Forum Topics

Julian Bell fights back claiming LTNs were popular

Interesting article in the Guardian featuring 'analysis' from Julian Bell about the Mayoral election results and what they tell us about LTNs. He seems to be getting a very obvious dig in at Peter Mason as the Commonplace consultation system presented a very different picture. Although the central claim of the piece, that the LTNs were actually popular and a vote winner for Labour, is nonsense the analysis does raise some very interesting points. You can reach a definitive conclusion about the popularity of LTNs based on Mayoral results. People will have voted on a whole range of issues and, time and time again research has confirmed that national politics determines how a large proportion of people vote in local elections. The LTN wards were also the Remain supporting, predominantly middle class professional wards that did so well across the country for Labour so it is a huge leap to say the result was an endorsement of the former leader's policies particularly as he was actually implementing it in partnership with a Conservative government. However, it cannot be denied that there is no evidence of a significant swing away from Labour as a result of LTNs. While it can't be claimed that the results show that LTNs are popular it also is clear that they aren't the main issue most people in the borough are concerned about at the moment. The only firm conclusion these results can really bring us to is that it is wrong to be distracted by noise made by people on social media.

Gordon Southwell ● 106d56 Comments ● 64d

Looking for feedback on real estate project - Under Garden apartments built by Robots

Hello everyone,I am currently on an internship for a company that is looking to help solve a number of problems related to housing in London, many of which have been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic:(1) The availability and affordability of property for those looking to relocate closer to loved ones - made all the more pressing where they may have lost a partner as a result of the pandemic.(2) New ways in which people can release value to their homes without having to sell up.(3) Solutions which might work for those living in one of the many conservation areas in Dulwich and other parts of London.(4) Something that will appreciate in value - as opposed to that of garden buildings that will depreciate over timeThe company has come up with a way (excavation robots and a sinking concrete shell) to create living/working space underground allowing the vast majority of the garden to remain in use. They are starting off by building a self-contained under garden apartment with a sunken courtyard garden, providing natural light to the whole apartment. The apartment should work as a home for elderly parents or grown up kids that would be closer to loved ones and significantly less expensive than trying to buy a property off the open market.What do you think of this idea?What problems do you see or concerns do you have?Is it something that you or someone you know might be interested in?Thank you in advance.

Mira Markova ● 65d0 Comments ● 65d

Proposed Uxbridge Road Cycling Measures

I don't travel along this stretch of the Uxbridge Road regularly enough to comment on the proposals which are detailed on the front page with any great authority but the thinking behind them appears sound. It is certainly the case that if you are going to be delayed on this road it will be in the town centres and therefore it doesn't seem to be too unbelievable that the dual carriageways represent spare capacity that can be better used and there is a big win if cycling can be made safer and quicker. It was interesting to learn that 80% of trips along this road are made by bus — presumably this is on a per person basis. What that means is that these changes could go badly wrong if they have an undue impact on bus travel times. The council seem to be saying that the changes will be scrapped if bus travel times are affected 'significantly' but this is not defined. My concern is that the more zealous of the pro-cycling brigade have often tended to quote quite misleading data when it comes to bus travel times when it comes to the recent Streetspace measures. We've seen statistics for whole routes for the whole day and then been told that any delays were minimal. The key data is for travel times within the affected sector of the route during the busiest parts of the day. A five minute delay in rush hour might be evened out over the course of the whole route but that is irrelevant to a bus user who has already got off. On a 20 minute trip that's a 25% increase in travel time which will encourage modal shift. As anyone who has ever used a bus can tell you, relatively short delays can lead to buses becoming very overcrowded very quickly. If the changes make travel slower and less comfortable for 80% of the users of the route then they are going to switch to other modes of transport but not all will take up cycling and many will use cars. In this case you risk the situation entering a vicious cycle — pun not intended — in which more traffic leads to fewer people using the bus. To avoid this the council needs to accurately survey the opinions of bus users and drivers and treat the data honestly not cherry picking to present an argument for a pre-determined course of action.

Gordon Southwell ● 77d56 Comments ● 66d

Are Ealing, Hounslow and TfL conspiring?

Most LTN streets and former streets as well as distributor and main roads have been installed with basic road monitoring cables. installed by A-T-R Ltd of York St W1.However the nature or indeed the instigator of this survey seems to be rather clouded and so far to glean any information requires a Freedom of Information enquiry.  Enquiries to both LBH and LBE have so far resulted in no response whatsoever.All the installations in both Ealing and Brentford were at the same time.  But several streets in remaining LTNs that have had steep increases in local traffic levels just trying to get in and out of their neighbourhoods have been omitted.But it all points to TfL, who also do not wish to discuss " matters of internal confidential and commercial nature". Rather odd.However what kind of survey results will clickers get?South ealing Road still has road works causing disruption, currently additional resurfacing adding to that.Swyncome Avenue remains closed with no sign of the roadworks that would render it impassable in both directions.Windmill Roads 1 week closure now has signs saying 8 weeks at both locations.Several small streets like Trent Ave have had road closed signs with minuscule works which would never require closure. ROAD CLOSED signs all over South Ealing placed where there are no closure and incorrect as it's only from 8pm but causing all manner to traffic to deviate unnecessarily.Areas where road works are causing excessive and extensive delays and exacerbated by LTN blockades not having them temporarily removed to allow even local resident access.Yet the very reason for the removal of LTN 21 was for that very problem.It's either monumental incompetence by Highways executives or is it a deliberate bit of gerrymandering to create a false picture and maximise traffic problems?Either way with all this created disruption, it's simply not going to make any survey have and credibility or valid illustration.So have these authorities, smarting from the backlash now resorting to subversive tactics and collusion?

Raymond Havelock ● 95d2 Comments ● 93d

Mass vaccination at Twickenham Stadium tomorrow

On Bank Holiday Monday, Twickenham Rugby Stadium will be turned into the biggest vaccination venue so far in North West London, covering residents of Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow, Kensington & Chelsea and WestminsterUp to 15,000 vaccinations ready to be administered on the day both appointments and walk ins availableThis vaccination event, Let’s Tackle Covid, will give eligible residents (age 30+) the opportunity to have their first dose of the vaccination without delay. This is in response to an increase in the number of cases of coronavirus in the areaThe event will take place from 10am to 8pm on Monday 31 May at Twickenham StadiumAccording to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital who are organising the event the Pfizer vaccine will be used. For first dose only. It will take place in the open air but under coverIf you have one, remember to bring your NHS number with you. This makes registration faster if you have itSome car parking spaces are available at Rosebine Car Park (entry via A316/Chertsey Road).Disabled parking bays and pickup/drop-off points are located at Twickenham Stadium (entry via Rugby Road)Register for an appointment here: full story:

Angie Gray ● 108d2 Comments ● 107d

Ealing Labour group imploding?

I’ve heard that a Labour Councillor, Lewis Cox, Hobbayne, resigned last night & his resignation statement doesnt make good reading, this was from another page: It’s now just over three years since I was elected a Labour councillor by the residents of Hobbayne ward. I remember that election night well. It was a huge moment of personal pride for me that the people of the community where I live would put their trust in me to look after their interests. It was also a surprise. There’s still a very real sense that people like me don’t get elected as councillors – that they don’t get elected to very much, really. But back in 2017, when I was first selected as a candidate, there was a real sense of change in the Labour Party. A sense of hope. It became possible to believe that a working-class lad from Yorkshire, working shifts as cabin crew for an airline at Heathrow might not only be able to get elected but might have a voice and something to add within the Ealing Labour Group and Council, which would make a difference and help improve people’s lives.Of course, it wasn’t all plain sailing. The establishment of the Labour Party locally (people who were leaders then and are leaders now) threw every possible obstacle they could find in the way to prevent me – and members like me – from becoming candidates, let alone councillors. I will admit, it made my victory twice as sweet when I managed to dodge those obstacles and, despite not being wanted, getting myself elected as a Labour councillor in Ealing.The only benefit to that, as far as I can tell was that it allowed me to join Labour Group with eyes wide open – to know that I’d be met with disinterest, if not open hostility, and that I’d be forever consigned to the back benches, at least until the time that I promised my vote to a candidate for Labour Group leader who did not deserve it. For ours is not a system of meritocracy, where the most qualified or most experienced are put in the Cabinet or gifted roles with responsibility-so that we might best serve the interests of residents. No – it was when I joined, and remains tonight, a system very much based on patronage, back-room deals and cronyism.I’m afraid that has very much been my experience of these past three years. Nonetheless, for much of it I have got my head down and done the work required of a ward councillor – looking after the needs of Hobbayne residents. I have tried, when I can, to challenge decisions I think are wrong and to hold the Labour Group leadership and its appointees to account. I have hoped for a time when the situation might change, when we could have a fresh leadership and be better – and do better- than we have for years. Ealing Labour is increasingly a toxic brand. Something had to change. However, not all change is good. That is a realisation that I have come to. And one which I fear the residents of Ealing are about to realise.A week ago, at Labour Group AGM, I was faced with a choice that was really no choice at all. To vote as our leader a person that had done untold damage to the reputation of Ealing Labour for year after year, or to vote for his apprentice – effectively for a person who was no less implicated in many of the bad decisions that have turned residents against us and, worse still, who played a key role in widening the divisions in the Labour Party for factional ends. Members will understand why, in the end, I voted for neither.I’ve spent a lot of time thinking this past week – about my decision but also about the outcome of that vote and what it will mean for Ealing Labour and Ealing Council – none of it good. I’ve reflected too on the bitter disappointment I feel with regard to my fellow councillors – those who didn’t take a principled stand, look at what we were being offered as a choice for Labour Group leader, and see and say ‘No, it’s simply not good enough’. Instead, I see many of those councillors tonight getting rewarded with positions and special responsibility allowances having gifted their vote. Different faces, for sure, but the same old cynical and self-serving practices as before.The easy option for me now, of course, would be to spend the next 12 months sitting quietly on the back benches while continuing to claim my councillors allowance - but for those of you who know me, know that sitting quietly isn’t one of my strengths. I also think it’s about time that one of us was honest with the people we were elected to represent. By continuing to serve under Cllr Mason- I would effectively be endorsing him and his toxic brand of politics and that is not something I am willing to do - so tonight I am informing you that I no longer feel able to serve as a Ealing Labour councillor and will be resigning as a councillor with immediate effect.I don’t regret the decision I am making, but I do regret the causes of it – that when we were presented with the opportunity to pick a new and better leader for Ealing Labour, to improve our performance and our electoral prospects, that we were unable as individuals or as a group to replace the bad with anything better.--ends--

N V Brooks ● 120d17 Comments ● 119d

Urgent Rethink Needed onEaling's Neighbourhood Recycling Bins To Be Removed

Big story that will sort out the pseuds among the local councilors. I think it does not come out much more hyper local than this and our green councillors should be jumping up and down to protect their local ahre of the recycling bins in their wards. No action to save them should be seem to translate into no vote in ward elections.Rather than eradicating these bins due to perceived deficiencies in dumping perhpas a consultation period with an independent consultancy to see how the recycling could be got to work.The first of the problems is that of litter bins. Take the Maytrees Rest Garden in South Ealing opposite the tube station, the bins were ALL taken away with the rational (much supported, and endorsed by Philippa Bond) of providing mixed use single bin recycling units which she advocated for the litter instead. Sadly, the point she missed was that most of what the litter bins in the parked received would get you a fine as the recycling bins only deal with specific categories of recyclable waste. So while the cardboard of a Costa Cup is recyclable, the lid is not IN EALING as it is not the right sort of plastic. The same with other LDPE plastic like plastic bags, food wrappers, and even ice lolly sticks. This results in polluted recycling which costs extra to sort and where the lollipop stick is dumping and a fineable offence. Ealing does not recycle LDPE plastic, hard plastic like PVC, polystyrene, plastic bags, and anything black and made out of plastic because the sorting machines cannot identify black plastic objects and process them.The answer to me seems to be to put more bins out there in bigger groups, however, with greater focus , e.g. carpet, mattresses, metal, wood, glass, cardbard, LDPE, HDPE, hard plastic, paper, electricals, engine oil, cooking oil, clothes, shoes and the like. Have something that produces some practical results and also deploy litter bins in parks like the Maytrees Rest Garden - the litter has to go SOMEWHERE after all!

Victor Helm ● 122d1 Comments ● 121d