Image above: Harvard Hill junction with A4
I reported a couple of weeks ago that I’d witnessed a driver manouevre around the ‘Road Closed’ barrier on Harvard Hill, blocking the entrance from the A4 as he did so, which would have forced anyone wanting to turn in from the A4 to stop and could potentially have caused a sudden tail back of traffic on a very busy, fast road. In other words, the classic recipe for an accident.
A succession of drivers have continued to make the same dangerous manouevre, according to locals reporting what they’ve witnessed on social media. When challenged, drivers have told them their sat navs have sent them that way. Some do a U turn when they realise their sat navs has misinformed them. Others carry on regardless.
Drivers following their sat navs
Brenda Pritchard posted:
‘The closing of Harvard Hill exit onto the A4 is clearing not working properly. I have witnessed on several occasions car simply ignoring the road closed signs and are still exiting onto the A4, which extremely dangerous… It’s only a matter of time before there’s an accident.
‘I spoke to a lady and a gentleman who where queuing up to exit. I told them the road was now closed to traffic. They both said their sat nav has sent them down to Harvard Hill’.
‘Google maps now redirecting’
Julian Money-Kyrle wrote:
‘A few days ago I tried to turn into Harvard Hill from the A4 and my way was blocked by a van trying to get round the barrier. They eventually reversed and the driver was quite surprised when I told him that the road was closed…
‘… I walked back to the junction after parking and counted about 40 vehicles turning illegally onto the A4 in the space of about half an hour. I approached some of the drivers who showed me that their satnav had directed them there. Most were happy to turn around once it had been pointed out that it was now no entry, though some went ahead regardless.
‘I phoned the Police to report a hazard, and reported it to Hounslow Traffic via their website, who emailed back to say that it wasn’t their responsibility but they would pass my concerns to Hounslow Council’.
Cllr Sam Hearn, one of the councillors representing the Riverside ward in which Harvard Hill is situated, answered:
‘There are mechanisms for communicating changes to the SatNav providers and LBH are doing this. However there is no legal requirement for the SatNav companies to update their systems’.
Richard Jones, from Grove Park commented:
‘Sam, tell Khan to put a barrier across the whole road . Sort it out – you’re our councillor?
To which Cllr Hearn replied:
‘Richard – the reason the barrier does not go all across the road is that there needs to be access on and off the A4/M4 in the event of an emergency e.g. multiple pile up’.
Iris Hill reported:
‘Google maps now redirecting (as of 12.42 on 24th August)
It will be interesting to see how quickly other systems catch up and what difference this makes.
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: Radical plans for South Chiswick