Seven Dials consists of a new shared space and a swathe of Traffic Regulation Orders to develop a more direct cycle network through the implementation of cycle contraflows. The Avon Street contraflow was applied for on the 15th of January 2015. If you look at the scheme map, you’ll see that the Monmouth Street contraflow is key to delivering the scheme as it provides a direct on road contraflow route into the scheme for cyclists:
So in theory as part of the delivery of this scheme, this TRO SHOULD have been applied for at the same time as the Avon Street TRO, sometime around the middle of January. So what happened? Why did council officers not apply for this TRO?
When asked, the reason given that this TRO has not been implemented is that it impacts parking on Monmouth Street and it would be considered after the parking review announced by the Conservative led council on the 4th of June 2015.
So a pro-cycling TRO that was supposed to be initiated in JANUARY 2015 under a Lib Dem led council will not be implemented because of a Conservative council led parking review announced in JUNE 2015!
This really does raise some extremely serious questions that must be answered by council officers and the relationships they have with councillors. Is this professional misconduct?
I also feel this demonstrates that senior council officers consider cycling in the city a joke, when a few parking spaces can trump the ability for people to cycle safely into the heart of a city.
I strongly suggest people write to their local councillors and ask them to investigate this. We need answers.
If only we had a council more like Cambridge: