Is This Survey The Answer To The Traffic Problems In North Kingston?

It is very annoying, arriving late at work or school because the traffic was so bad.

According to Robin Meltzer, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary campaigner and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the North Kingston, Richmond Park and New Malden constituency, “enough is enough”.

Residents told him about traffic problems in the constituency and therefore Mr Meltzer set up a survey, inquiring into what exactly these problems are.

Mr Meltzer said: “The roads of the Richmond Park constituency [which includes North Kingston] are more of a misery now than ever.

“Quite literally everywhere I go locally, people mention it.”

The Traffic and Congestion survey’s goal is twofold. Firstly, Mr Meltzer wants to know specific problems, for example which are the perilous traffic hotspots in the constituency.

Secondly, he sees it as a public information campaign to identify problems on a wider level, for example to see how many people are being put off from walking, cycling or using problem transport, and why.

Considering the Kingston Borough, the survey covers the four wards in the northern part – Tudor, Coombe Hill, Coombe Vale and Canbury – as is shown in the map below.

The northern part of the Kingston Borough, which is part of the Richmond Park and North Kingston constituency

Mr Meltzer said: “It is not quite a glamorous subject, but it is upsetting people. They struggle to get to work, or have trouble getting their children to school.”

He added: “Everybody, residents as well as politicians, have decided that nothing can be done. They have taken the problem for granted.”

Mr Meltzer thinks the reason for this is that the problems are very complicated. There are a lot of parties involved. It is, for example, not only the different councils, but also authorities in London and national authorities.

He said: “The fight to get something done or make a complaint is too often caught up in bureaucracy and tedium.”

In addition, traffic problems seem to be intertwined. “To solve one problem, you have to solve the other too,” Mr Meltzer said.

Regarding solutions, Mr Meltzer wants to await the results of the survey, but he already has a few suggestions. He would like to know, for example, the impact of commercial traffic, as lorries, on the roads, and whether the river can be used more for certain transport.

Mr Meltzer emphasised that he wants to hear the views of everyone in the constituency.

He said: “It is not political with a capital P. We want everybody to fill in the survey.”

Zac Goldsmith, current Conservative MP for the Richmond Park and North Kingston constituency and candidate MP for the next elections, doubts Mr Meltzer’s motives.

He said: “I am not convinced it is a real campaign that merits a response.

“It looks to me like it is a vehicle for collecting residents’ emails.”

In a statement, the Conservatives added that measures have already been taken to make life easier for motorists in the Borough of Richmond, where, unlike in the Borough of Kingston, the Conservatives have a majority in the council.

According to the statement, these measures include free parking in the high streets and a decrease in the number of yellow lines.

What is your opinion on the traffic in North Kingston and on the survey? Let us know on Twitter: @CourierKingston.

You can find the survey here.

Image courtesy of Sonny Meddle/REX

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