Devonshire Road set to reopen for traffic during the day

Hounslow Council have announced the partial reopening of Devonshire Road to vehicular traffic, following feedback from an independent review.

General traffic access will be reintroduced between the hours of 8.00am and 5.00pm. Provision will be made for restaurants and cafes to retain the use of limited parking spaces for outdoor dining.

As part of its ‘listening approach’, the Council commissioned independent reviews of the borough’s Streetspace trials last October. This was to assess their impact on traffic and to analyse feedback from residents and businesses.

Streetspace trials began during lockdown in 2020, with a commitment to review, amend, remove or make htem permanent based on evidence collected throughout the trials.

Some 10,000 individuals took part in the recent consultation, both in writing and in a series of online engagement events organised by the Council, including events aimed specifically at businesses.

Following the independent reviews, the Council announced a number of changes to Streetspace in May and promised further engagement with regard to the trials on Bath Road, in Hounslow, and Devonshire Road in Chiswick.

Cllr Khan – “we’re listening”

Councillor Hanif Khan, Cabinet Member for Transport and One Hounslow, said:

“I want to thank the thousands of people who took part in the consultation, as well as those who spoke to us when we were knocking on doors in and around Bath Road and Devonshire Road as part of a further engagement activity in the last few weeks.

“I hope today’s decisions show that we are continuing to listen to what residents and our local business community are telling us about the Streetspace trials, with the aim of retaining the best of the schemes, but also being prepared to amend or remove trials where they are not working.

“In July we will conduct our final review of the other Streetspace trials and we will subsequently announce which will be made permanent or whether any further changes need to be made.”

Local reaction split

Chiswick residents have been reacting to the news on social media.

Journalist and broadcaster Jeremy Vine, who has been an outspoken supporter of local Streetspace and cycling schemes, Tweeted his disappointment:

The decision to reopen Chiswick’s Devonshire Road to through traffic — just in time for summer — means the end of my Saturday morning @urbanpantrycafe habit I fear … and I love that place!”

Urban Pantry duly replied, adding:

“We’re really sad about it too, seems like the consultation chose to listen to some businesses and not others. We’ve loved the semi pedestrianisation of Devonshire Road- fingers crossed people see sense soon!”

Another resident, Annabel James, Tweeted in support of the decision:

“There ain’t no ‘Sunday vibe’ on Devonshire Rd without viable businesses there the other 6 days of the week. Who need customer access and parking, oh and common sense. @RealOneChiswick @JoannaBiddolph #ChiswickChaos

Dr Edward Seaton posted on social media:

“There has been a concerted campaign to reopen Devonshire Road to unlimited through traffic and parking over the last few months. It’s been led by a pressure group called One Chiswick limited, Conservative councillor Joanna Biddolph and the Chiswick Conservatives.

“They all campaigned with the slogan ‘Hounslow Council is Destroying Chiswick.’ Well now the Labour council has backed down. Devonshire Road will once again be a road. I’ve loved the peace and atmosphere of Devonshire Road over the last few months. Now it’s over after their successful campaign. Unlimited traffic 8-5 seven days a week from the end of July. Do people know about this?”

“The devil is in the detail” says Cllr Joanna Biddolph

Cllr Joanna Biddolph who has been vociferous in her opposition to the Streetspace schemes, said:

“We are glad that Hounslow council listened to its findings and is to reverse this damaging Streetspace scheme. However, the devil is in the detail and, as is so often the case with Hounslow Council, the detail is missing.

Traders and residents responded immediately with questions and we have asked Hounslow council for clarity on these eight significant aspects:

 

  • the free 30-minute stop-and-shop parking – will this be reinstated as before, as it was on Turnham Green Terrace?
  • what about the impact on residents who are affected by late night drinking and dining – what measures will be put in place to protect them from noise from outdoor drinking/dining and including outdoor singing and music?
  • what about access for residents and businesses in Prince of Wales Terrace after 5.00 pm – how will they, including customers of Capital Motors having their cars serviced/fixed, drive in and out of Devonshire Road?
  • what about access for residents of the Glebe Estate and the south of Devonshire Road – will those restrictions be lifted?
  • what times of day will the limited numbers of parking spaces be retained for outdoor dining and how will they be allocated – the survey by the Chiswick Shops Task Force showed little interest in all day every day so will it be from 5.00 pm only and on some but not all days?

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Appeal court says Sadiq Khan’s Streetspace programme is legal

See also: OneChiswick still going ahead with Judicial Review of C9

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