This is an online workshop on Tues 27th Oct 6 – 7.30pm.
The organiser is called Liveable Streets – Tower Hamlets. They say: “…we have set up a workshop to give groups and residents who may not have had the opportunity to comment on the plans an opportunity to do so.” As most people know plenty of people did comment on the plans before, but were ignored. By running it as a workshop, far from engaging with and listening to residents, this sounds like they’re trying to do the opposite (again).
As a requirement for getting Central Government cash to fund these schemes councils are required to consult properly. Many have not, and lay themselves open to legal challenge.
In Brighton, to get £663,000 from the Government, the council said: “It had consulted on the plans with bus operators, hauliers and local groups representing disabled people ‘as appropriate’.” The council is facing a legal challenge because it screwed up disabled parking along the seafront. It won central Government cash before it belatedly contacted disabled organisations, just before the work started. Part of the new seafront cycle lane has already been removed because buses were being re-routed when they were getting stuck in gridlocked traffic – freshly created elsewhere.
Maybe that’s what this is new workshop is about?
Last Tuesday The Times published an article on how the mayor of Athens pushed through a €50 million scheme during the lockdown to turn half of the central main roads in Athens into pedestrian walkways and cycle lanes. It’s illustrated with a picture of stationary traffic, emitting even more fumes than usual, next to an empty cycle lane.
The article by Anthee Carassave says: “Theory failed to meet practicality,” and that the project failed to take off, failed miserably and is now being called a fiasco. She said: “The debacle has exposed sloppy preparations and poor research … Experts and residents were not consulted, and no other plans considered.” The plans have been put on hold. Among the various things which outraged residents were the €5,500 cost of each bench along the route. And I’d guess the suspicion of who was benefitting from the profits.
Alan Tucker, Bow.