It is important to understand the system to know how best to be heard. 1984 Experimental Traffic Orders (ETO) allow local councils to ‘try first and consult later’ for traffic schemes, reinforced for COVID-19 purposes by a temporary Statutory Instrument in May 2020 (expiring April 2021). Also in May, TfL announced Streetspace funding for Councils. Out of the options available, Ealing’s cabinet chose to bid only for road closures, claiming local resident support from complaints about cut-through traffic (FOI requests have shown this to be 10 or less). The Ealing ETOs were brought into local law in August.
The funds for planters and bollards must be used by end Sept, and may be withdrawn by TfL if a scheme is unsuccessful. Therefore, the “trial” is already loaded, as the Council will not want to hear objections and lose its funding. It seems clear that opposition will be downplayed while support is exaggerated. We are already seeing councillors complying with an activist instruction manual for over-riding negative resident feedback.
We aim to shine a light on all of this, and make sure genuine residents’ views are heard fairly and representatively of Ealing’s diverse community. This will be a long process, and it is important that we are able to update you so that your voice can be heard in the right way at the right times, so please contact us.