Last night 250 local people gathered at the Hobbayne Centre to hear Christopher Dean, TfL’s project manager for the tram project, explain the details of their proposal to turn the current one-way sections of Boston and Lower Boston Road in Hanwell back to two-way. Only Christopher Dean was apparently ordered by his boss not to turn up so he pulled out yesterday afternoon. The faceless TfL man, no doubt one of the 76 TfL employees who earns more than £100K a year, cited the fact that the meeting had been “hijacked” by council leader Jason Stacey and that the press had been invited. Didums.
TfL need to know the following information about this meeting:
- 250 local people turned up
- the only “outsiders” present were the council leader, leader of the opposition, Gazette journalist Steve Still, local councillors Costello (Hobbayne), Clements-Elliott (Elthorne) and Taylor (Northfield). Maybe Cllr Elliott (Northolt West End) was an outsider, true, but perhaps we can forgive him for keeping his wife company
- the meeting focussed entirely on this road scheme, not on the generalities of the tram
- the only person who tried to generalise it was a pro-tram parent governor from the local school who confirmed that the school had not been consulted
- when a show of hands was asked for on this proposal it was unanimously rejected by those present.
The consultation document for this proposal is shockingly bad, see picture below.
The document had a few pictures and less than 100 words to explain the scheme. It did not explain how the junction at the southern end of the scheme will work nor discuss the relative costs and benefits of the scheme. It contained no facts by which to judge the proposal beyond this pathetic assertion:
The tram would change traffic flows along its route. To enable traffic and trams to flow well along the Uxbridge Road through Hanwell, we believe the best solution would be to redesign the way these roads are used.
Christopher Dean has apparently offered to do one-to-one meetings with concerned residents. On the strength of last night’s meeting there are over 200 people who want to meet him. He should maybe block the month of May in his diary – he might just get round them all if he keeps at it.
My final thought is that this document is so bad and the last minute cancellation of Dean’s appearance at this meeting is such bad public relations I can only imagine that TfL want this scheme to be seen as a total non-starter. It will be interesting to see what they try to get away with using the argument that the Hanwell two-way scheme was unacceptable to residents.