Sutton’s Parking Strategy – How not to Consult

Well what a night! 

Democracy reared its head at the Council Meeting yesterday evening and the Liberal Democrat ruling group retreated into their normal defences of ignoring what didn’t agree with them and procedural nonsense which the majority of the hundreds of members of the public presents were not briefed on.

The meeting location was poor, there were not enough chairs, the sound system was poor, it was cold but, most importantly, there was no sense of inclusion for the public – no briefing and the Mayor, chairing the meeting, even had to be reminded from the floor of basic housekeeping announcements!

In Beddington North, we have become familiar with this public exclusion whether it be the Incinerator, pedestrian crossings, proposed development on Sheen Way  or the demolition of bungalows but this was a completely new departure – Parking in Sutton – the Liberal Democrat strategy for income generation, I mean parking.

The concept of this strategy was introduced last year at Local Committee where we were told that our local area – that is Wallington North, Wallington South, Beddington North and Beddington South – was last in the implementation queue.

But it is important that all households yet to join in this debacle, understand that when an envelope drops through your letterbox with a questionnaire, as residents in St Helier, the Wrythe and other northern wards have found out, it is less a questionnaire and more next steps in a process to lead you to tacit agreement with this flawed Parking Strategy – ignore it and they will claim you agree, complete it and they may still ignore you, but even they cannot ignore everybody – so please complete the document!

The nature of the questionnaire is such that any marketeer would reject it as leading the conclusion – question 5 asks the question “Do you think parking problems exist in your street?” – it offers a simplistic Yes, No or Undecided. No attempt is made to qualify the response aside from timing.

Yet question 8 offers prescriptive solutions that include Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ’s) then questions 9 and 10 refine detail on CPZ’s.  And in the overall results it comes as no surprise that the “most popular” solution with 50% of the respondents voting for it are CPZ’s!!

Look more carefully at the results and the table of “What time of day is it hardest to park in your street” – the highest numbers are in that bracket of between 18.00 and 23.59 when you are getting home from work.  Worst of all, and not unexpectedly in this early phase, is in the very centre of Sutton – the second worst? You are ahead of me, it is in current CPZ’s.

So CPZ’s are clearly not the universal solution.

When we get to Beddington North – it is blockages around rat runs (Collyer Avenue, Queenswood Avenue, Tharp Road and Beddington Grove) or where the Council’s own parking restrictions, for example in Beddington Lane and Richmond Road have a knock-on effect for residents in surrounding roads.

There is no single parking issue and definitely no “one size all” solution – and for us in Beddington North, it is counter intuitive for the ruling group to crow about the 21 new houses in Richmond Green, scheduled for Social Rental where they offer 39 parking spaces and then place constraints and further costs on the rest of us.

I think all of us would welcome a plan that delivers a cohesive strategy on public transport, traffic improvements and parking.  An avaricious glance over the Borough border at the London Borough of Merton’s reported £10 million surplus from imposing CPZ’s is not going to deliver it.

Listening properly to residents most probably will.

And for those who left last night’s proceedings when the waffling had ended on parking, you missed something that probably sums up the malaise that afflicts this whole process.

A Liberal Democrat Councillor put forward a motion about the funding formula for education.  Councillor Tim Crowley, Leader of the Opposition Group raised a point of order that an Amendment from his group had been rejected – his concern was that it concerned the truth and accuracy of the motion.  The Council’s Head of Governance confirmed the rejection and stated clearly that there was no requirement for the content of a motion to be true.

And there you have it, oh, and of course the motion passed with universal approval from the Ruling Group.

In Beddington North we will continue to seek out the opinions and ideas of residents, keep them informed and scrutinise every aspect of the Parking Strategy, the deteriorating air quality and other impositions from a ruling group whose self-interest appears to come before any other consideration.

Major Works at Ampere Way Could Affect You!

Maintenance work along Ampere Way – Tuesday 22 January to Friday 24 May 2019 If you live or work near to the tram line there is upcoming maintenance work taking place between the Therapia Lane and Ampere Way tram stops.

How this may affect you

Bus route 455 and local traffic will be subject to local road diversions.  Access to Franklin Way, Maxwell Close, Kelvin Gardens, and shops and business within Valley Retail and Leisure Park will be maintained at all times, however local roads may be busier than normal.

Parking will be suspended along Ampere Way, between Therapia Lane and Ampere Way tram stops for the duration of the works. Tram services and pedestrian walking routes are not affected.

Local road diversions

From Tuesday 22 January to Saturday 6 April, then from Monday 8 April to Friday 24 May 2019, Ampere Way will reduce to a single traffic lane, northbound only, between Franklin Way and Beddington Farm Road. Southbound traffic from Therapia Lane towards Valley Park and A23 Purley Way will be diverted via Beddington Farm Road. Diversion routes will be clearly signed.

Local road closures

From approximately midnight on Saturday 6 April until 6am on Monday 8 April 2019, Ampere Way will close to vehicles between Franklin Way and Beddington Farm Road. At this time all traffic will be directed via Beddington Farm Road, with diversion routes clearly signed.

Noisy works

Although every effort will be made to keep noise disruption to a minimum night-time works taking place on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 February and Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 April may generate disturbance between 8pm and 8am.

Why this work is required

A new retaining wall is being constructed to better support the slope of land between the tram line and the road. Recent inspections of the current road surface and the existing wall showed these to be in poor condition. By replacing the wall we aim to prevent further deterioration and help ensure the land remains safe for public use for the next 120 years.

Beddington North Major Scheme

TFL are working together with the London Borough of Sutton  to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum as improvement works continue in the Beddington area. This includes close coordination of any planned road closures in the area.

As part of the Beddington North scheme LB Sutton plan to install a new zebra crossing on Beddington Lane within Beddington Village, overnight, on Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 January 2019. Work will take place between 9pm and 5am. During this time Beddington Lane will be closed between A232 Croydon Road and Harrington Close, with signed diversions in place.

Find out more

If you have any questions or concerns about our work at Ampere Way, please contact TFL customer services team on 0343 222 1234* or email Contactus@tfl.gov.uk.

For the latest updates about works planned at Beddington, please visit: https://www.sutton.gov.uk/beddingtonmajorscheme

Happy New Year

Well 2019 started much as the last year ended – a mail box full of people concerned about the non-collection of waste and our local Liberal Democrats majoring on Brexit rather than local issues.

And of course, local Independent Councillor Nick Mattey fending off the seventh Code of Conduct Complaint made against him by a Liberal Democrat Councillor since his re-election in May!!

But we are continuing to voice resident concerns about the ward of Beddington North and still have questions that don’t seem to have adequate answers:

Sheen Way Playing Fields: we were told that the allocation of the sole area of Green Space on the High View Estate was following a careful search of alternative sites in the Borough.  It wasn’t – that search was for Primary and Secondary School sites and during the search a Task & Finish Group for the Local Plan, lead by Councillor McCoy, made the allocation.  We were told that surveys had been carried out, that there would be Public Consultation in October.

So, we start the year with surveys now to “properly locate the High Voltage cables” – having seen the precision of the placement of these cables when the inept demolition crews went through one on Richmond Green and it needed replacing, it is difficult to take this as a credible rationale for the work currently being undertaken.

We support SEN education and understand the wish to improve the facilities offered to the Borough’s SEN pupils. But putting them in a cul de sac backing onto a busy railway line and, without access to any form of public transport, sending 240+ pupils on mini-buses through congested streets and providing a 100-car carpark for support staff goes against every vestige of common sense.

We will continue to oppose the plan.

Plough Lane: potentially good news here!  We are told that there is possibly budget available for highway improvements close to the Broadway and the Plough pub.  Special focus has been drawn to the pedestrian crossing next to the junctions of Collyer Avenue and Queenswood Avenue.  I have spoken about concerns voiced by local residents to me, but there will be consultation on the matter so please make your voices heard if you have any thoughts or ideas.

Beddington Lane: Planning applications have been submitted by both SUEZ for incinerator fuel derived from waste at the old County Skips site and by Prologis for the site in front of the incinerator.

Both proposals have the effect of visual improvement of the individual sites BUT there are massive traffic implications on both.  We have asked Head of Planning to offer a cumulative perspective on the traffic issues on Beddington Lane given that in addition to the Incinerator ambition of 350,000 tonnes of waste, SUEZ have the ambition of treating the same volume – but of course where Viridor send theirs up the chimney, SUEZ will be sending theirs out again to go up someone else’s chimney!

And of course – Prologis are talking of “logistics” with their warehousing or, put another way lorries and vans.

Residents of this area need to look carefully and consider their opinions on these developments and commuters too – there are three northbound thoroughfares – Purley Way, Beddington Lane and London Road, Hackbridge – existing plans for Felnex, Prologis, SUEZ et al means that you may want to look at the train timetables!

No-one in Beddington North is unaffected by these issues and it is important that you get involved.  Two meetings coming up – very close together but please try to make at least one of them!

Beddington North Neighbourhood Forum – Monday 21st January at Cricket for Change, Plough Lane at 6.00pm – 8.30 pm meeting dedicated to the Neighbourhood Plan

Beddington & Wallington Local Committee – Tuesday 22nd January at Croygas Sports Club, Mollison Drive.

If you cannot make the Local Committee, please submit any questions in writing to localcommittees@sutton.gov.uk at least 5 working days before the meeting and they will respond!