An attempt to settle the argument over parking in Chiswick

Image above: Empty parking spaces on Old Market Place car park (photograph taken in the summer, not during the period of the survey)

Survey carried out over 12 days in November shows you can park in the centre of Chiswick

Chiswick Flower Market is hoping to refurbish Old Market Place – the car park area outside the shops beside George IV pub. They point out the infrastructure is crumbling, the spaces too narrow for modern cars, some are unusable because of tree roots and the whole place looks tatty and unloved.

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While few would disagree that it would be nice if the place had a refresh – new planting, new seating, spaces for bikes and electric vehicles to charge – whether people in Chsiwick will support the proposal is likely to depend on how many parking spaces are lost in the process.

In an attempt to have a conversation about it based on facts rather than indivuduals’ subjective experiences, they have carried out a parking survey, organised jointly by the flower market, Hounslow Council and developer Birchgrove, the company which has bought the old police station with a view to turning it into apartments for older people.

The results show there are regularly parking spaces which are empty in central Chiswick.

Above: Availability of car parking spaces during survey. At no point were there fewer than 48 spaces vacant within a 2-minute walk of Old Market Place/ At no point was Old Market Place completely full

At no point were there fewer than 48 spaces vacant withing a two minute walk of Old Market Place and at no point was Old Market Place completely full

Benchmark Data Collection, an independent company that has been undertaking traffic surveys for over thirty years across London and the southern counties of England, was commissioned to carry out the survey, which covered Old Market Place (from Linden Gardens to Devonshire Rd), the council-owned car park on Bond Street, and nearby roads in mid-Chiswick.

For 12 days between 30 October and 11 November (deliberately not half term or peak Christmas shopping periods when you would expect there to be fewer or more people trying to park than usual), their researchers conducted snapshot surveys at fifteen-minute or three-hourly intervals on weekdays and weekends between 7.00am-7.00pm.

The findings showed that out of the 186 spaces potentially available in central Chiswick, there were always more than 40 available within a short walk of Old Market Place.  The survey did not record any occasion when Old Market Place was completely full. It was close to full only 2% of the time.

The flower market hopes the survey will be a useful point of reference as the Council moves to conduct a consultation on the proposals for refurbishing the area.