One Community Letter of Objection
In consultation with a barrister at FTB Chambers, One Community submitted a formal letter of objection against the Fox Lane traffic orders being made permanent. The letter of objection is a precursor to a legal challenge if Enfield Council makes the orders permanent. This was sent on behalf of all residents and businesses that have joined the group through the One Community website, WhatsApp and Facebook. We would like to thank all of you who donated and made this possible.
The objection letter is available to read below. The key points of objection are as follows:
1. Public’s right to properly object to the traffic orders substantially prejudiced by the Council
The Council failed to include a statement of reasons in the traffic order published on 26 August 2020. It is a legal requirement to keep the statement of reasons available for inspection throughout the whole experimental period. The statement of reasons was finally given by the Council on 26 October 2020 and when they did so, they simply ‘switched’ the documents over, maintaining the original date of 26 August 2020 on the new document. Notification of the amendment was not published so that the Council was misleading the public to believe that the statement of reasons was available for inspection from 26 August 2020. The absence of the statement of reasons fails the purpose of a genuine consultation.
There is no provision in law for the Council to extend the objection deadline until 11 July 2021. In its letter of 12 May 2021, the Council has misled the public about the deadline for objecting to the traffic orders.Important documents relating to the traffic orders were only made available to the public on 12 May 2021, 8 months after the orders were made and one week before the statutory objection deadline. Some of that data will not be available until well past the statutory objection deadline.
The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have not been factored in to the Council’s impact assessment.
The Council failed to engage with residents on nearby surrounding roads, choosing to only engage with those within the LTN area and boundary roads.
2. Public’s right to make a statutory challenge to the traffic orders substantially prejudiced by the Council
The deadline for making a statutory challenge to the traffic orders had expired by the time the statement of reasons had been given on 26 October 2020. The deadline is 6 weeks from the date of the order, meaning the deadline was on 19 October 2020, one week before the statement of reasons were published.
3. Misuse of power to make the traffic orders permanent
Much of the Fox Lane traffic order experimental period will have been during exceptional periods of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Any data produced by the Council will be positively misleading and will lead to irrational decision making which is not evidence based.
4. Compliance with S122 of the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984
This requires the Council to secure the expeditious, convenient and safe movement of vehicular and other traffic. The traffic orders have caused an increase in large vehicles being forced to reverse the full length of closed roads into busy A roads and roundabouts. This is unsafe. The significant and regular congestion on the boundary roads does not secure the expeditious and convenient movement of vehicular traffic.
5. Air Quality
Air quality has not been directly recorded pre-trial period or during the trial period. Air quality will be modelled from traffic data which fails to take into account idling vehicles. Diffusion tubes installed by the Council during April 2021 provide limited coverage. There has been no long-term robust measuring of air quality.
6. Equalities Impact
The Council has failed to properly take into account the impact of the traffic orders on protected groups, it has undermined the proper right of those with protected characteristics to object with the ‘Disabled People and Carers’ survey only undertaken between 4 and 31 March 2021.