A question was asked by a Member on the process around the proposed closure of West Smithfield Road, noting the disruption that such a closure would cause. The Member asked whether the correct consultation procedure had been followed.
The meeting noted that temporary traffic orders to facilitate temporary works (that can last up to 18 months) are governed by a different process to the one that governs permanent or experimental traffic orders. Temporary orders are required to be advertised in the press (once their suitability, impact and appropriateness has been considered), and the City of London also usually issues local notices though that is not a requirement. The standard process requires the developer (the applicant) to undertake local engagement with affected stakeholders. The City heard that surrounding streets would be kept open to facilitate movement through the area, and that recent restrictions nearby would not affect the Smithfield area.
A Member sought clarification on the status of Giltspur St, and the meeting heard that Giltspur St was part of the ‘ring of steel’ and that changes in the area were likely to involve further security infrastructure.
The meeting heard that further (and permanent) road-strengthening, waterproofing and road-rebuilding work was required. Two meetings with the Smithfield Market Tenants’ Association on the issue took place during the final quarter of 2022 during which it had become clear that the original 12-week closure was likely to be extended, though it appeared likely that a single carriageway could be open in May 2023 assuming a road closure as of mid-January 2023.
A Member noted that road closure details and maps were helpful, noting that the website updates were now available at Road closures - City of London, and that work was ongoing to make a live map available.