TRAFFIC calming measures which were installed at a cost of £16,000 nine months ago will not be removed despite demands from residents.
Speed ramps have already been taken away from sections of Broadmead Road in Woodford Green after complaints that nearby houses were shaking every time a lorry went over them.
But many people on the road say they are still experiencing bad vibrations from the textured tile surfacing which has been installed on stretches of the road to slow cars down.
At a meeting of the council’s Area Two committee last night, councillors baulked at the costs involved.
Highways officers say it would cost £13,500 to pull up the tiles, and Cllr Gwyneth Deakins of Roding ward said the expense could not be justified.
“As guardians of the public purse it’s not something I think we could feel comfortable with,” she said.
“Sometimes if something is really catastrophic then something has to be done, but this is not a cut and dried issue.”
Residents met with councillors and Iain Duncan Smith in June and appeared to win the backing of the MP in their fight to get the surfacing removed.
A council consultation followed, with a majority of those who responded saying they wanted the imprints removed.
Jean-Yves, Baron of Kirkbaddo, 63, who lives opposite one of the imprints, said he was ‘devastated’ by the decision not to remove the tiles.
“This is having a real effect on people’s lives and we were hopeful they would help us,” he said.
“It’s true that we agreed to have these measures put in, but we were totally unaware of the impact they would have.
“My front door shakes every time a lorry or a bus goes over the imprint and recently two tiles fell off my roof.
“If they had just listened to our requests for speed cameras we wouldn’t have needed this anyway.”
While councillors were sympathetic to the residents who say their houses are being shaken, they said there was evidence that the imprints were having some impact on speed.
Cllr Paul Canal of Bridge ward said: “I find it hard to justify removing something that is reducing speeds by 5mph.
“To be blunt that could be enough to save a child’s life.”
And Cllr Jim O’Shea of Monkhams ward questioned how much noise the imprints were actually causing.
“I was with the residents when they met Iain Duncan Smith,” he said. “They said the noise was unbearable, but I don’t agree with them.
"First of all the majority (of residents) wanted these measures now they want it removed.
"We are damned if we do and damned if we don't. How did we get into this mess?"