Thousands of people have now signed up to the various petitions which have been circulating in Chiswick about traffic restrictions introduced by Hounslow and Ealing Councils since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Petition against the closure of Fisher’s Lane and Turnham Green Terrace to cars
The one with the most signatures, 8,500 at time of writing, is a petition against the closure of Fisher’s Lane and Turnham Green Terrace to cars, started by Andrew Levison. It states:
‘Fishers Lane and Turnham Green Terrace in Chiswick have been closed to cars by Hounslow and Ealing Councils as part of the governments emergency COVID legislation to encourage cycle use and walking.
However these closures have been brought in at very short notice with no local consultation regarding it’s impact on the community in the area. As a result when driving, large detours are now required to get across Chiswick from the north to Chiswick High Road in the south. The closure of Turnham Green Terrace also means that local business‘s and shops are affected as people struggle to access the area by car or park there.
Consequently for people that have to drive, there is now significant inconvenience with longer journey times with resultant increased congestion and pollution around the alternative roads including Acton Lane and Goldhawk Road. It will also potentially become a lot more dangerous for cyclists who use these and other residential roads with the resultant increase in traffic.
These closures have been introduced with good intentions. However improving local cycling, encouraging walking and discouraging car use would be better served by introducing safe protected cycle lanes and more facilities to park and lock bikes rather than blocking local main roads to cars increasing pollution and congestion on alternative roads’.
Image above: Chiswick High Rd; photograph by Alanna McCrum
Among those who have signed the petition are people who face longer journeys to schools and work places.
‘I am signing because I live locally and need to drive in order to drop my children off to two different schools and from there on commute to my work by car. Travel times have increased considerably and lead to local pollution which cannot be in the interest of local residents’.
‘It makes no sense, is harming local. businesses, it is delaying residents going about their business, cuts Chiswick in half and causes gridlock in surrounding streets’.
In the list of those who have signed up also is Gary Malcolm, an Ealing councillor representing Southfield ward. He wrote:
‘All three of us (Lib Dem Southfield councillors) cycle regularly, but myself and the other two ward councillors oppose the Labour council implementing these schemes without first consulting the residents in the community’.
Cllr Malcolm has carried out his own survey of local residents, the majority of whom would be in favour of a one-way system, making Fisher’s Lane one-way, south bound only, and Turnham Green Terrace one-way north bound only.
Read the full story here: Overwhelming majority want changes to Fisher’s Lane and Turnham Green Terrace
Petition Hounslow Council to reverse all changes made to streets in Chiswick since April 2020
Another petition, on the Hounslow Council website, reached 4,296 signatures before it closed on Tuesday 10 November. Initiated by Jon Epstein, the petition was dual purpose: to reverse all the changes made to streets in Chiswick since April 2020 and to support the vote of no confidence motion against LB Hounslow leader Steve Curran, brought by the Conservative opposition group.
The petition closed on the day of the Council meeting and the vote of no confidence was comfortably defeated. Only the nine Conservative councillors at the meeting voted for it. All the Labour councillors at the meeting voted against it. The Youtube video of the Council meeting had been watched by more than three thousand people at time of writing.
Read the full story here: Labour unanimously vote down vote of no confidence against LB Hounslow leader
Other petitions on the Hounslow website have included one to stop the introduction of a diagonal traffic filter on Staveley Rd in Grove Park. That gathered 181 signatures before it closed at the end of June.
Consult on South Chiswick Traffic Measures
A petition to make LB Hounslow consult further before introducing traffic changes in south Chiswick is still gaining signatures on Change.org. This one had gathered 2,366 at time of writing. Zoe Corney, who started it, writes:
‘Hounslow Council are rushing through traffic calming measures in Chiswick without consultation with residents. These measures seriously impact local people as well as those using the area as a rat run…
‘We all want to reduce the unwanted additional traffic caused by people using the area as a cut through but this should be done with real data, consideration for locals, understanding the overall impact of the project, cooperation from impacted businesses and with agreement from residents.
‘The current plans are chaotic at best – they divert traffic to otherwise quiet roads or areas where children use and are not well thought through. Speak with the people who live here and know the roads’.
“Chiswick residents no longer have confidence in Hounslow to represent their interests”
Speaking to The Chiswick Calendar the day after his motion of no confidence against Steve Curran was voted down, Leader of the Conservative opposition group on Hounslow Council, Cllr Gerald McGregor, said:
“Chiswick residents no longer have confidence in Hounslow to represent their interests.
“It is no longer safe crossing Chiswick High Rd because you can’t cross the road without having to cross two lanes of cyclists and two lanes of traffic and the traffic constraints have set up constant congestion”.
In particular he criticised the removal of two traffic islands from the High Rd and the height of the stepping off points where people now alight from buses.
“People are stumbling as they get off buses because the build-ups are considerably lower than the kerb.”
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
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