Hounslow's Streetspace

Staveley Road and Burlington Lane Frequently Asked Questions – update May 2023

1. What is the outcome from the last remaining trial access restriction - on Staveley Road and on Burlington Lane?

On 18 April 2023, Hounslow Council’s Cabinet approved the Staveley Road and Burlington Lane access restrictions, which are part of a wider low traffic neighbourhood scheme aimed at reducing the volume of through traffic passing through Grove Park and creating a safer environment for walking, wheeling and cycling. 

Subject to any statutory consultation, this means that:

  • On Burlington Lane, the council are to retain the current no-entry restriction from the A316 and will proceed with a permanent Traffic Management Order that is brought in by 1 July 2023.
  • The Staveley Road restriction will remain as is but on a permanent basis.

2. Why are you implementing the South Chiswick Liveable Neighbourhood?

Taking steps to help improve air quality and tackle congestion are a priority. Poor air quality impacts many of the world’s urban centres – even rural areas in some cases, and it is something we can, and are working to address. 

Air quality

The Local Government Association key messages arising from COP26 in October 2021 state: 

‘Air pollution is the largest environmental risk to the public’s health, contributing to cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and respiratory diseases. It is costing the economy £20 billion a year and contributes to over 25,000 deaths a year. 

Councils and Directors of Public Health are committed to making their local areas healthier places to live and are already delivering when it comes to tackling air pollution. They have introduced a range of measures such as clean air zones, encouraging the use of electric vehicles with recharging points and promoting cycling and walking.’ 

You can read more about air quality monitoring on Defra’s website here: Daily Air Quality Index - Defra, UK

The air quality information resource Air Pollution in Great Britain: Real-time Air Quality Index Visual Map (aqicn.org) is also available online helping pinpoint locations and share up to date air quality readings from Defra. 

Tackling traffic density

Chiswick is a busy area and we need to keep the area moving sustainably. With the exception of lockdown, the traffic on urban roads has grown exponentially in recent years. Many of our urban centres and key areas of residential development are not built with the flexibility to simply widen and expand the roads – many of Chiswick’s streets are over 100 years old– not anticipating a norm of car ownership in the future. 

Although the benefits of being able to cut through some side streets mean we can miss blocks of traffic on arterial roads – as the traffic re-joins those arterial roads it can result in an extra pinch-point of traffic density, and one incident can bring the arterial and through roads to a standstill. 

3. When will the council make these permanent changes to Staveley Road and Burlington Lane?

The existing Experimental Traffic Management Order will remain until this permanent order is brought into operation by 1 July 2023. This will see the implementation of a permanent measure at the junction of Burlington Lane and the A316.

4. Will the scheme mean I have to drive a lot further?

One of the aims of the scheme is to prevent motorists from using residential roads as a cut-through between major roads. This reduction in traffic volumes (and speeds) will help improve safety on the roads, while at the same time making roads more conducive to journeys on foot, cycling and on public transport. There will always be those essential car journeys that people need to make and at times, journeys may be slightly longer, or you may need to take a less convenient route. However, as residents begin to change their transport choices and choose to drive less, we hope to see a reduction in overall congestion. This will make the area more enjoyable for everyone and also benefit those that need to make an essential car journey.

5. Why was the timed restriction or School Street option not implemented on the A316 as per the Chief Officer Decision of February 2023?

Feedback from residents and ward councillors suggested that a timed restriction would not reduce traffic overall and may have led to an ongoing issue of large volumes of through traffic outside the hours of the restrictions.

6. Why was Chiswick in particular chosen rather than other wards?

Residential areas of Chiswick face a number of pressures caused by the constricting effect of the River Thames and the presence of busy, major roads. The bend of the river, with its limited crossings, constrains traffic to specific corridors in Chiswick and often leads to congestion on the A4 and A316. This issue has been highlighted further by the recent closure of Hammersmith Bridge.

Vehicles often use residential streets to bypass major roads. This through traffic increases noise and air pollution while reducing safety and community cohesion. Furthermore, this combination of major roads, the river and railway lines create a barrier to active travel modes such as walking and cycling.

7. Who will be exempt from these changes?

The current exemptions will still apply as in the experimental scheme. In addition, access exemptions for all carers now apply, irrespective of whether they hold residential parking permits or not.

Taxi exemption signs will also be added to relevant parts of the South Chiswick Liveable Neighbourhood to assist in the clarity for hackney carriages on their use of the scheme.

Find out more on eligibility and how to apply

8. Won’t these measures lead to more traffic on the major routes through Chiswick?

The programme has been progressed in line with government and Mayoral guidance which supports the reduction in through-traffic in residential areas.  In general, this is taken to mean roads which are not classified (i.e. carrying an A or B number). In some cases, this may lead to variations in traffic volumes on other roads in the area.

Research suggests this can be a temporary outcome. Following changes in the network, some drivers will choose to travel at different times, on different routes, by different modes or indeed may not make the trip at all. This can reduce the impact of displacement over time.

This concept has been observed and documented in academic studies and is referred to as “traffic evaporation.” An influential piece of research back in 2002 (Disappearing Traffic – The Story so Far. Cairns Atkins and Goodwin, 2002. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Municipal Engineer 151 March 2002 Issue 1 Pages 13 -22,) looking at 70 case studies concluded: “When pedestrianisation schemes or wider pavements or cycle lanes or bus (and other priority vehicle) lanes or road closures are introduced, pre-scheme predictions of what will happen are usually excessively pessimistic. In practice, it is rare that schemes result in a significant deterioration of traffic conditions. Traffic levels can reduce by significant amounts, with the average being that perhaps 11% of the traffic on the treated road or area cannot be found in the area afterwards.”

These changes take time to articulate themselves on the network. The impact of the scheme on surrounding roads will be closely monitored through the review process. 

9. How will the council assess future requests for liveable neighbourhoods and decide where they should be?

Trials of schemes depend on a variety of factors which include public demand for them as well as funding available. There is also a review underway at the council to look at the prioritisation of scheme locations which will include criteria such as air quality, road safety, car use/ownership and public transport which we will be scoring areas against, starting with those that already have approval

10. Why, despite the volume of opposition in the consultations, has the council gone ahead with the scheme?

Local authority consultations offer residents and stakeholders an opportunity to help scope, develop and fine-tune proposals. They are not though a referendum on a given topic. We’d like to thank all those who took the time to offer their feedback in the consultative stages of the South Chiswick Liveable Neighbourhood. These views and suggestions will play a vital part in making sure we develop plans that are right for the area and which are also based on empirical data gathered during the trials.

11. Have the emergency services been consulted on the measures in terms of their access? Have they made any suggested changes?

The emergency services have been fully consulted and are in fact a statutory consultee.

In general emergency services colleagues prefer restrictions that apply to general traffic but not to vehicles running under blue light operations.  Such approaches rely on camera enforcement arrangements, rather than through the use of hard barriers.  As a consequence, the council has sought to apply a blend of schemes.

Whilst the council does not need the approval of the emergency services prior to implementing changes, we have committed to work with them to address any concerns they may have as far as practicable.

12. What disability access reviews have been carried out as part of this scheme?

A statutory Equality and Community Impact Assessment (ECIA) was conducted which assessed the projected impacts of the scheme on all protected groups (such as disability, age and gender).  Through the consultation, we have received valuable feedback from people in these groups that we have worked with as far as we can to help shape the plans so that the final scheme works for everyone.

13. How do we ensure that consultation is free and fair?

The council has used multiple channels of communication to encourage those affected by Streetspace schemes to make their views known. In addition to making use of our standard consultation portal, we have operated map-based interactive feedback on our website using Commonplace software, have made press releases, and have included an article in the council’s free borough-wide magazine explaining how readers can let the council know their views.

14. Why aren’t Hounslow introducing a wider ‘ANPR’ (Automatic Number Plate Recognition’) camera scheme, similar to the one introduced in South Fulham / suggested by Grove Park Group.

Such a network of ANPR cameras at entry / exit points into South Chiswick, would enable residents and their visitors to be registered as exempt for entry to all areas of South Chiswick (while still preventing ‘through traffic’).

A majority of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNS) in other areas of the country, use either hard barriers or 24/7 Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera filters, to allow emergency services access, and in some cases to grant exemption to disabled residents - they do not in general provide general exemptions for residents as the aim is to discourage the use of cars especially for shorter trips.

Schemes such the one introduced in South Fulham, do not aim at reducing car use amongst residents or those visiting the area, it only aims at stopping through-traffic from those living outside of the borough.

The South Chiswick Scheme sits somewhere in the middle - local residents have exemptions from some traffic restrictions (namely the ANPR filters on Staveley Road and Hartington Road) but not others, such as the hard barriers on Harvard Hill; Park Road / Staveley Road; and the ‘no entry’ on Burlington Lane.

The two original exemption lists have been amalgamated into one list and eligibility extended to a wider area. Much discussion has been had about how the schemes have been implemented and communicated to residents. It’s agreed that some of this could have been done better and the council can always learn and make improvements in this area. However, it’s become clear that there are no easy fixes, if we want people to change their habits when it comes to activities that have an effect on the environment (both locally and globally) then we have to be prepared to not always be popular. And in introducing Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, while we don’t take away anyone’s choice about how to travel, we do seek to make some choices more desirable, and some less so.

15. Who is meeting the costs of this scheme?

The costs of the scheme are being met by Transport for London.

16. Will the council carry out any monitoring of the schemes for South Chiswick now that they’ve been made permanent, either in terms of traffic volumes or air quality? Does this include any monitoring of boundary roads?

Both areas will be monitored and we are looking at a programme for doing this within a finite budget. We are doing a market testing exercise to see what options there are for monitoring other than the standard pre and post scheme implementation monitoring.

17. How will the council keep residents informed of such changes to the network and what is the best way to stay updated?

The council will inform residents, businesses and stakeholders with a spectrum of channels. For large scale matters such as permanent schemes, this will be by letter and online briefings. For other announcements, the council’s website, Hounslow Matters newsletters and social media channels will issue updates and residents are advised to sign up as a subscriber or follower.

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