Camden’s proposals for major changes in traffic arrangements in our area.

Members will know that Camden have made proposals for major changes to the traffic arrangements in our area. Details of the proposals and the opportunity to give our views are available at Holmes Road Area Safe and Healthy Streets Consultation – We Are Camden – Citizen Space

Members will also know that by the long standing agreed protocol, IARA does not make comments unless we have a clear mandate.  However members’ views are very mixed about the proposals. So we have simply broadcast the issue and encouraged people to complete the consultation.

However, we have heard the general concerns expressed by members about the consultation process; in particular the very limited time – three weeks – allowed for responses to the significant and complex new proposals – which are over and above the simple issue of confirming the current arrangements for the safer schools street in Holmes Road.   

So, at the request of members, we have raised that issue with Camden. We also flagged up two matters which have had general support.

In order that members can see what we have been doing, this is a record of communications between IARA and Camden:  

On 24 September 2023 18:29 we wrote to Jon Legge, the officer we had been dealing with on the project. We copied in our local councillors. 

Dear Jon 

Since we received the leaflet about the consultation the residents association has been involved in a positive WhatsApp whirlwind of comments and questions about the scheme. 

We have encouraged our members to respond individually to the consultation and, as you know, we will not respond as an association as views are very diverse. 

There are however some emerging themes.  One big concern is the possible impact of the proposals on Grafton Road and Ryland Road. 

Another concern, pretty universally expressed, is the idea of removing the bollards at the Raglan Street end of the alleyway everyone knows as Figtree Walk. These prevent speeding cycles and even motor bikes, and are also listed as of importance in the Conservation Area statement.  No-one really understands why the proposal is there. 

The deadline for responses is very tight, and does not give people the chance to have answers to some of their questions before they make up their minds about some aspects of the scheme. 

We are therefore writing to request two things: 

  1.  That the deadline is moved back by at least a month  
  2.  That you, or a colleague, come to a meeting where some of these questions can be answered. We appreciate that this is a big ask – but this is a very big issue for the whole area.   

We are holding our Annual General Meeting on the evening of Thursday 26 October at CFBL in Holmes Road and it would be ideal if you could attend the early part of the meeting.  The start time is currently 7 pm, but if you are available we will ask the school if we can start earlier, at 6 or 6.30.  If you cannot make this date, then please could you suggest when and where you could meet us? 

Best wishes 

Debby 

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We got the reply:  

“I have now left Camden. This inbox is not monitored.” 

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Meric Apak, our Local Councillor, forwarded the email to Richard Bradbury, Director of Environment and Sustainability. 

On 25 September 2023 07:52 Richard Bradbury replied: 

“Meric  

Thanks for sending this through.  It was originally sent through to the team dealing with the scheme consultation and will be dealt with through the consultation process. 

 Thanks again  

Richard.–  
Richard Bradbury  
Director of Environment and Sustainability  “

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On Thursday, September 28, 2023 2:24 pm we wrote: 

Dear consultation team 

We are concerned that we have to date received no reply to our email, below. [of 24 September 2023 18:29] 

Given that as things stand there is a tight deadline for responses, it has become urgent for us to know whether this will be extended and whether one of your team will be able to attend our meeting on the evening of Thursday 26 October – or at another time if this is not possible.   

Please be aware that the email below is not a response to the consultation, but a specific request to enable residents to make properly informed responses. 

We look forward to hearing from you very soon. 

Debby Hyams 

_______________________________________  __________________________ 

 28 September 2023 22:00 they replied:

Dear Debby, 

Thank you for getting in touch.  

A three-week consultation for a scheme of this scale is in line with the Councils approved consultation processes and it is not possible to extend by a month (to a seven week consultation period) as requested. This current three-week consultation comes after an initial public consultation on the trial scheme in Dec 21/Jan 22 and following this a trial period of the scheme from May 22 until May 2023; during this trial period residents were able to provide feedback on the trial scheme. The scheme currently under consultation is seeking views on making the trial changes permanent and additionally also seeking views on some new proposals that have been developed based on feedback from the local community and the data that was collected during the trial period.   

Points like the one made below on the bollard on Figtree Walk, should be made via the consultation weblink, will be considered and assessed. These are valuable comments in the consultation process.   

  

We appreciate that you have outlined to the Inkerman Area Residents Association that members should respond individually to the consultation.  

We are keen for residents to respond on the consultation weblink and as outlined on the mail out.   

Kind regards,  

Safe Travel 

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Friday, September 29, 2023 1:03 pm, again copying in Meric Apak, we wrote:  

Dear Karl Brierley and Safer Streets Team  

We are replying to your email of yesterday, below. 

We are not making comments on the specific details of the proposals. We are commenting on and extremely disappointed about your response in terms of the consultation process. 

The way you have described this is misleading. You say that the current three-week consultation comes after the initial public consultation and the trial period during which time residents were able to provide feedback. You go on to say that the scheme currently under consultation is seeking views on making the trial changes permanent.  That we can accept. 

Your next sentence says “…. and additionally also seeking views on some new proposals that have been developed…”  

That is to understate the significance of these new proposals. They are in fact more radical and will have a greater impact on the area than the original trial scheme.  

You seem to be rolling up consultation on the first aspect, making the changes permanent, with the second aspect, the new proposals. This is simply not legitimate. The new proposals should be the subject of a proper consultation process which respects the radical nature of the proposals. 

You are therefore effectively only giving a three week period for consultation on what are major changes.  We cannot believe that this is genuinely in the spirit of the council’s approved consultation processes. 

We appreciate the extreme staffing stress that Camden is under and we note that an important figure in the formulation of the scheme, Jon Legge, has left Camden but we are also disappointed that you do not even mention the request that we have a meeting prior to the conclusion of the consultation period with the necessary extension. 

Best wishes 

Debby Hyams 

Chair of IARA 

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Meric Apak has taken up the issue with Adam Harrison,  

Yesterday, 06 October 2023 15:5, he informed us

“I have had a telephone conversation with Adam and forwarded your email of 29 September which you sent to Karl and the team, which pretty much captures your concerns and disappointment which I have tried to convey.

I told him we should at the very least offer a meeting even if it is after the closing of the consultation, to give officers an opportunity to explain their perspectives, and vice versa.

Meric “

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We have not heard further. 

Therefore the deadline for responses ends tomorrow, Sunday. 

https://consultations.wearecamden.org/supporting-communities/holmesroadhealthyschoolstreet/

Best wishes

D&D 

Inkerman Area Residents Association Limited
Registered in England No. 10075818 Registered Office: 31 Alma Street, London, NW5 3DH

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