H&F Council Accused of "Misleading" Public over 20mph Limit

Ahead of Town Hall meeting on Wednesday where consultation will be discussed

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Hammersmith and Fulham Council is being accused of misleading residents over the results of a public consultation about the introduction of a 20mph limit, ahead of a Town Hall meeting tomorrow where the results will be discussed.

On its website, the council have announced that a "staggering 71% of local people" support a 20 mph speed limit.

However, the council goes on to say that this was 71% of just 5,287 people who responded to the consultation.

Of this 71 percent, just over half - 41% - said they supported the change on all the borough’s roads.

A further 26% supported lowering the speed limit to 20mph while suggesting certain exemptions on some main roads.

Only 29% of said they opposed the plans.

Among roads people would like to see exempted, the most frequent suggestion was Fulham Palace Road, though the council says 64.8% were still in favour of reducing its speed to 20mph.

A full breakdown of these results will be presented to and discussed by H&F Council’s Community Safety, Environment & Resident Services Policy and Accountability Committee when it meets in the Town Hall on November 18 and the public are encouraged to attend from 7pm.

" Residents have given us a clear steer in favour of making our streets safer for everyone," said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Residents’ Services.

However this claim received an extremely sceptical reaction from residents. A very mixed selection of comments showed that while some people supported the proposals, others called the council's statement "misleading", "pre-cooked", "fundamentally dishonest" and even that it "takes leave of reality".

AF Fulham pointed out: "Your headline, 71% of local people is wrong, misleading, and needs to be corrected. 71% of 5,287 respondents to your survey, ie 3,754, may be in favour of a 20 mph limit, however with 182,493 residents in the borough, the most you can claim is 2% are in favour of 20 mph limit."

John said: " Another case of doing what you like and twisting results with Alister Cambell statistics. On your own figures 55% DON''T support a general 20mph borough wide limit! "

JCL took this further, saying: " A staggering 100% of the people who took part in a survey in my household said that the council had already made up its mind before launching the consultation."

Rosemary Pettit commented: " What has been troubling about this consultation from the start is that the questionnaire - and its introduction - was so biased. The Council evidently wants a 20mph limit and appears not to be interested in enquiring if other traffic calming measures would be more effective.

"We were not given a choice, let alone accident statistics in the borough to inform us. What are the relative merits of 20mph vs.raised tables (very effective at slowing traffic)and 20mph vs. zebra crossings (very effective at getting pedestrians across busy roads)? We have not been told." 

The council's response: " There is going to be a great opportunity to look in detail at the proposal at the public meeting on this on Wednesday 18 November."

You can read residents' responses and add your comment on the council's website while Wednesday's meeting in Hammersmith Town Hall's Small Hall is open to all.

November 17, 2015