Protests on Staveley Rd continue daily

Image above: protesters at Staveley Rd on Monday 21 September 2020

After their success in stopping Hounslow Highways workers from installing a barrier across Staveley Rd last week, protesters have kept up a daily presence at the junction of Satevley Rd and Park Rd, including over the weekend, in case the workmen return.

The barrier is due to be installed as part of the ‘Liveable Neighbourhoods’ scheme which is meant to stop motorists using residential streets in Grove Park as a cut through from the A316 to the A4.

Protesters “selfish”

A resident of Staveley Rd wrote to The Chiswick Calendar after last week’s story asking that we make it clear that:

“It was Park Road residents (NIMBY) NOT Staveley Road residents who were protesting. Staveley Road residents, who desperately need traffic speeds reduced on our road, are in favour of the planned work”.

Park Rd residents were being “incredibly selfish” he said and Cllr Sam Hearn’s involvement in the protest was “a disgrace”.

The protests started on Monday 14 September, when a team from Hounslow Highways turned up to remove the traffic island in Staveley Rd beside the junction with Park Rd and to install a diagonal barrier which would make it impossible to drive all the way along Staveley Rd from one end to the other.

The idea is to make it useless as a cut through, as cars travelling east to west to get onto Sutton Court Rd from the A316 would have to take a detour by turning left onto Park Rd. Cars going in the other direction would also have to turn left, heading north on Park Rd.

Some 8,000 cars a day pass along Sutton Court Rd each day, most of them just passing through Grove Park to shave a couple of minutes on their journey time by avoiding Hogarth roundabout. Traffic surveys have shown that over 70% of traffic entering Hartington Road from the A316 by Chiswick Bridge is driving straight through the area. LB Hounslow is trying to make the environment of Grove Park better and safer.

A group calling themselves ‘the Park Rd neighbours group’ is objecting because they say they have not been consulted on the scheme and the removal of the traffic island and Give Way signs will make Staveley Rd more dangerous to cross. Their spokesman declined to be named.

Julian Dunn, who lives on Staveley Rd, told The Chiswick Calendar that he had lived on the road for 19 years “with traffic flying up and down at 50 or 60 mph”.  There are road markings indicating the speed limit of 20 mph, but they make precious little difference, he says.

“Twice I’ve answered the door in the morning to cyclists who have been knocked off their bikes, blood pouring from their wounds, asking for help” he said.

“The difficulty is that Park Rd has always been a quiet road and has some very vocal people. I think they’re being incredibly selfish.

“The new scheme would divert some of the traffic down their quiet street, but it would make a huge difference to Staveley Rd.

“If they just waited until the council had implemented the whole scheme across Grove Park, in an organised way”, he said, “they will in time see that after a few months it will cut the amount of traffic throughout the whole area”.

Cllr Sam Hearn a “disgrace”

Julian described Cllr Sam Hearn as “a disgrace” because “he’s out there on the street orchestrating it. He should be representing all the people in the neighbourhood, not just those that live on his road”.

Cllr Hearn lives on Park Rd. He told The Chiswick Calendar last week that he was not “orchestrating” the protest, but was there only in a “supporting role”. He did however talk to the team leader of the Hounslow HIghways crew and tell him that the safety audit for the job was incomplete, after which the workmen left.

The Chiswick Calendar has also heard from a resident of Park Rd who has two young children with a medical condition which makes it difficult for them to understand danger. Their father told us that their own road would be busier and crossing Staveley Rd would be more dangerous for them without the central traffic island. He and his wife had chosen to live there partly because it was a quiet road.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Park Rd residents stop Hounslow Highways installing road barrier in Staveley Rd

See also: Cllr Sam Hearn’s blog on proposals for south Chiswick from May 2020