ECS Sends Open Letter to HATOC Councillors ahead of 3 June Meeting

We sent today an Open Letter to all Councillors on the HATOC Committee, asking them to consider not following the recommendations of the report for the Heavitree & Whipton Active Streets Trial. We think the report is unbalanced and not looking for mitigation with the aim to improve the measures and run the trial to its full length. We point out that the report should have reached for a more nuanced qualitative analysis of the consultation feedback.

The crucial point in the report seems to be its concerns about ‘adverse impacts that have been identified for those people with protected characteristics and in consideration of the Equality Act 2010 Public Sector Equality Duty’. It mentions that the mitigations put in place are not deemed satisfactory to address the concerns. BUT it does not look into further mitigations, or adjustments to the current trial to address residents’ concerns. National disability reports often attest how different schemes positively affect some disabled people whilst making it more difficult for others with disabilities (https://www.transportforall.org.uk/news/pave-the-way/ ). There are solutions for the concerns raised by people with disabilities or carers that rely on car travel, which the report does not consider.

Our letter concludes, saying:

Can we ask you to ensure in your decision that the Active Streets Trial in Heavitree/Whipton be allowed to run its full course of 18 months so DCC can then give a fair assessment as to whether it has met its objectives with properly analysed data. You can of course ask DCC officers to look into any mitigation and adjustments now to meet the concerns of disabled people and the impact the scheme has on them. If this trial is cancelled prematurely what confidence will HATOC or DCC have to introduce other similar proposals across the city in the near future to meet the outcomes of council policies we have highlighted above?

For the full letter please follow this link: https://exetercivicsociety.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/ECS-open-letter-to-HATOC-3-June-24-final.pdf