Image above: Staveley Rd, quieter since the introduction of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood
Chiswick’s Conservative councillors have asked LB Hounslow to think again about the decision announced at the end of August to further restrict access to Grove Park from the A316. They have ‘called in’ the decision of the Chief Officer for transport, Jefferson Nwokeoma, for reconsideration. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee will decide on Thursday evening (23 September) whether the decision should be sent to Cabinet to be reconsidered.
Campaigners who oppose this recent addition to the traffic restrictions are calling on those who oppose them to demonstrate their feelings at the meeting, which will be held at Hounslow House, beginning at 7.00pm. The Council has said it would make a number of seats available for public viewing of this meeting, but as Hounslow House is currently still closed to the public, these places must be booked in advance on a first come first served basis.
Reduced access to Grove Park by car from the A316
The Council announced at the end of August that access would be restricted to Staveley Rd and Burlington Lane from the A316. The entry to Burlington Lane from the A316 will be a ‘hard closure’ – ie. the road will be blocked, allowing no access from the A316. The entry to Staveley Rd from the A316 will be restricted between 08.00 am and 5.00 pm to permit holders and local buses only.
The decision has caused outrage because it means Chiswick residents living east of the A316 will now need to drive up to the A4 and round to Sutton Court Rd to get into Grove Park by car (Hartington Rd beside Chiswick Bridge is already restricted to permit holders only).
Image: Map showing the detour residents east of the A316 will have to make to get to Chiswick rail station by car
Councillors Gerald MacGregor, Patrick Barr, Michael Denniss, Gabriella Giles, Ranjit Gill, Sam Hearn and John Todd, as well as Cllr Kuldeep Tak, Conservative councillor for Feltham North, object to the decision not being regarded as a ‘key decision’. They want the matter to be considered by Cabinet members, not just a council officer.
Cllr Ron Mushiso is a member of the Overview and Scrutiny committee and will be on the sub-committee scrutinising the decision.
They say there has been inadequate consultation, calling it: ‘superficial, incomplete and totally inadequate … Many residents were simply unaware of the online surveys and engagement sessions’.
They also say alternative ideas and options have been rejected by officers ‘with no good reason being offered’.
Cllr John Todd told The Chiswick Calendar:
“People who live east of the A316 will have no access to the shops, the chemist, doctors … it’s really splitting the community in half”.
Image above: Chiswick School, bordered by Burlington Lane and Staveley Rd
In their submission to the committee, the councillors say:
‘The changes to the Staveley Road access restrictions has necessitated the creation of new ‘white-list’ for certain residents. These are entirely new ideas on which there has been no consultation with residents, local businesses, the local school most affected or councillors.
‘An already complicated scheme is being made more complex without seeking any input from those most affected’.
Sophie Hart, posting on social media, said she thought the council was just ignoring objections.
‘We wrote letters, answered surveys, but LBH thinks our ‘pain is a price worth paying’.
She is referring there to a remark by Assistant Director of Transport, Parking and Environmental Strategy, Jefferson Nwokeoma, who made the remark in a public meeting while trying to explain his strategy of stopping rat running through quiet residential streets by reducing traffic through the area overall and funelling the remaining traffic onto a few kew roads, primarily Sutton Court Road.
Image above: Google Streetview image of Burlington Lane
New restrictions aimed at correcting huge increase in traffic on Sutton Court Rd and Burlington Lane
The decision to further restrict traffic into Grove Park from the A316 was made by the Council to try and deal with the extra traffic on those roads, caused by the introduction of LTNs in Grove Park.
The south Chiswick Liveable Neighbourhood project was introduced in 2020, to try and reduce rat running through the area. Traffic measurement studies have shown that overall there is less traffic coming into Grove Park from the A316, most streets are quieter and residents on those streets are largely happy about the changes.
The studies also show that there’s been a huge displacement of traffic from Staveley Rd, where a barrier was introduced, onto Burlington Lane and Sutton Court Rd. Michael Robinson analysed the figures for The Chiswick Calendar:
‘The greatest effect has been on Burlington Lane west of Staveley Road. In the September 2019 and September 2020 surveys this had about 2,500 vehicles a day. In the June 2021 survey, this had increased by about 4,100 vehicles to 6,600 vehicles a day…
‘Displaced traffic now travelling via Burlington Lane to Sutton Court Road has produced an increase of about 2,600 daily vehicles on Sutton Court Road south of Staveley Road from about 7,900 to 10,600 vehicles per day. However traffic on Sutton Court Road north of Staveley Road shows a decrease of about 1,100 vehicles from about 11,700 to 10,600 vehicles per day.
‘This indicates an overall reduction of traffic from the A316 to the A4 through Grove Park, but a main route has changed from Staveley Road to Burlington Lane. The barrier at Staveley therefore hasn’t been sufficient to deter drivers (or SatNavs) from using the route via Burlington Lane instead. There is a difference of only 0.2 miles between the length of the two routes’.
Image above: Google Streetview image of the A316
School Streets made permanent
Key to this decision is the position of Chiswick School, which is bordered by the A316 to the east, Burlington Lane to the west and Staveley Rd to the south. It was never the intention that there should be increased traffic around the school.
In recent years there have been several accidents involving students being hit by cars in the roads adjacent to the school.
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