Residents frustrated by glitches in registration for Chiswick School street permits

Image above: Chiswick School, from Staveley Rd

Residents of Grove Park and Dukes Meadows are having trouble registering their vehicles for exemption to penalty notices so they can drive through Staveley Rd from the A316 to Burlington Lane.

A Street School initiative was introduced last year around Chiswick School, to reduce traffic around schools, making it safer for students. At the time Hounslow Council said:

‘Residential exemptions will not be issued as residential properties are not located within the scheme area’.

There is a “No Motor Vehicle” access restriction on a section of Staveley Road between the A316 and Burlington Lane between 8.00 – 9.00am and 2.45 – 3.45pm Monday to Friday. These restrictions do not apply to buses, delivery vehicles or school staff.

In August this year Hounslow Council announced the scheme was being extended, as the Streetspace initiatives in Grove Park introduced over the past year have displaced too much traffic onto Burlington Lane and Sutton Court Rd.

Access will 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.

Local councillors in the Riverside ward campaigned for the Council to reconsider. After an intervention by Cllr John Todd, representing residents in his ward east of the A316, the Council conceded there would be an opportunity for local residents living east of the A316 to apply for exemptions as well.

The form to register for exemption was added to Hounslow’s website at the beginning of November.

Residents in Grove Park and Dukes Meadows who have tried to register their vehicle for exemption from penalties have found the form on Hounslow’s website has only been working intermittently. When I tried this morning it was working, but the website had a notice saying it would be out of action again on Monday 30 November and Tuesday 1 December while further work was carried out on the site.

Residents ‘confused’ as their applications are wrongly rejected

Not only have residents found the site not working at times, but some of those who should be eligible for exemption, according to the Council’s own rules, have found their applications have been rejected.

Cllr Gabriella Giles

Cllr Gabriella Giles wrote on social media on 19 November:

‘I know that many of you have tried to register for the School Street in the last week only to have your permits rejected this week. I have contacted the Head of Traffic and Transport at Hounslow Council who has informed me this morning that:

“I am aware that there is a technical glitch with the online exemption registration form which my team and our contractors have been trying to fix over the last couple of days. The issue should be rectified tomorrow and in the meantime we have suspended the processing of new applications.

“Once this is rectified, we intend to register all eligible residents whose applications were incorrectly rejected, hopefully without the need for new submissions.”

Cllr Giles continued:

‘If you live in the GP or FR CPZ area (or indeed east of the A316 as specified in the TMO) and registered only to receive a rejection this week, your application is still valid. This will be processed. If you haven’t yet registered for the whitelist, the site should be back online tomorrow, and you will be able to register then’.

Others commenting on the thread:

“we were very confused as to why we were rejected” and “I submitted my application but have received no acknowledgment”.

Cllr Giles commented: “The system has been set up with a really poor user experience”.

New applicants applying for exemption now receive an acknowledgement when when complete the form.

As yet no date has been set for the introduction of the extension of the vehicle ban.

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