To explain the saga of Conservatives blocking 20mph in Surbiton, we have to go back to July 2014.
- Back in July 2014, Subiton Lib Dems let residents know that Kingston Council was consulting on 20mph in Surbiton town centre roads
- But in September, despite 20mph receiving positive comments from residents, and being voted for by the majority of Surbiton Councillors, one Tory Councillor used a constitutional process to stop the decision.
- The same month, Lib Dems launched an online petition, which received hundreds of signatures. This petition was handed into Kingston Council on 4th November meeting.
- That month, at a Council Meeting Conservatives voted to implement 20mph limits only up to 100m from school entrances. The original reasons given by the local Surbiton Tory Councillors were suddenly changed! You can hear the original reasons for their dislike of 20mph limits at the Surbiton Neighbourhood committee meeting (1 hour 47mins into the recording). At full Council the reasons had changed to the level of consultation response (Council meeting – 2 hour 18mins into the recording).
- Council officers drawings for what this resolution for ‘only up to 100m from school entrances’ would mean in reality – a real dog’s dinner!
- In January, a compromise to remove these anomalies (although create others) was designed and this was agreed at Surbiton Neighbourhood.
- In February 2015, the ‘modified only up to 100m from school entrances’ 20mph limits was implemented. The original cost was estimated to be around £6,000. This modified scheme cost over £11,000
- In March 2015, another new consultation was supposed to start, but was indefinitely delayed as Kingston Conservatives could not agree a new ‘consultation process’!
- Lib Dems consistently pursued for a new consultation on the town centre area for around a year.
- Rather than go through this painful and ridiculous process again, Surbiton Liberal Democrats, demanded that the area for consultation be expanded to include all residential streets.
- In February 2016 (nearly a year late), Surbiton neighbourhood Councillors agreed to the wider area consultation, to include all residential and town centre roads in Surbiton.
- Finally, over 2 years later, we are at the consultation!
Will this be the end of the battle? Almost certainly not! The results of the consultation will come to a Surbiton Neighbourhood council meeting on 7th December, but that will only be for Councillors views. The decision will be taken by the Kingston Council Residents committee in 2017.
If the original neighbourhood decision had not been sent to full Council by a disgruntled Conservative, a comprehensive 20mph limit would have been in place in Surbiton town centre since the beginning of November 2014!