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A small number of complaints arise about the #LiveableCrouchEnd road closure trial

The two week trial closure of Middle Lane and some other nearby roads is over now, but the grumbling is rumbling along.

So I think that now is the time for the project team, made up of

  • Haringey councillors, i.e. elected representatives, principally Cllr Kirsten Hearn,
  • Haringey officers, i.e. paid employees of the council and
  • External Consultants, i.e. hired hands brought in to provide expertise and to do the legwork, in this case from Project Centre 
  • TfL - who are holding the purse strings

to get their retaliation in.

So , I have written to Cllr Hearn (she seemed quite receptive to my previous note) as follows:

Dear Cllr Hearn


I think at least one of the aims of the Middle Lane closure trial was achieved. It certainly grasped people's attention.
Luckily I think there were only five complaints
  1. The trial was not well trailed  
  2. Traffic became more congested on the main roads
  3. Buses ran more slowly and unpredictably
  4. Some people were inconvenienced, well that was rather the point, but for those who are disabled or serve those needing care the matter is more serious
  5. Air pollution increased
I recommend that now is the time to deal with these complaints. I have seen a note from Cllr Jogee on Facebook which states that you plan to release the analysis of the data gathered in the week commencing December 9th. Good. At the last stakeholder meeting I asked for the results, and a further stakeholder meeting, before Christmas. Please can you begin the scheduling of the stakeholder meeting.
But you need to do more, sooner. Striking, as it were, while the irons are incandescent. 
The way in which I would deal with the complaints follows.
Complaint 1) is not true. Any civic minded Crouch End citizen could and should have known about it, though it may have come as a surprise to people in Hornsey, Stroud Green and that part of Muswell Hill affected. But do not even give the glimmer of a chance that this accusation can be levelled again.
On the web page setting out "What we are measuring" you have a number of bullet points. Prepare a press release giving a brief high level answer to each one, and set out why the answer is incomplete, until December 9th. And then:
  • Get this list of answers on the web page. 
  • Send it out to stakeholders. 
  • Ask the stakeholders to share with the members of the groups they represent. 
  • Send this list of answers to all the councillors in the affected wards and ask them to publicise them through Facebook or their email lists. 
  • Get it into the Ham and High, the Islington Gazette, Tottenham Independent and whatever other local papers still survive.
  • Use your contacts to get it into the Guardian
  • Get it into the print and online versions of the Haringey thing that goes out every month
Do not allow the opportunity for complaint number 1 to be repeated in the next phase.
All the other complaints appear to be valid and I am sure will be addressed in the designs. For public consumption you should at this stage sketch out how the feedback might affect your submission for gate 2 of the TfL funding process. Explain what gate 2 is. Set out when Gate 2 will be opened and what you will be submitting to it. Set out that the complaints will be addressed in that submission.
And I would do these things now, and discuss the process with your project board which I understand has been widened to include a councillor from one of the neighbouring wards.
Hope this helps.
I have had a reply

Thanks very much Adrian, this is very helpful, as always.

Best wishes,

Kirsten

What I can see has happened so far by way of follow up to the trial is:
  1. the consultation period has been extended - a very simple and constructive step, unless it has the effect of postponing the formal analysis of the results
  2. the trial page on the website has been shifted into the past tense - maybe more than that has been done, but I've not spotted it.
  3. the project board has been expanded to include a Hornsey councillor - probably little more than a gesture as the project board seems not actually to be managing the project

which is not enough. Obviously I think my suggestions are good ones, but there may be better ideas. I do hope they do something.

Wouldn't it be lovely if the release of the trial analysis coincided with a general election.


Tags: liveable crouch end, middle lane, trial

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