Iain Duncan Smith MP and local Conservative Councillor Sheree Rackham have backed Jeremy Robinson, Chief Executive of Clarity, a 160-year-old charity that moved into the area a year ago, in criticising Labour-run Waltham Forest Council's decision not to install a new crossing to protect disabled workers in Highams Park.
Of the 80 staff employed by Clarity, 70 are disabled, Mr Robinson confirmed that he was told last year that Waltham Forest Council had agreed, "in principle" to install a pelican crossing across the busy road at the cost of £25,000, to help his staff, amongst others, cross Jubille Avenue.
Speaking about this, Cllr Rackham said, "Jubilee Avenue is now the main access road to for shoppers and delivery vehicles to the new Tesco superstore, industrial units and more than 200 new homes, all of which have been built in the last couple of years. Yet, Clyde Loakes, Labour's Deputy Leader, has cited figures up to 2013 to defend his decision not to install this crossing, before any of the new development was open."
Mr Robinson said the Council’s position defied logic.
"It seems that the Council are assessing the need for a crossing purely on the lack of accidents in the past,” he said.
"Surely it is the potential future risk of an accident that should be the determining factor, and this risk has increased significantly in the last 18 months. It looks like there needs to be a serious incident before any action will happen; an incident that will almost certainly have been preventable."