Question from Lady Emma Hill-Wood, Resident
“Please can you answer the reasons factually as to why you are not re-opening Harwood Terrace with immediate effect?”
Answer from Councillor Wesley Harcourt, Cabinet Member for the Environment
“In answer to your question, as you may know, the Council was asked by the residents of Harwood Terrace to look at the traffic situation and close their road due to the large amounts of traffic that were using Harwood Terrace, Waterford Road and Edith Row as a cut-through and there had been a number of traffic accidents.
And one of the things that really got to me when I was down there talking to residents was when I spoke to one woman who told me that she was eight months pregnant and a car was taking its time to get through the width restriction so somebody decided to go up the other side of the road, knocked her over - she ended up with a detached placenta, nearly lost her baby - the pair of them were in intensive care and luckily they have now recovered. I cannot have accidents like that happening. So those are the reasons behind it.
At the same time - it’s a temporary closure, an experiment lasting possibly up to six months only. We are not doing eighteen months, we are doing six months. That’s what it says here, it’s said everywhere else so there’s no question mark about that one.
The Council has been gathering evidence about the closure, about the traffic, not just at Bagley’s Lane - and we’re going to be doing work about how people have changed their routes across other areas. But the volume of traffic has settled down as I’m sure you’re aware.
Now we’ve almost finished gathering the evidence that we need and as I said before, and said to previous questioners, I’ll say it again, time and time again - that I will share that information and make sure it is shared with the public through our publicly accessible Policy and Accountability Committee. And that will be used to develop a way forward that works for the whole area in that neighbourhood.”
“In terms of the local roads, the other roads impacted - you obviously know that the measures introduced on Harwood Terrace in both 2001 and 2006 were both extremely effective in reducing the speed of traffic and volume. What are you going to be doing to the other local streets that are impacted to such a degree daily?
Answer to the supplementary question
“As I said, we are looking at where those issues are - where those streets are the ones which are badly affected. And I’ve tasked officers with going away and looking at what mitigating issues can be done to try and solve that. The whole purpose of this is safety issues. We’ve heard it from cyclists and many of you will have seen the amount of issues that have been raised on Twitter and elsewhere by the cyclists saying how much safer they feel since the closure. The purpose of this is safety as much as anything else. So we will be looking at the whole area.”