A petition had been received from Chris Wells of Chislehurst Safer Streets, calling for the Council to install a push-button pedestrian crossing phase at the traffic light controlled junction at Chislehurst War Memorial.
Mr Wells addressed the Council in support of the petition. He suggested that the A222 was a busy and dangerous road, and he contrasted the provision of numerous controlled crossing places on the Sidcup and Bickley/Plaistow sections of the A222 with the lack of crossing points in Chislehurst, other than one pelican crossing near Chislehurst School for Girls. The War Memorial junction was used by many pupils from the three local schools, as well as pupils from other schools and many elderly and disabled adults. He reported that the Council had said that the refusal to install a pelican crossing was due to the additional congestion and rat-running that would result, but he claimed that the Council had never modelled this. The petition had been signed by 3,000 people who were protesting against the Council’s refusal which, he asserted, was discriminatory against vulnerable members of the community in favour of drivers.
Cllr William Huntington Thresher responded, welcoming the interest in this issue, but explaining that providing a pedestrian phase required an increase in the highway space, which was not possible without the agreement of the adjacent landowners, the Commons Conservators. The Council was seeking a holistic solution and remained willing to consider junction remodelling, but in the absence of agreement with the landowners a pedestrian phase would result in congestion with exceedingly long queues at peak times leading to rat-running by speeding traffic on local roads. Councillor Katy Boughey also spoke on behalf of ward councillors who had been working hard to find a suitable solution.
A motion to agree that no changes be made to the Council’s response already provided to the petitioners, and that the Council’s Assistant Director, Traffic and Parking, write to all petitioners explaining the facts of the situation, was moved by Councillor William Huntington-Thresher and seconded by Councillor Colin Smith.
An amendment that the Portfolio Holder be asked to bring back deliverable proposals for consideration by the Environment and Community Services PDS Committee within six months was moved by Councillor Ian Dunn and seconded by Councillor Angela Wilkins. This amendment was put to the vote and LOST.
The substantive motion proposed by Councillor William Huntington-Thresher and seconded by Councillor Colin Smith was put to the vote and CARRIED.
(During consideration of this item Councillor Tony Owen declared an interest in that his daughter was a teacher at Coopers School.)