Hounslow Streetspace Governance
As set out on the introductory pages to the Hounslow Streetspace Programme, the council is required by government to review the network and implement projects that create more space and improve safety for those walking and cycling, and reduce car use where possible. The government has stipulated that these changes need to be made ‘as swiftly as possible’ which is further clarified to mean ‘within weeks’.
The requirements by government to work at pace means that the normal process of decision making for making changes to the highway has needed to be amended. The process being applied for the borough wide Streetspace programme is as follows:
- Schemes identified by officers, elected members, direct from stakeholders or via borough wide consultation.
- Officers review proposals for compliance with statutory guidance, technical feasibility, potential impacts (including on those with protected characteristics under relevant Equalities Legislation) and cost.
- Viable schemes discussed with Lead Members for Transport, Highways and Climate Emergency/Air Quality and determination made as to whether or not to proceed to trial.
- Engagement with ward councillors.
- Further engagement with statutory consultees where required (e.g. emergency services)
- Determination of progression to trial implementation (via a temporary or experimental traffic order). This is set out in a Chief Officer Decision which will be published on the council’s website. The use of temporary and experimental traffic orders in this way allows the council to implement the scheme quickly and simultaneously consult those impacted by it. Feedback received through this consultation is then considered at the point at which the council determines whether or not to make the scheme, or any aspects of it, permanent (more information on this below).
- Measures announced. Notification letters to properties fronting onto the measure in question, and advance warning signs approximately 1 week prior to commencement
- Trial scheme implemented.
- Monitoring & collation of feedback provided to the council via this consultation.
- Emergency modifications if required.
- Interim review (approximately 3 months).
- First formal review (approximately 6 months). At this point a decision is made as to whether trial continues, is removed (entirely or in part) or made permanent. This decision will be taken by the relevant Lead Member either as a single member decision or in discussion with the Chief Officer.
As required by Government, the council is proceeding at pace with these trial changes. As a consequence, some of the measures may have unintended or unforeseen consequences and may need to be amended or removed altogether in due course. Others may deliver on the objectives of the programme, and also contribute to our wider policies around addressing the climate emergency and air quality for example, and so may be made permanent.
The following will be taken into consideration when reviewing each individual scheme;
- General compliance with national, regional and local transport and environmental policy
- Feedback from the community, including those with protected characteristics under relevant equalities legislation
- Reductions in traffic flow and/or speed on residential roads
- Any positive evidence of modal shift to walking and cycling
- A review of any relevant road safety implications, including collision data where available
- Relevant wider environmental changes, including air quality implications
Having considered the above, officers will provide a report with recommendations which will be circulated to local councillors to review, prior to a final decision being made by the council’s cabinet/lead member. The outcome of each trial will be communicated via the council’s website and through letters to the local community.