Information about my work as a Labour Councillor for East Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Victory for Walksafe!

At this evenings Finchley and Golders Green Area Environment Sub Committee meeting at Avenue House in Finchley Central, The hard working, patient and dedicated Walksafe N2 campaign got rich rewards. Essentially, the committee voted to accept their recommendations for safety measures around Martin School. The committee has recommended:

1) The junction between Creighton Avenue and the High Road should get a new Zebra crossing on Creighton Avenue, and there will be railings put in to make sure people use the crossing. This is a major change from summer, when they tried to take the railings outside the school away, and we were promised this evening that they would not take any other railings away.

2) Better signage on the approaches to the school, and the redevelopment of the junction between Church Lane and the High Road. There were a number of layout options presented, the "best" option in terms of traffic flow will mean making the High road two lanes for a section, which will lead to the loss of parking spaces.

3) Most astonishingly, a 20 mph zone on Church Lane has been recommended by the committee. This is what I was very worried about, and I asked Dean Cohen to give a categorical assurance that he would consider a 20 mph zone for here at the last Council meeting, and I am glad he has kept his promise. We are very happy with this result, I know the fight has been on for many years.

This could be implemented in a matter of months, maybe even in time for the new year.

The meeting went well, and the speakers all did an excellent job (I won't name members of the public on a blog, as I did not ask permission to name them). One speaker ran out of time, and when it came to questions, my colleague Cllr Colin Rogers asked my favourite helpful committee question to someone who has run out of time in their speech- "Do you have anything further to add to your speech?!" Cllr Alison Moore also spoke very well, and summed up the arguments. It was good to see all the speakers got a round of applause.

Members of the committee were very helpful, and it was passed unanimously, much to our delight. I was not able to go to the celebratory drinks at the Five Bells on East End Road, as the lease on the pavillion in Cherry Tree Woods was later on the agenda, and I felt I should stay for that.

But well done to the Walksafe team! Along with the Archer Academy (There is a fair crossover of membership!) team, this is the strongest community campaign I have ever seen. You can't praise them too highly! They are reasonable, articulate, well informed, hard working, engaged, diligent, sensible and more. They are the very model of a successful community campaign, and I hope we have served them as well as they deserve.