Question from Alexandra Jarvis, Resident
"The closure of Harwood Terrace has greatly improved the poor quality of life of the residents living in this small residential street, which prior to the closure was dealing with 30,000 cars a week in each direction. Could the Council Cabinet Member for the Environment please assure the residents of our street that he will continue to support the road not being used as a rat-run?”
Answer from Councillor Wesley Harcourt, Cabinet Member for the Environment
“Thank you Ms Jarvis for that. You know, you’ve heard a lot of what people are saying tonight but you haven’t actually listened to what you’ve just been saying. 30,000 vehicles a week in each direction. That’s incredible for a street where there’s barely room to get two cars to pass each other in. It’s unbelievable. It’s a purely residential street, it’s not a main road. It’s not like Imperial Road which is quite wide.
As I’ve said, I want to support you to find a way out of this particular problem. I appreciate what everybody else is saying but I do need to listen to what everybody else is saying and the problems they are having as well.
We have written to Chelsea Harbour and asked them whether they would consider opening that road - haven’t got a reply yet. So that is being done as well. But I think it is important to make it absolutely clear that whatever is said and done, with the outcome of all these traffic surveys that we’re going to be doing, that Harwood Terrace is considered and made sure that it continues to be a safe and healthy street to live in. It fits our plans for reducing traffic in the area. It fits the London Mayor’s plans to reduce traffic. It fits the policies around healthy streets. So all of those things are important to make sure you maintain a good quality of life and I will continue to do that.”
“Is it LBHF’s policy to sanction the reuse of Harwood Terrace as a rat-run to encourage the avoidance of main roads and traffic lights, thereby risking the safety and lives of cyclists and pedestrians of all ages in the future?”
Answer to the supplementary question
“I’m somewhat lost for words at the moment. I’ve always tried to listen to both sides of any argument. I’ve always tried to do things with residents.
It’s always a good thing to try and do that in an objective manner and listening to each other. This level of interruption and haranguing is something that doesn’t get anybody anywhere.
Yes we will look at this and no it is not our policy to have any further accidents. That is the last thing we want in this borough. We are trying to reduce accidents to nil. We will be meeting with TfL any day now to discuss their Vision Zero - i.e. no accidents on London’s roads by 2030. And that’s exactly what we are aiming to do.”