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Readers' Letters

Gazette letters: Victoria Park cyclepath, Brittannia car park and politicians

PUBLISHED: 08:30 15 June 2019

Victoria Park is at the centre of a consultation proposing the closure of Grove Road. Picture: KEN MEARS

Victoria Park is at the centre of a consultation proposing the closure of Grove Road. Picture: KEN MEARS

Archant

In the absence of any information from Transport for London (TfL) about the surveys they should have carried out on the origins and destinations of the journeys that involve traffic crossing Victoria Park on the stretch of Grove Road they propose to close, all consultation is worthless and all prediction baseless, write Mary Pimm and Nik Wood, Gore Road, Hackney.

It could be displaced onto major roads but it could be displaced onto small residential streets around the south east corner of the park as much as onto those around the north west corner where we live.

Much of the daytime traffic is vans working on homes for the likes of Clarion, Sanctuary, Mears or Axis. The tools and parts a plumber needs don't fit in a saddle bag so these vans will still be needed and will have to go somewhere. On the detour to get from Old Ford Road to Gore Road for instance, they'll be burning much more diesel whether they go east via Cadogan Terrace and Victoria Park Road or west via Cambridge Heath and Well Street.

Why doesn't TfL put the cycleway inside the park, segregated to protect pedestrians, and leave the road open to traffic?

The car park at Britannia Leisure Centre closed as from June 3, and there is no plan for parking facilities to be included in the projected replacement leisure centre on Shoreditch Park, writes Pat Turnbull, Save Britannia Leisure Centre campaign.

Britannia users have been highlighting the problems this will cause them. Here are some quotations from the points they have made:

"We only use the car to go to the Britannia as we live in Stepney Green and use the facility with our daughter whose swimming is sandwiched between other activities so public transport is not an option. Car free policies are great on paper but..."

"I have left the gym because it is so dispiriting to see the clear cut of those beautiful trees... we drove to the gym because otherwise it added too much time to our working day."

"My daughter uses it for swimming lessons. I was put in temporary accommodation in Woodberry Down, originally from De Beauvoir N1, and have no choice but to drive at present. My five-year-old daughter already suffers enough without her not being able to do swimming lessons which she loves."

"So people who drive for a living and want to go there either just before or after work, now have to go one hour early or two hours later, nice one Hackney, all you care about is cyclists and [redacted] the rest of us."

I would add that in my own case, when my children were young and Britannia was by far our favourite leisure centre, we didn't use it as often as we would have liked precisely because we lived near Well Street and didn't have a car.

It is clear from the comments that all these are legitimate uses of a car park, and that they will not have added substantially to the pollution problems of the area. One reply that has been given is that only 30 per cent of Hackney residents own a car. A recent Transport for London survey indicated that only 17pc of residents cycle yet substantial provision is to be made for them.

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One of our correspondents has added this helpful suggestion:

"Maybe Hackney could introduce a gym users' permit for local bays? Not free but at a reasonable cost to enable people to use this facility."

We hope the council will respond to these legitimate concerns.

Having read the letter by Christopher Sills in last week's Gazette, I could not agree with him more. As he quite rightly says, we should leave the EU with or without a deal, writes Mr J E Kirby, Clissold Crescent, Stoke Newington.

How many times do the 650 mainly obstinate and pig-headed members of the House of Commons need to be told this is what was voted for when the referendum for leaving/staying in the EU was held?

The have now been told three times: once when the referendum was held, a second time when both main political parties were hammered in the recent local council elections, and lastly when the election for members of the EU parliament were held recently.

Then we have the Tory party playing the usual game of musical chairs over Theresa May's leadership, but who will be in the chair when the music stops? We also have the present chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond, saying he will move to unseat any Tory leader who takes the country out of the EU without a deal.

Then parties of all colours wonder why the electorate don't trust them.

They seem to forget that we put them there to represent us: we hired them, so we can also fire them at the next election.

I believe most politicians stand for and get elected with good intentions.

Sadly, once they join this elite club of exceedingly well paid people, they forget what and why they are there for in the first place and seem to think that they can treat the people who elected them with contempt.

Take the recent statement by the speaker of the house John Bercow for instance, and I quote: "This parliament can do as this parliament thinks fit."

He also hints that MPs will get the chance to stop a no deal Brexit and also hinted that they may also revoke article 50 altogether.

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