Friday 23 April 2010

Waltham Forest Labour Party regrets…

"It appears in this instance that one of our design team has made an innocent error which we regret."

Not exactly what you'd call a wholehearted apology, eh? For ripping off one of this blog’s pics and then taking it out of context to slag off the Liberal Democrats for a street scene which has nothing to do with them.

Leaving aside the cynical misuse of my photo in Labour Party propaganda, what is just as objectionable is the Labour Party trying to position itself as the car-friendliest local party. So much for its Green credentials.

But what is also striking is that this car supremacist electioneering is taking place in a ward where the council’s own website states that 49% of households have no car or van. This is much higher than the Borough average of 39%. The clueless local Labour Party doesn’t even understand the nature of the ward in which it is canvassing. It has nothing at all to say about walking and cycling, underlining the Labour Party’s total indifference to those two ways of getting around the borough.

The statistics show that most people in Hoe Street ward go to work on the tube, i.e. they have to negotiate the abominable Hoe Street/Selborne Road junction beside Walthamstow Central, where both pedestrians and cyclists are treated as subservient to drivers. A significant portion of the hordes of people who come down St Mary Road in the morning prefer to sprint across to the traffic islands rather than wait ages to cross one half of Hoe Street to a cattle pen, then the other half, then wait at more lights to cross Selborne Road. For those who play by the rules, when the green light comes on they have to scamper across before it swiftly goes back to red. The phasing is rigged to prioritise drivers, not pedestrians.

Other residents may cross lower down by the bus station, where some drivers jump the lights and go through when the light is green for pedestrians. Many impatient bus drivers also jump the red lights when they emerge from the bus station.

As for cyclists, the dedicated cycling lights have now been out for EIGHT MONTHS (see above). And cycle stand provision at Walthamstow Central station is grossly inadequate. On such transport matters the local Labour Party is silent.

Incidentally, although supposedly passionate about supporting local business, the Labour Party’s Hoe Street ward campaign leaflet states in miniature print that it was ‘Printed by Karian and Box Ltd, 8 The Broadway, London W6 7AL.’ Not a local firm, then.