CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Why a lack of action on Chetwynd Road?

07 October, 2021

Chetwynd Road

• AS a resident of Chetwynd Road for 35 years, I would like to tell your readers why I believe doing nothing, as is the case now, ought not to be an option, (Anti-traffic measures set for ‘trial’ in 2022, September 16).

Legislation to improve the safety of motor vehicles has had the result of increasing the average width of vehicles by 17 per cent over the past 20 years.

At the time of the last local election a public meeting was held in Chetwynd Road to discuss the traffic problem. The published figure for increase in width of vehicles was 16 per cent at that time. The trend to larger motor vehicles continues.

Why this matters is that the finite space in Chetwynd Road with larger vehicles forcing themselves through has increased the amount of damage to residents’ parked vehicles.

This in spite of already having given up a large part of the pavement to facilitate the 30-year-old scheme. Unsurprisingly anger at the inaction of the local authority has increased as the damage is stressful and expensive.

After the public meeting referred to above three feasible proposals were worked up by Camden and put out for consultation. Hopes of improvement were raised.

All three were vetoed, we are told, by residents in neighbouring roads. Since then nothing has happened in spite of many complaints from residents of Chetwynd Road about the conditions forced on them.

It is impossible to live here and experience this for long without coming to the conclusion that change to the circumstances on Chetwynd Road is being actively resisted both by the authorities and residents of neighbouring roads.

This is understandable from those who perceive personal benefit from the status quo. It is hard to justify the difficulty the council have in accepting the reality of the situation and why they seem unable to do anything to alleviate it.

Through-traffic on Dartmouth Park Hill / Fortess Road and Highgate Road ought not to be allowed to rat-run through any of the turnings into residential roads but travel to Fortess Walk, which links the two routes, avoiding all residential roads.

Other London authorities have been making good progress, particularly since the pandemic, working towards safer streets by blocking rat-runs. This makes for longer journeys for motorists, but the improvements for residents are real with less damaging pollution.

Chetwynd Road, in spite of well known problems, has seen no move towards improvement. There are vague, unspecified, indications of future action but having lived with this issue for many years I can’t help but think this is an expedient to get the authorities past the next local elections.

What is stopping the local authority taking action and how much longer will they keep their finger in the dyke?

JANE HOADLEY, NW5

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