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The council leader ignored legitimate concerns over plans to close Judd Street

05 July, 2018

Council leader Georgia Gould

• ON Wednesday June 27, along with a small group of local residents, I had the misfortune to witness our council leader, Georgia Gould riding roughshod over the legitimate concerns and well articulated objections to hasty and poorly thought through plans to close Judd Street to all traffic except cycles.

The council’s three traffic management officers made a wholly unconvincing case for closure and, in attempting to justify it with the spurious claim that pedestrian crossing safety on Euston Road would be improved as a result, resorted to a blatant untruth.

The officers’ use of this sop only served to reveal the professional paucity of their politically motivated proposals.

In response to one deputation’s description of his ridiculously tortuous alternative access route into and out of the affected area, a problem that will be repeated for several thousand other residents on a daily basis, as well as increasing existing traffic congestion and pollution on Euston Road, there was silence.

Except, that the officers said that “they would consider opening up Mabledon Place to allow local traffic to make left and right exits on-to Euston Road”. This answer exposed the full depth of the incompetence.

Firstly, their ad hoc afterthought completely missed, or ducked, the ingress problem for residents, and secondly, to do so would only create and encourage an increase in through traffic onto unsuitable Bloomsbury residential streets “rat-running” onto the Euston arterial road.

This is elementary stuff that in its oversight exposes the blindness to their own culpability, which even Transport for London have recently begun to recognise and acknowledge.

We have serious traffic and pollution problems in our area that are of our own making. They can be reversed if we own up to previous mistakes and suffer the ensuing political embarrassments. Until we are prepared to do so, there needs to be a moratorium on this plan, and others like it.

I invite you to intervene in the Judd Street closure now, with a view to kick-starting a new approach to traffic management that exploits the widely avail­able technology of dynamic satellite naviga­tion, rather than being constantly defeated by it.

Thanet Street, WC1


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