have little confidence that they will stick to them. In any case, a year between high level and detailed consultation is far too long when this is an urgent issue. Accidents, deaths from collisions and pollution, poor health and the impact of poor public realm continue all the while TfL delays.
Further, TfL are working on their proposals very privately. This gives the public very little chance to have real input into the development of their designs.
Would you please reply to me with your position on the need for gyratory redesign and your thoughts on the timescale in which it should happen.