On 7 July, together with Councillor Susie Hicks (Hillside Ward), we met with key implementers of traffic decisions and policies from the Council. This was a most constructive meeting. We were given the opportunity to make our case for a scheme using ANPR technology to reduce non-local through traffic in our neighbourhood, and we received a sympathetic hearing. To summarise the main points discussed:

  • It was acknowledged that the solution proposed by our Group has been well-researched and is technically sound and would suit our neighbourhood. It does address the root cause of the problem that the growth in traffic in residential streets in London is largely caused by the increased use of sat-navs – something which is an issue for many London boroughs.
  • The way is now clear for traffic sensors to be installed in East Hillside, and Merton has now devised a solution to the problem of lampposts being too short in the Belvederes. Data will then be collected over a 12 month period so as to assess traffic patterns over different times of the year and avoid seasonality. So patience from all our neighbours is required while the data is gathered.
  • The Council has limited resources available for new spending, and its priorities, understandably, lie in other sectors (notably social and community services). Notwithstanding that, should the evidence gathered support our scheme, it is possible that our scheme could proceed if some funds could be identified. It was noted that the south Fulham scheme is self-financing.
  • But, fundamentally, our scheme could only be advanced if it is supported by the evidence – to be obtained by the traffic sensors. It was recognised and accepted by all present that policy must be evidence-based, and also that any project must have support from within the community.

Whilst there remains much work to be done, we regard this as a positive outcome to our discussions. We understand that public funds are scarce, and we wholeheartedly agree that the Council will require evidence on which to base policy.