This evening I asked a number of very important questions at Cabinet, concerning the Crystal Palace and South Norwood LTN consultation report, and Scrutiny Committee Call questions, including Cabinet’s position on future proposed LTN schemes being installed across the borough.
I asked the following questions to the cabinet member responsible, Cllr Muhammed Ali:
"I have a number of concerns with the nature of data used in the report, car traffic survey, data was gathered between May-August 2020, in the middle of a pandemic.
Clearly this will create irregular traffic patterns linked with the pandemic restrictions nationally.
How can this be deemed as a reliable source of local traffic data? Where is the evidence and baselines for comparative data that shows the Croydon LTNs have improved local air quality, instead of simply dispersing traffic to nearby roads?
How can you mitigate the clear problems that were pushed on to the surrounding roads in Crystal Palace?
I am concerned at the reliability of Business feedback noted in the report from the Norwood triangle last year, Only 47 out of 300 replied, and some not accepted because the wrong “Code” was submitted.
Were all 300 businesses open for businesses when consulted? And are you certain this was a true representation of feedback received as a result?!
Business more than ever needs our support, hindering trade recovery with increased and for many a negative reason not to visit the area and support our local businesses.
Lastly, I find it disingenuous that the consultation report stated that an estimated 25% responding rate is not a full enough representative of the community in the consultation. However, councillors in local elections are often elected on a similar percentage of the electorate.
Steve Reed, Labour MP for Croydon North, agrees with this viewpoint as well, as he stated in the letter included within the report.
However, 62% of those who responded were against any LTN scheme in the local area and wanted them scrapped completely.
Why are cabinet pushing ahead with the new LTN (TRO) scheme, when there is a very clear and high level of opposition to the previous LTN scheme in Crystal Palace and South Norwood, together with the lack of environmental evidence proving that local air quality improved with the implementation of the LTN schemes?
Instead of answering my valid questions, Cllr Ali instead decided he would patronise me, insinuating I did not read the report, or understood my brief! This is the typical poor performance from this failing labour Council, instead of being transparent and honest, they hurl insults at whoever challenges their viewpoint, no matter how deluded or poor it is.
Cllr Ali insisted that all my concerns and questions were already answered within the report and previous papers, and that he would be "happy to send me the links" of said papers. I have emailed Cllr Ali and requested the reports and data he insists have already been clarified to be provided to me.
Key part of setting the Climate Emergency Strategy in Croydon, was to provide transparent, relevant data, and evidence to provide stakeholders and the community the required information to assess the Council's performance concerning climate targets and actions.
Labour's environmental strategy it seems, is to hit the poorest in our borough by stealth tax, issuing fines using ANPR cameras, instead of genuinely listening to the concerns raised within the community, encouraging wider support at this crucial stage for our environment going forward.
Only time will tell if I am ever given this information, I will not hold my breath though!
Croydon deserves better!