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Billions of pounds of taxpayers' money wasted on 'active travel' schemes, says watchdog

I’m sure we’re all interested in liar-Lambert’s musings on the future of car ownership – a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy given that his deeply unpopular policies of closing roads and taking parking spaces will surely force some people to give up their cars. We’ve all seen in the last few of weeks how the combination of road works on Windmill Road and the A4 have caused gridlock in the whole of Brentford and this was made 100 times worse by the unnecessary LTN road closures. We’ve all experienced more congested, dangerous and polluted roads and longer journey times – all created deliberately by a council who have no interest in supporting the needs of the majority of its constituents. Interestingly there has been a report published by the National Audit Office that confirms what we all knew – that the LTN schemes were a massive waste of taxpayer money that have achieved precisely NOTHING. There’s a link to the article below but, in summary:“Billions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash has potentially been wasted on ‘active travel’ schemes such as controversial low-traffic neighbourhoods, according to a report.”“Despite an estimated £3.3billion being spent on delivering such measures between 2016 and 2021, cycling and walking rates fell over that period, the National Audit Office study found.”“It said many were imposed on residents without proper consultation and poorly planned ones have subsequently been scrapped.”Could we hope that LBH will see sense and roll back these horrible schemes? Could individual councillors be surcharged to recover some of the money that has been wasted? We live in hope.

Graham Thorpe ● 181d24 Comments ● 149d


Is now happening. Yesterday evening at about 6pm there were at least 20 cars queuing along Whitestile Road and back up Junction Road in an attempt to get out onto South Ealing Road. This meant that anyone who had turned left into Whitestile Road from South Ealing Road was unable to drive along Whitestile Road - it was blocked by the oncoming traffic.  Traffic was queuing up South Ealing Road as far as the eye could see and barely moving.Not the first time this has happened recently.I am guessing that this was traffic trying to bypass the roadworks and traffic lights on Windmill Road or people trying to bypass the queue down the A4 to the new traffic lights at the roundabout at the Ealing Road/A4 junction.The Windmill Road works seem to be never-ending and are causing huge tail-backs.  If you are driving north from Brentford and want to get across the A4 junction you have to sit through several green phases before there is enough room in Windmill Road to clear the junction safely and not get stuck in the yellow box. The same thing is happening to traffic turning left into Windmill from the A4.The new traffic lights at the Ealing Road/A4 roundabout are causing lengthy tailbacks along the A4.  They are also affecting traffic turning left onto the A4 from Windmill Road because even if the lights at the Windmill Road junction are green there is not enough room on the A4 to make the turn.  This then also holds up traffic coming down Windmill Road which wants to go straight ahead or turn right.As others have said, the old traffic lights at the South Ealing roundabout worked perfectly well. I've been driving round that roundabout for the last 20 years (don't take that literally!) and never encountered or witnessed any problems.  You just had to make sure you gave way to traffic already coming round the roundabout, even if lights were green in your favour.  At least the traffic kept moving.The other problem locally is the roadworks on Kew Bridge Road which are causing tailbacks to the County Court. There has been some suggestion that these are not due to the construction of the Cycleway but because of gasworks being carried out at the same time.So, 3 points/queries:1. When are the Windmill Road works going to end?2. Please can we return to the old traffic light system at the Ealing Road roundabout.3. When are the Kew Bridge Road temporary lights going to be removed so that we can have a normal traffic flow once again?The gridlock which is now a daily occurrence around here at the moment does nobody any good - whether you're a driver, cyclist or pedestrian.  I was walking down Whitestile Road yesterday evening and it was horrible.  So was South Ealing Road.

Alison Robins ● 172d8 Comments ● 171d

Fact checking Lambert’s latest ramblings

Incredible how those in positions of power and influences can say something that’s patently not true. Lambert’s latest ‘amusing update’ contains his thoughts on car ownership and parking in London. He said this:‘By the way, before the tabloid picks this up and says ’Lambert trying to ban cars’ I’m not and none of this is nobody’s policy, just me musing.’Well, it is somebody’s policy, that of the London Cycling Campaign of which he and other Labour councillors are members. Lambert’s musings echo the speech given to the Labour conference last year by the LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha, who said:“We need to free people from the burden and tyranny of owning tons of metal that sits unused 90 percent of the time,”I’m not sure that most car owners see it as a tyranny and a burden, although they might view the policies of Lambert and his colleagues as exactly that.Anyone who looks into the strategies and aims of the LCC will recognise its direct influence on policies pursued by Hounslow, Ealing and other councils in London. Low traffic neighbourhoods, cycle lanes, reducing parking spaces, etc, are all part of the plan. Make owning a car as expensive and inconvenient as possible to simply force people off the road.They’d have you believe that car owners are singlehandedly responsible for all the problems in London, yet car ownership in the capital has actually declined in the last 20 years, despite a massive increase in population. London is unique in that in the UK.Congestion is caused by blocking roads, whether that’s due to roadworks, an accident or lame-brained traffic management policies that funnel all vehicles onto fewer roads. Yes, there are peaks where volumes are higher but most of the time most roads are pretty quiet.Inevitably Lambert will brand me a car lobbyist (which I’m not) and a Tory (which I certainly am not). I simply think that people should be able to make their own choices, not be dictated to by a self-interested minority.Lambert advocates car clubs, but doesn’t even consider that vehicle ownership is often a key to economic activity for many. Does he think those ubiquitous Ubers are anything other than privately owned vehicles? Like most utopians he thinks most of us are sitting at home deciding which leisure activity to pursue next. Simple minded, no?Ironically Lambert has a nice shiny new car and presumably a nice secure private parking space in Brentford. He doesn’t ‘need’ a car, so why does he have one? Surely he and others should practice what they preach?!

Simon Hayes ● 179d27 Comments ● 173d

Unsolved West London Murders.

In March 2023, The commissioner of the Met Police Sir Mark Rowley admitted the force has 'racists, misogynists and homophobes' in its ranks – as Home Secretary Suella Braverman blasted 'serious failings of culture, leadership and standards' at Scotland Yard. On 6th April I sent a lengthy email to Mark Rowley pleading with him to review The Hammersmith Nudes' murders of the 1960's. I told him that I am in contact with adult children and other members of 6 of the murder victims.  I told him that many of the victims' family members are convinced that if the victims were police women, doctors, nurses or solicitors there would have been a review. On April 11 I recieved the following."Dear Mr Milkins,My apologies for the delayed response. I have forwarded this matter to the appropriate team for their review and direct reply to you.Kind regards,*****  ********      *********  | Inspector | Staff Officer to the Commissioner."Today I received a a phone call from New Scotland Yard followed by the following email.Dear Mr Milkins "It was good to speak to you on the phone just now, and as promised, I am emailing to confirm my details. I recognise the huge amount of dedication you have put into your investigations and I am sorry that these terrible murders remain unsolved, despite your efforts.There have been various reviews conducted regarding these cases over the years and I know you were in contact with DC Paul Rogers in 2007, and most recently, DC Adam Bailey in 2020. It remains the case as per DC Bailey’s letter that the links between Harold Jones and the victims are not substantive enough to enable a definitive finding that he was responsible for their deaths. I hope you understand that because Jones died in 1971 and there is no additional material further to what has been looked at in the above reviews, we won’t be reviewing the cases again at this time.Having said that, I know you are determined to continue with your work, and if there is something substantive and probative that you find that you would like to bring to our attention in the future, please do so.I wish you all the best."DC *****   ****** | CSC - Major InquiriesSpecial Casework TeamTHE MUST GO ON. AND IT WILL.

Neil Milkins ● 235d0 Comments ● 235d

Time for a change?

So, Sadiq Khan is claiming that the “silent majority” support his plans to charge us a huge daily amount to drive on our roads.  Does he think that we would believe that only people who are strongly against these measures will speak out, and those who are strongly in favour will just sit quietly by?  He is using the same dishonest tactics used by our local council – to ignore or discredit the results of their own consultations that are verifiably and resolutely against their plans, in favour of inventing conversations with mystery persons that appear to support them.  I think that we are all in favour of better air quality, but is this going to produce a significant and measurable improvement?  And is this the best use of our money at this time?  We are experiencing the highest inflation in a generation, we have fuel poverty, a social care crisis, a mental health epidemic, an influx of refugees from a war – I could go on.  So, what are our Labour administrations in Hounslow and City Hall prioritising – building cycle lanes and fining us for using our cars to get to work.  How can they justify a 5% council tax rise locally, and a whopping 10% increase for the GLA, when people can’t heat their homes or feed their families?  These people have become complacent and expect to be returned time after time, so make no effort to truly represent their constituents or take our views into account when they’re spending OUR money.  When you’re next in the supermarket wondering what you can afford to eat, think of the millions being spent on these pointless schemes.  I think it is time that these people – both in Hounslow and City Hall, who have shown no interest in truly representing us and are happy to raise taxes and fritter away our money on grandiose and pointless schemes, need to be voted out at the first opportunity – literally anyone else would be better than this lot.

Graham Thorpe ● 250d0 Comments ● 250d

Update on energy companies SSE and OVO.

ILLEGAL TRANSFER FROM ENERGY PROVIDER SSE TO OVO.A response given on Trustpilot on 26-1-23  by energy provider SSE regarding my illegal transfer from energy company SSE to energy company OVO which are part of the same company."Hi, Thank you for your recent email, I apologise for the delay in my response.We appreciate you contacting us. When I check your account, it has already been transferred to OVO Energy. As a result, your account has been closed and we no longer have access to it. I suggest you to get in touch with OVO Energy because they are the team that can assist you.Thank you for contacting SSE."John from OVO has informed me that I was tricked by SSE to sign up to OVO with a false promise of a £50 energy credit.And the response given on Trustpilot by OVO. Thanks for getting back to me, Neil.I've checked over your account and I can see you've managed to reach the team. I am sorry that the letter has caused such confusion, but the install would have had to have been with SSE.Thanks,Dave.Both SSE and OVO are continuing to argue that the other party are to blame for the illegal transfer. I have to wait about 7 weeks for SSE and OVO to sort the mess out before the Energy Ombudsman will intervene. Anyone wishing to change energy providers would be wise to check on Trustpilot the company they are thinking of using before deciding. SSE and OVO are having shocking reviews. See part of Which magazine review of OVO below.                                                              "Ovo Energy came near the bottom of the table in 13th place out of 16 energy companies rated by 10,197 members of the public in the annual Which? customer survey. This is a big drop from last year, when it came joint second. It had poor two-star ratings for almost all of the aspects of service we looked at, managing an average three stars for just one - the accuracy of its payments."One dissatisfied customer said: 'It’s impossible to contact them. Online options don’t make it easy to solve problems.'

Neil Milkins ● 312d0 Comments ● 312d