Resident writes to Rt Hon Charles Kennedy MP

copying PutneySW15.com with his concerns over about the assault on democracy which he believes this issue represents.......

 

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Robin Hood Gate to close

Robin Hood Gate plea to Royal Parks as nine in ten vote against

The case against closure

The Royal Parks Agency's Reply

Wandsworth Council concerned for residents if Robin Hood Gate is closed 21.02.02

Wandsworth seek legal adviceto stop closure of Robin Hood Gate 26.02.02

Cllr Lister condems plans to close Pen Ponds 13.03.02

High Court forces RPA to U turn on Robin Hood Gate closure 17.04.02

Extra Time for the Richmond Park consultation. 02.08.02

Survey shows 90% of residents against gate closure. 10.09.02

Richmond Park traffic plans - public meeting October 1 - 25.09.02

Traffic figures lead to call to reopen gate

Tony Colman MP Protests Against Continuing Closure of Robin Hood Gate

Local resident Tony Shields believes that the claimed environmental benefits will not be met, for the following reasons:

Traffic is at least one-third slower, which effectively amounts to one-third additional cars travelling in the park at any one time Vehicle are forced to drive in low gear, and for longer, thereby increasing their emissions, not decreasing them

There is much more congestion at busy periods, with drivers creeping along timidly at the head of long queues.

"I have already witnessed drivers being booked, presumably for 'speeding'. Surely, in our modern society, we should not have to put up with the exercise of arbitrary powers by the Park Commissars, who are acting as judge, jury and executioner? Again, I repeat, management of the Park must be placed in hands of neighbouring boroughs, who can manage it in the best interests of local people, which means balancing environmental and leisure issues with the need for people to go about their business without hindrance.

Below is a copy of my recent letter to Charles Kennedy MP":

The Right Honourable Charles Kennedy
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA


Dear Mr Kennedy,

I am writing to you, in your role as Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, to protest about the words spoken by Baroness Hamwee in the House of Lords about the 20 mph limit imposed by the Royal Parks Agency in Richmond Park. She appears to have very strange ideas for someone who claims to be a democrat, in that she stated that she supports the unelected Agency against the representatives of the local people, the neighbouring local authorities. In a democracy, I cannot see how this should be. There is, I believe, an important issue at stake here - are we a democracy, or not?
I would be most grateful if you could give this matter some attention. Perhaps the best way forward would be to include the roadways through the park in the national road network, thereby avoiding Royal Parks Agency interference!

Please find below a letter which I sent to the local newspaper about this issue.

Commissars of Richmond Park!

I would like to protest at the intolerable decision to reduce the speed limit in Richmond Park to 20 mph. This important route, essential for communication between Richmond and the south, should not be in the control of an unelected, self-interested and privileged group who have no democratic mandate to control access to the Park and how it is used. The Park belongs to the people of this country and it's the people who use the Park as a through route on the way to work or drop children off at school. Lowering the speed limit means, of course, that vehicles are in the Park for longer, thereby increasing journey times and congestion. Is that the hidden agenda, trying to put people off using the Park route? What the commissars fail to realise is that there is no alternative to the Park for most people. The alternative routes via Kingston or Roehamptom are already clogged and closing the park to vehicles, the real aim, I think, will cause chaos.
Management of the Park must be placed in hands of neighbouring boroughs, who can manage it in the best interests of local people, which means balancing environmental and leisure issues with the need for people to go about their business without hindrance.
I wonder if the Mayor, Ken Livingstone, would fancy having a go at this bastion of privilege?

Regards,

Anthony Shields

July 5, 2004