The labour administration, supported by the merton park “independent” residents’ association councillors, have re-installed the bus lane on hartfield road in wimbledon sw19 which followed the removal of this bus lane by the conservative administration a few years ago. We the undersigned demand the removal of this bus lane, which is unnecessary and is purely a cash cow for the administration to plug their budget hole.
Background - the removal was undertaken following complaints from many residents trying to turn left to get home into side roads on hartfield road, many had near misses, primarily from failed suicide bus drivers; bus drivers so intent to meet their deadlines drive so quickly without any regard for any other road users. The penalty notices used to raise around £280,000. The labour administration see this as a cash cow to fill their budget deficit, they have included fines of £110,000 in the draft budget for 2012-13.
To be fair the replacement scheme allows for a small amount of extra space for people to turn left, but the signage is poor and there is no road colouring like the previous bus lane to alert drivers to the fact a bus lane has been installed. Merton council officers are following the regulations to the letter; one lady has received 4 penalty notices before realising she had even driven into the bus lane. She has offered to pay one and officers just email the regulations to her saying she must pay! Her family Christmas could now be ruined by the greedy unsympathetic labour cabinet member Andrew judge. The bus lane has nothing to do with making the bus routes run more quickly, the whole structure on Hartfield Road has been poorly thought through, with the 163/164 route heading north coming across from the left to a bus stop on the right, other routes coming out of the Sir Cyril Black way bus station crossing from the right to the left; no wonder it is mayhem. any alternative solution was totally ignored by Cllr Judge who was hell bent on raising more funds for his pet schemes. one resident on Herbert road said why not create an extra lane taking away the poorly maintained green space and run buses on the right out of the sir Cyril Black way bus station then join the 163/164 bus stop and come out [there is a traffic light there] and re-join the road. Completion of the road works and a simple re-alignment of the traffic lights up towards wimbledon village will help speed up the buses considerably and avoid all the unnecessary public money being wasted by labour. they have ruined the finances of UK PLC. And are now intent, with the support of the Merton Park councillors, in doing the same for merton council. The merton park “independent” residents’ association councillors were elected because of a dispute with the conservatives who planned, in the late 1980’s, for a tunnel to be built under the now tram line at Dorset Road to allow traffic to avoid south wimbledon and join the new road at Marantun Way. they got upset and stopped this tunnel; whether it was right or wrong they appear to be only concerned about merton park and have little interest for their neighbouring wards, like Dundonald. My fellow ward councillors and i will continue to fight for the removal of this cash cow and if the conservatives win the next local election we pledge to press our group to force officers to remove once again. Chris Edge
dundonald ward councillor
london borough of merton