A Barkingside man who lives 20 seconds from his garage says the trip will soon take around 25 minutes thanks to Redbridge Council’s “Quiet Streets” trial.
The scheme, which aims to reduce traffic, pollution and accidents, is being trialled in Barkingside South and Cranbrook West from this week until roughly the end of the year.
The council is installing temporary barriers to direct traffic down main roads rather than residential side streets but will make adjustments based on feedback throughout the trial.
Andy Campbell, 46, of Veronique Gardens, says the council’s plans to put a barrier between his house and his garage is just one example of the scheme’s “poor design”.
A temporary barrier installed in a disabled bay (Andy Campbell)
He said: “The scheme is so poorly planned, it’s unbelievable. Everyone is absolutely opposed to it, I have not managed to find a single person who is for it.
“They are putting the planters literally in between the access gate to my garage and my house.
“At the moment I can take my car between my house and my garage and it takes me about 15-20 seconds. Now I will be forced to go on a 25-minute round trip.”
His garage, which he drives heavy items to regularly, is located in Ashurst Drive, the only road to be left open inside the trial for those driving either north or south.
Residents on Ashurst Drive speaking to Cllr Howard about the scheme on September 15 (Andy Campbell)
Mr Campbell added: “They’re sending all the traffic down a road that is very narrow and has a windy bend at the end, it’s completely inappropriate for that.
“I think the way the scheme is designed will make it easier for criminals. It will be easy for drug dealers on bikes to go through the barriers and police cars will not be able to follow them.
“I think residents would welcome consultation and proper problem-solving but this plan does not benefit us.”
Redbridge Conservative leader Linda Huggett (Monkhams) wrote an open letter to the council leader to “immediately halt” and “rethink” the scheme and “consult with residents”.
Read more: Redbridge Council to trial own ‘Mini-Holland’ after seeing it ‘does work’
In the letter, shared on social media, she wrote: “Whilst we at Redbridge all want to do what is right environmentally and deliver healthier, safer streets, it is vital that, before any scheme goes ahead, residents’ concerns are heard.
“Complaints regarding emergency vehicle access and traffic flows need to be investigated straightaway.”
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service on September 4, Cllr John Howard (Lab, Aldborough), cabinet member for civic pride, said emergency services would still be able to access all parts of the scheme.
He said: “All the roads in all the areas will still be accessible by car and residents who generally get around by car will still be able to do that.
“They will just have to change the last bit of the journey, it might take fractionally longer, perhaps another few minutes.”
He added that the council hopes to “create a nice environment for residents” so they do not “walk down the road feeling like they live on the motorway”.
On September 11, the London borough of Wandsworth decided to suspend similar trials due to concerns around emergency access and traffic flows.
Redbridge Council was contacted for comment on September 14 and has yet to respond.
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