Recorder letters: Quiet Streets, council meetings, masks and road safety

PUBLISHED: 12:30 11 October 2020

Hamilton Avenue is used as a rat-run. Picture: Google Streetview

Hamilton Avenue is used as a rat-run. Picture: Google Streetview


Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

We can lean to use our cars less

Melvyn Freake, Ilford, full address supplied, writes:

It’s a misuse of the word (and wrong) to say Quiet Streets is causing ‘chaos’ in Barkingside South.

It is causing confusion and generating a lot of hot air in a neighbourhood where sadly the paved front area for parking your car (often sticking out on to the pavement) has replaced the front garden.

Obviously drivers do need to adapt to learning different routes but that is hardly ‘havoc’.

The scheme is introduced as a trial although the Conservative Action Team (CAT) speak of permanent barriers.

It is not yet up and running because the barriers on Hamilton Avenue are going back to the planning committee next week.

I assume the intention then is to continue with a three month trial.

Unfortunately, many people seem to have made up their mind before the scheme is fully in operation.

I wasn’t invited to the CAT meeting though I live on one of the streets most affected. I did not return the survey because I thought the two questions were slanted to get a particular result rather than ask my view.

Consultation on these matters can be difficult, especially under lockdown. Surely we can have a better discussion once the scheme has had a trial period?

The traffic flow and air quality will, I assume, have been monitored and we can hear the individual stories of the effects of the changes. At that stage the scheme can be continued or dropped.

Or perhaps some bits will have worked, others could work with changes, and others need dropping.

We know we have dirty air in Redbridge; this may be one way to reduce it.

We know Hamilton Avenue is used as a rat-run, sometimes by speeding vehicles, sometimes by large vehicles; it’s not unusual to see vehicles having to wait to let others through, obviously with their engines running.

The roads were much pleasanter during the full lockdown and we may be able to learn lessons now about how to use our cars less.

We also know that last year our council unanimously declared a climate emergency and that we will all need to look at our lifestyles to see what we can do to put the brakes on climate warming.

Let’s put the brakes on some of our car journeys, get our children walking to school, and our car owners asking themselves ‘Is this car journey really necessary?’

Censorship of dissenting views

Bob Butterfield, Caroline Porter, Chris Roper and Andy Walker, c/o Blythswood Road, Ilford, writes:

Cllr Athwal’s claims of wanting to “engage with seldom-held voices” in the Recorder last week does not stand scrutiny.

Earlier this year we were part of a deputation to be heard at full council meeting against the proposed restrictions on public speaking.

However, this meeting was postponed due to the coronavirus and our deputation not heard.

Our deputation should have been heard on the night the restrictions went through, but our deputation was left off the agenda without explanation.

This censorship of dissenting views reveals what Cllr’s Athwal’s Labour is all about.

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Some are exempt from masks

An Ilford resident, full address supplied, writes:

I write regarding Mr Stanbury’s letter ‘Fine shops that allow maskless’.

The government’s own website clearly states: “In settings where face coverings are required in England, there are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face


“Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances, noting that some people are less able to wear face coverings, and that the reasons for this may not be visible to others.”

The legal exemptions for not wearing a face covering, quite rightly, support a multitude of age, health and disability reasons. An exemption card is available to print from the government website.

I’m shocked and astounded that the chairman of the Goodmayes Residents Association either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about these exemptions. Disgraceful.

Give Quiet Streets scheme a chance

Gill James, Wanstead, full address supplied, writes:

The residents of Barkingside should be patient and give the Quiet Streets scheme a chance.

Changing your lifestyle to be a little healthier by walking and cycling more requires time, imagination and effort.

The air quality in Redbridge is one of the poorest in London and we all want our children to grow up healthy.

The claims ‘that it is only a matter of time before a tragic accident occurs’ (Cllr Huggett, Recorder October 1), and that traffic backup resulting from the tragic accident in Cranbrook Road was caused by Quiet Streets planters (Cllr Clark) are absurd and disingenuous.

Go and see the successful Quiet Streets schemes in Waltham Forest and see how much nicer it is to enjoy a bit of quiet, fresh air and neighbourliness for a change.

We must make roads safer for all

Dr Alison Moore, Londonwide Assembly member, writes:

New government figures have shown that 100 Londoners were tragically killed or seriously injured in road accidents in Redbridge last year.

We should in no way accept this as an inevitable reality of living in a busy city.

As Londoners, we should be able to travel across the capital confidently and safely – whether it’s crossing the street, getting on our bikes or boarding a bus.

This is why Transport for London launched its Vision Zero Action Plan, to implement measures to eradicate all deaths and serious injuries from our roads within the next twenty years.

At the heart of the plan is making our city safer and more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.

We have seen this with the segregated Cycleways that have sprung up across London, the overhaul of dangerous junctions and roundabouts and the installation of more pedestrian crossing on busy roads.

With lockdown, the Streetspace scheme has also accelerated some of City Hall’s efforts to encourage Londoners to adopt greener ways to get around the capital.

However, with traffic steadily increasing, we all need to play our part by using our roads responsibly and attentively.

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