‘Bonkers’ proposal to close Seven Kings road thrown out by council committee

A “bonkers” proposal to close a Seven Kings road to traffic has been thrown out by a council committee.

Residents and church-goers turned out in force to an area committee seven meeting at Christchurch Primary School, Wellesley Road, Ilford, on Tuesday.

Councillors were considering a report into traffic management at the junction of Aldborough Road South, Meads Lane and St Johns Road.

It proposed closing off St Johns Road to traffic and inserting a mini-roundabout at the junction to improve traffic flow.

But Rev Jonathan Evens, from St John’s Church on the corner of the road, said the closure would make access almost impossible for both the church and busy community centre

He added: “Between 300 and 400 people from the church and community use St John’s in the course of most weeks.

“Many live locally but some travel from outside the area others need dial-a-ride buses to attend.

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“In addition, the church and centre need to be accessed by hearses for funerals and limousines for weddings.

“These proposals would restrict access and we believe it would have a huge impact on the church and community.”

Mark Kennedy, of the Seven Kings and Newbury Park Residents’ Association, also called for the plans to be dropped.

He said: “I just don’t believe it’s going to work.

“Closing off the road would be a big inconvenience for residents and could increase crime by stopping passing cars and making the road more secluded.”

Some residents and councillors recommended lights instead at the junction, where three people have been injured in accidents in the last three years.

Transport for London said it did not meet their requirements to install lights but councillors argued they reviewed the situation before the expansion of Aldborough E-ACT Free School and Downshall Primary School, which will increase traffic.

Cllr Ross Hatfull said: “I think it’s completely and utterly bonkers.

“I’ve looked at a lot of proposals and this is the worst one I have ever seen.”

Cllr Elaine Norman urged her fellow councillors to bypass a “farcical” consultation they believed would be opposed by all residents to throw the report out completely.

The committee unanimously rejected the report and will ask TfL to reconsider lights but the proposals will be considered again by area committee five.

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