Last updated Thursday 18th October 2001
Council Walk Away From Rat-Rat
Residents of Lower Bengeo are dismayed after the County Council decided to take no action over rat-running in Lower Bengeo.
|Byde Street is the focus of the issue|
A questionnaire was sent to everyone living in the affected area setting out the options and inviting feedback. 49% voted for a barrier in Byde Street, 37% voted for traffic-calming measures and 14% voted for no action. 67% of the questionnaires were returned.
The traffic calming proposals included the introduction of a one-way system in Wellington Street and Balfour Street, seven speed tables, changes in priority, road narrowings and a right-turn ban into Cross Street.
In a letter to residents, the Council explained that there was no clear majority for any of the options and therefore no clear way forward, despite the fact that 86% of respondents had supported some form of action.
This is not the first time the Council has conducted a public consultation only to decide on taking no action. An exhibition inviting views on a number of options for Old Cross also ended in the County Council choosing to take no action.
The Bengeo rat-run has become an issue since the mini-roundabout was replaced by traffic lights at the Old Cross Junction. To avoid this junction motorists use the narrow streets of lower Bengeo as an alternative route. Byde Street, Wellington Street and Nelson Street in particular become congested because householders have no alternative to on-street parking, making passage difficult at peak times, especially as there is little room for two-way traffic.
In June of 1998, The Bengeo Traffic Campaign was founded by local residents after police said they could not enforce traffic restrictions imposed by the local authority. Following this, in July 1999, the Highways Partnership, who work with the local authority, agreed that the area should become a Green Zone under The Lea Valley Package. Funding is to be sought from the LVP after central government funds are announced in December.