Design framework published on how to improve Turnham Green Terrace

14 December, 2020 / by Matt Smith and Bridget Osborne

Images above: Turnham Green Terrace now (left), an artists impression of what it might look like in the future

Two designers from the design firm Urban Movement have published a design brief to make Turnham Green Terrace more user friendly for the people of Chiswick. Chris Martin and Brian Deegan were commissioned by a group of Bedford Park residents to come up with design parameters, following a workshop on 6 November, at which they invited the general public to give their views of how they would like to improve the road.

LB Hounslow is currently reviewing the Streetspace changes it introduced in the summer, including the highly controversial decision to stop through traffic and remove all parking on Turnham Green Terrace except for disabled badge holders and the loading and unloading heavy or bulky goods. The ban on through traffic has been suspended pending the outcome of the review.

Architect Peter Murray set up the steering group which organised the workshop and commissioned the design plan. He is Curator-in-Chief of New London Architecture, a Design Advocate for the Mayor of London and Chairman of the London Society. The other members of the steering group are also architects or planners.

“There has been a lot of anger in Chiswick in recent weeks about traffic changes in the area” Peter Murray told The Chiswick Calendar; “an understandable response perhaps in the light of the lack of consultation…

But “going back to what we had before is not good enough to solve the complex issues around movement and transport in a period when we have to meet London-wide and national targets to be Zero Carbon by 2050, improve the quality of our air, create healthier streets and move to more active travel.”

A broad concensus on a way forward

Those who took part in the workshop considered what kind of road they would like Turnham Green Terrace to be – whether it should be considered a road which prioritised the movement of traffic or one which prioritised a sense of place in which people could relax, sit, play and socialise. Presented with nine types of road, a straw poll showed the majority would opt for a ‘City Street’ which would provide ‘a pedestrian friendly environment while ensuring excellent connections with the wider transport network’.

Chris Martin, one of the two designers who have produced the design brief, told The Chiswick Calendar what they have provided is not a ‘plan’ or a ‘proposal’ but a basis for designing a scheme which would take into account the hopes an aspirations but also the ‘red lines’ that reflected a broad concensus on a way forward, based on the what was discussed at the workshop.

The design brief doesn’t even make “suggestions” he said, but aimed to give an idea of how the street could look, as a basis for further discussion.

The brief retains two way traffic but considers that parking might be removed from the street and relocated nearby. It makes much more of the area outside Turnham Green tube station, to ‘create a sense of arrival fitting the local area’. It shows two more zebra crossings and wider pavements. Crucially, it puts forward the idea of flexibility – that the street could be ‘different things at different times’.

Images above: Concept of how the area outside the tube station could look and an additional zebra crossing further up

What Turnham Green Terrace could look like

according to Chris and Brian’s report:

Flexible streets

Turnham Green Terrace should be designed with flexibility in mind, ensuring the street can be different things at different times – offering space for community uses, play, and business activity at times for example, whilst enabling businesses to service their premises and local people to visit by private car at times.

Area – wide approach

Turnham Green Terrace should be designed as part of an area-wide strategy to ensure that changes on Turnham Green Terrace do not drive more traffic down other local streets in the area.

Test & Trial

Ideas for Turnham Green Terrace should be tested through some weekend closures, with festivals and events organised to highlight what can be done.

Connecting public transport

Turnham Green Terrace should be better connected to public transport through any re-design, ensuring better arrival spaces as well as better links to bus stops on both sides of the street.

Station arrival

Building on the above, any Turnham Green Terrace improvements should dramatically improve the public realm outside the Underground Station and create a sense of arrival fitting for the local area.

Places to sit

Improvements to Turnham Green Terrace should create community spaces for relaxation with attractive seating and potentially play.

Parking pricing

Improvements to Turnham Green Terrace should consider available parking and ensure that parking pricing discourages unnecessary trips but allows access by car for those who need it.

Peripheral parking

Improvements to Turnham Green Terrace should consider how parking can be removed from the street in order to increase its ‘place’ value and relocated nearby – especially within nearby multi-storey or surface level car park facilities.

Wider pavements

Improvements along Turnham Green Terrace should maximise the benefit for those walking or wheeling down the street, widening pavements and prioritising people.

You can read Chris Martin and Brian Deegan’s design brief here: Turnham Green Terrace Design Brief Report.

‘Positive’ changes possible for Turnham Green Terrace

Peter Murray said:

“The report shows how design-led consultation can come up with really positive responses that are deliverable. It is a refreshing change from the febrile, binary debate that has characterised the discussion about traffic ever since the first lockdown in March.”

65 people attended the workshop and another 440 have watched the recording on social media. The attendees were a broad mix – from those who were very critical of the temporary changes to the Terrace to cyclists who called for even greater reduction in vehicular access.

Murray continued: “a wide range of views was expressed during the workshop and Urban Movement have done a great job in coming up with solutions that cater for the needs of the majority of users of the Terrace. We will be sending the report to Hounslow Council as part of their consultation on future changes.”

If you’d like to add your comments to the proposed changes, you can put them up on the TGT Workshop Facebook page facebook.com/tgtworkshop/  or email them to tgtworkshops@icloud.com.

The next stage is to offer the design brief to LB Hounslow as part of the general consultation on the Streetspace inititiaves. Cabinet Member Hanif Khan told The Chiswick Calendar he was looking forward to meeting Peter Murray to discuss it. “He’s an expert in the field who talks a lot of sense. It would be silly to ignore his opinion”.

The other members of the steering group are Peter Oborn; Peter Eversden, John Scott, Hugh Broughton, Malcolm Reading and Bill Taylor.

You can read Peter Murray’s guest blog on their vision for Turnham Green Terrace here: Better Streets for the Future.

Video of TGT Workshop

Below is a video of the Turnham Green Terrace Workshop.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Urban designers discuss a better future for Turnham Green Terrace

See also: Overwhelming majority want changes to Fisher’s Lane and Turnham Green Terrace

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