The Grenfell Action Group are members of the Open Spaces Society and have benefitted much from the expert advice and guidance that we have received from them.
The Open Spaces Society has expressed serious concern at the Council/contractors apparent disregard for the Law and have written to the Transport Planners at RBKC to seek clarification on a number of matters.
We would prefer not to publish this correspondence in full until the Planners have had a chance to respond to the Society directly but, as time is very much against us, we felt it appropriate to publish the main points in order to keep the community properly informed.
This is an edited version of the Open Spaces Society email, addressed to the Transport Planner referred to in our previous post, and sent on 20/1/13:
“You state that there is not yet a temporary traffic regulation order in place to permit the closure of the north-south route across the KALC site and that such an order will be in place from 1 February.
We are dismayed to learn that the route has been closed since before Christmas. Since this is a public highway, such closure would appear to be an illegal obstruction under section 137 of the Highways Act 1980. Your council has a duty, as highway authority, under section 130 of the Highways Act 1980 to assert and protect the rights of the public to the use and enjoyment of the highway and to prevent the stopping up or obstruction of the highway. Such a duty cannot be passed to the contractor, it is your legal duty to ensure that the route is kept open unless and until it is officially closed. Please therefore confirm that you will take swift action to reopen this route.
In addition, can you please confirm that you have published notice of your intention to close the route from 1 February in the local press, or will be doing so by 25 January? This is a requirement of section 14 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Procedure Regulations 1992. Also, you claim that it will be closed until 30 July 2014, but the Secretary of State will only authorise closure for six months at a time, so at present you can only guarantee its closure to 31 July 2013.
Furthermore, we are deeply concerned to learn that there is a plan to close Station Walk on 22 January, again without any legal authority. Could you please confirm that, as highway authority, you will exercise your legal duty to ensure the path is kept open unless and until it is officially closed.”
As soon as the Council answers these questions we will publish on the blog.
In the meantime, we fully intend, on behalf of the Lancaster West community, to reassert our right to use our Right of Way along the North/South route and Station Walk until the Council obtains the necessary legislation to prevent us doing so.
We call on the KALC contractors Leadbitters to remove their illegal barricades without delay.
Times and dates of meetings to assert our Right of Way will be circulated, by word of mouth, throughout the Estate.