Moves to roll back traffic restrictions further as Ombudsman criticises LB Hounslow

Images above: Signs along Hartingdon Rd and Grove Park Rd

LB Hounslow Cabinet reconsiders South Chiswick traffic restrictions

LB Hounslow’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 19 October will discuss whether or not to change the traffic restrictions they introduced to Grove Park and Strand on the Green. The whole package of Lower Traffic Neighbourhood measures south of the A4 was referred back to the Cabinet by the Oversight and Scrutiny sub-committee on 23 September to be reconsidered after Chiswick councillors complained about the latest changes introduced in August and committee members were flooded with complaints from residents.

READ ALSO: South Chiswick LTN schemes sent back to LB Hounslow Cabinet to be reconsidered

Residents’ meeting planned

Residents associations including Strand on the Green Residents Association and the Grove Park Group as well as more recently formed groups in Park Rd and Burlington Lane have got together to organise their own meeting on 21 October (in the evening at St Paul’s Church, ticket registration details TBC) to discuss the outcome of the Cabinet meeting. They have invited local councillors as well as Cabinet members Cllr Hanif Khan, Cllr Katherine Dunne and Cllr Guy Lambert to attend.

Images above: Signs on the A316 and Hartingdon Rd 

FOI requests finds biggest group of people fined for driving into Grove Park from the A316 are from outside London

As the debate continues as to how best to restrict traffic which is driving through residential areas, a Freedom of Information request has revealed that by far the largest percentage of those people fined for turning off the A316 into Hartington Rd by Chiswick Bridge between June and September came from outside London.

If you take that turning into Grove Park, you pass a large sign saying: ’No Motor Vehicles Except Permit Holders’. Hounslow Council was asked to produce the postcodes of those who’d been given penalty notices.

Between Tuesday 1 June and Thursday 16 September (108 days) there were 12,895 PCNs issued – an average of 119 per day. A staggering 33.4% came from outside London, from places as far away as Aberdeen and Truro.

READ ALSO:

FOI requests finds biggest group of people fined for driving into Grove Park from the A316 are from outside London

Image above: Fisher’s Lane

Fisher’s Lane survey

Liberal Democrat councillors representing Southfield ward are hoping to force Ealing Council to reconsider their decision to make the Fisher’s Lane change banning vehicles permanent. They are asking residents to take part in another survey canvassing opinion on whether it should be voted on by local residents.

Ealing Council say they don’t regard Fisher’s Lane as a Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme but as part of a pre-existing plan to create safe cycling routes.

Among those who support the ban on traffic on Fisher’s Lane is the head teacher of Belmont Primary School, Elaine Lacey, who wrote a letter in support of the initaitve saying it made children at the school much safer.

READ ALSO: Fisher’s Lane traffic restrictions to be made permanent

Cllr Gary Malcolm has been criticised for circulating the survey in an unfair way. Some residents who are in favour of the traffic ban on Fisher’s Lane who were previously on the councillors’ database have not received notification of the survey, while they note it was sent to OneChiswick, who campaign against all and any traffic restrictions in Chiswick.

To fill in the survey click here: docs.google.com/forms

The Liberal Democrats have ‘called in’ the Fisher’s Lane decision by Ealing Council and it will be reviewed at the Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee meeting on 21 October. Cllr Malcolm says he will present the result of the survey at that meeting.

Image above: Workmen erecting barriers on Turnham Green Terrace

Local Ombudsman criticises LB Hounslow for Turnham Green Terrace and Devonshire Rd closures

A complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman against LB Hounslow has been upheld. Ombudsman Michael King was highly critical of the way in which the Council closed Turnham Green Terrace and Devonshire Rd to through traffic in the summer of 2020. Parking bays were taken out and the pavement widened for pedestrians to have more space to pass and signs were put up restricting access to all vehicles except buses and blue badge holders, unless they needed access for loading.

The Ombudsman said Hounslow’s justification for the closures was too vague:

‘I do not consider these statements alone adequately explain the decision to close the roads in question to through traffic.

‘l expected to see some evidence to show that officers considered the potential impact of these proposals. But there is no record of what consideration the Council gave to various factors which may have been relevant to its decision”.

He said considering Turnham Green Terrace was classified as a ‘B’ road and acknowledged a ‘major road’ by the council, he would have expected a much more thorough examination of the impact the closure would have.

‘One of the stated aims of the council’s policy was to prevent residential roads being used as ‘rat runs’ – a term understood to refer to residential roads being used as an alternative to major roads. So, to divert traffic from a major road on to other residential roads would appear contradictory.’

He also criticised the Council’s record keeping:

“I would still have expected the council to keep some record of its thinking. I consider the lack of record keeping to explain how the council decided to close these roads to through traffic justifies a finding of fault.”

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Local Government Ombudsman criticises LB Hounslow for Turnham Green Terrace and Devonshire Rd closures

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