National motorist group questions validity of Transport for London consultation process in the capit
TfL tries to avoid “consulting on the key questions as to whether projects should be done at all”.
A national motorist group has called into question the validity of Transport for London’s (TfL) consultation process on key road changes in the capital. The Alliance of British Drivers have challenged London’s regulator’s reasons to not ask simple questions. They say residents and businesses in the area don’t have the option to say whether they support proposals overall or not.
Instead, the alliance suggests that TfL tries to avoid “consulting on the key questions as to whether projects should be done at all”. Roger Lawson from the Alliance of British Drivers, said: “Recent public consultations by Transport for London (TfL) have typically omitted any costs, or cost/benefit information, about the proposed schemes. For example on the “Safer Speeds” proposals for many more 20 mph speed limits in London, or Cycleway schemes. Nor do they ask a simple question as to whether people support the proposals overall or not. “I complained about those omissions in the ABD’s response to TfL and got a note back from Esme Yuill (Lead Consultation and Project Communications) which contained much waffle but did say “consultation is not usually about the principle of a project, but the proposed design”. In other words, the consultation is usually based on the project being a fait accompli and TfL have already decided to push ahead with it. That is not a consultation in the usual sense of the word, and clearly undermines the democratic principle that consultations should not assume pre-conceived notions.” Further on in a statement made by Lawson, he adds: “TfL has been one of the most impervious and undemocratic bodies since it was set up by Ken Livingstone. They do not listen to anyone. Indeed was it not Ken Livingstone who said “Consultation is a good thing when people agree with you, and a waste of time when people don't agree with you” and TfL are clearly still following that principle. By avoiding consulting on the key questions as to whether projects should be done at all, and not informing respondents on the costs and cost/benefits, they are avoiding any meaningful consultation. “Is that the way that you think the body that runs transport in London and has one of the biggest budgets in the world should run consultations? I do not and I will be pursuing this matter.”