Saturday 30 July 2016

Islington Council TfL Ringway Jacobs fiasco part 9

After 5 years, someone from TfL stepped forward. Why? Because it's getting sticky !!

Below is a series of emails from a contact that came forward - Gareth Long - TfL summat.
We were shocked as it was the 1st un-prompted email from TfL, ever.

22/07/16 Dear Mr Sparks
I have been asked to review the correspondence that you have sent to us and others, in connection with the current improvement works taking place at Archway.

I have been appointed as your case manager and I have reviewed your case given the content of your recent emails and the behaviour you have displayed when contacting us. Going forwards, all further correspondence should be sent to me at this address and I shall be your point of contact within TfL.

I want to assure you at the outset that we are aware of your concerns about the improvement works and I appreciate that you wish to protect your business. However, we also have a responsibility to improve the transport infrastructure for the wider community, providing a safe and effective environment for all road users following the changes we are making at Archway.

We have listened to your concerns and we have looked at ways that we can provide a loading bay in order for you to continue to receive deliveries closer to the pub.

The plans for the Archway gyratory project have been drawn up and agreed for some time in liaison with the London Borough of Islington. Whilst we will try to accommodate all parties, we have to work within the limitations of the scheme and ensure that we meet requirements specified by the Department for Transport (DfT) and safety standards are maintained.

TfL would like to share our plans for a new loading bay with you and I will be requesting your availability in the coming few weeks.

With regards to the subway and the water leak you have reported, we have advised you several times that the leak is the responsibility of Thames Water. TfL and Thames Water will continue to work together to investigate the leak and there is nothing further we can add to what we’ve already advised you on this aspect and I will not discuss this issue further.

You have also raised concerns regarding the width of the footway outside the pub on Archway Road. The standards for footway widths are set out in the DfT’s ‘Inclusive Mobility’ publication, and states the following: Footways are to ideally be 2m wide to enable two wheelchair users to pass each other comfortably.
I can confirm that the footway widths on Archway Road will be at 2.4 metres and therefore greater than the recommended guidelines. I will now log this matter as closed.

I understand that there have been suggestions by you that you would interrupt the programme of works which could pose a risk to yourself and/or our contractors and staff. If we believe that our work or our staff has been put at risk, we shall have no hesitation in reporting these issues to the police requesting them to take further action.

I am aware that you have had some communications with the contractors working on site and that in some of these interactions you have been disrespectful towards the workers. Please refrain from this activity. As I am now your point of contact within TfL, all concerns relating to the project should be directed to me, and not the members of staff on site.

We have a responsibility to ensure that our resources are used in the most efficient ways possible and this extends to managing customer contact. If it becomes evident that your contact with us has become unreasonable, further contact with you may be dealt with under the terms of our Unreasonable and Unreasonably Persistent Complainants Policy, a copy of which can be found on our website here:

To conclude, we are willing to work with you to find solutions to the issues you have raised but where we cannot agree to requests, you must appreciate our reasons for doing so.
Kind regards
Gareth Long PMICS
Case Management Executive
TfL Customer Services

DO NOT DELETE.............................
DO NOT DELETE.............................

4 minutes later...

Gareth, Cool
Come and speak to my face, Amber will be here.
3 pm Monday will be satisfactory.
Thanks for stepping forward.
I have many other issues outstanding too. So glad to finally get any contact.
I cannot agree with everything you have stated. I have suffered under your contractors, I have video.
There is damage caused by these works and interruption of business.
Effluent running on your property is also important, as I suffer.
If you can't make by 3.30pm Monday, I suggest 3pm Tuesday.
Thanks for offering yourself as contact, can't wait to meet.
Kind regards

3 days later...

Gareth, (Gareth Long PMICS
Case Management Executive
TfL Customer Services)
After your email of 17.04 on Friday, that I responded to immediately. I find it distasteful that after 3 days you have not responded.
I work 7 days a week. I don't expect you to, however, if provoking contact, it's always wise to follow up, especially if there are many outstanding and important issues.
In 30 minutes my first proposed meeting time slot will expire. So I do hope you're able to make the fallback, contingent meeting slot of 3pm tomorrow (Tuesday).
I have a reference number from Thames Water if you want it?
Also about 30 from !islington BC, not sure how valid they are, as all the issues persist.
The water leak seems a little worse in the subway. Oddly, we are only half way down the hill, where some of the leak hits the drainage.
Please do not miss the 2nd appointment, there is so much to cover. I will have the 100s of emails that I have sent available, should you require factual background and the level of incompetence and the players. Also newspaper articles and Thames Waters response from their CEO.
As my beard grows more grey and my kids get taller, all the problems from 2011 exist. They are in Islington, but TfL manage or don't manage the infrastructure of this road.
Thank you for your time and hopefully we will be able to start moving towards a common goal of protecting the environment, whilst enabling safe and easy access to services.
Remember: every journey counts.
Even mine.
Speak soon

2 days later....

Dear Gareth, 

I am the co-owner of the Charlotte Despard.  I am most concerned that after your first missive, you have not bothered to reply to either of the emails sent to you by my business partner Chris Sparks.

Yet again, it would seem that TfL are riding roughshod over the concerns and interests of the local community and small businesses. 

If you take away our loading bay, you will be putting the three remaining businesses on that stretch of road out of business.

If you fill in the subway without stemming the leak, you will be committing extremely dangerous and unsound works that will lead to grave endangerment of residents and road users. 

The unwillingness, or downright refusal to undertake a risk assessment regarding the massive shortening of the pavement and the installation of a cycle lane, suggests to me that you won't do it, as it will confirm what everyone already knows: it is a dangerous and ill-conceived 'plan'.

In your statement regarding the width of the pavement being  in excess of two metres; I do hope that your figures are not including the land inside our property line? The fence that will be erected on our property line will seriously affect your figures.

My telephone number is: 07********* I would appreciate it if you would make it ring and make an appointment to come and meet. 


Amber Knight 

5 hours later....

I proposed 2 meeting times in response to your 1st email. Monday and Tuesday at 3pm. You didn't even bother to respond as well as missing the opportunities. 
The problems are actually getting worse. The more you distance yourself, the more foolish you look.
I have only ever stated that I want to talk to somebody who can make decisions and understands safety and risk.
I have witnessed your contractors making all sorts of mistakes - i have helped them to make us safe and even been thanked (Ian - site foreman).
The issues are growing - I have been lied to and had awful things said to me by your contractors. No-one will ever discuss this. I am not allowed in the site office, a lot of contempt, although they don't seem to care about our future once they have gone. Difficult to trade, building rubbish and dangerous spikes - it's becoming very difficult. I hope no-one gets injured. We have good CCTV to support everything surrounding our property.

So Gareth, you offered so much, so many words, but... really, to fair, what is it that you propose?
Did you forget that I pay business rates?
Did you forget that I pay council tax?
Did you forget that I pay late night levy?
Did you forget that I am a community pub landlord?
Did you forget that I have complained about the leak for 6 years?
Did you forget that I have requested to be involved in the loading bay plans from the beginning?
Did you forget that we were never consulted and our 1st knowledge was November 2015?
Did you forget that I presented 100's of signatures from my customers at Islington Town Hall?
Did you forget that this community wants a clean, safe environment?
Did you forget that humans exchange with the plants?

Just come here to The Charlotte Despard. Come whenever, surprise us.

Jeremy Corbyn has just replied - ooooh, he's not happy.


that's it Gareth - but, you know this.

See you soon, I hope.

If i need to write to you again, it will rhyme and flow to a tune that you know.

The kindest regards

2 days later (today)....

Gaz, days tick by, your office said "in due course!"
But -  things round here are slowly getting worse,
Pavements broken and pipes that have burst,
5 years later. I think that we are cursed,
With an endless disregard of "safety first",
And my customers who want to slake a thirst,
Same 3 issues that persist the worst.

All change, you emailed me last week,
I really believed that we had a chance to speak,
Across a table, not by phone to cheek,
Take a look at plans or at least take a peek,
Not just ignore or leave us to weep,
I want you to succeed but we do need to meet,
I'll cover expenses, but keep your receipts,
Sooner is better after 200 weeks.

comments are welcome. X