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South Chiswick to become a low traffic neighbourhood

Hounslow Council has accelerated the implementation of the Liveable Neighbourhood programme to transform South Chiswick into a low traffic area and improving local public space.

Published: Monday, 8th June 2020

Cllr Khan South Chiswick

Last week Hounslow Council provided an update on a range of measures being introduced to enable people to safely travel around the borough by foot and bike, observing social distancing, as part of Hounslow’s Streetspace project. Recent statutory guidance from the Government requests such work is done as ‘swiftly as possible’, whilst ensuring that the safety of the most vulnerable road users is prioritised. Giving more people the option of making their journeys on foot or by bike will also help keep the roads clear for those who have little choice other than to drive, thereby reducing congestion as businesses start to reopen. 

Implementation of Hounslow Council’s Phase 1 Programme is proceeding at pace. The picture below shows the closure of Wellesely Road (A3000) and Stile Hall gardens at their junctions with the south circular in Chiswick which was implemented on 04 June.

Hounslow Council’s response is to accelerate work on existing projects with clear benefits to people travelling by foot and bike, including the South Chiswick Liveable Neighbourhood project. This project in south Chiswick combines a range of schemes across the Grove Park and Dukes Meadows area that focus on increasing the number of trips made by foot, bike and public transport while also improving local public space.

To help shape these proposals, the Council ran a public consultation in late 2019 and collected data on traffic volumes, speeds and movements across the area. The feedback from residents, schools, businesses and local community groups has been reviewed along with the traffic data and a series of trial measures has now been brought forward as part of the Council’s Streetspace project.

These proposals aim to transform the area into being a ‘low traffic neighbourhood’, preventing motorists from using residential streets as a cut through between major roads. This will be achieved by introducing a range of closures and access restrictions, significantly reducing traffic speeds and volumes in the area.  In addition, three ‘school streets’ are proposed to remove traffic from outside school gates at collection and drop off time, improving safety and air quality while maintaining resident access to properties at all times.

Councillor Hanif Khan, Cabinet Member for Transport at Hounslow Council said:

“The south Chiswick Liveable Neighbourhood project was borne of a need to address public safety and quality of life for residents in the area and predates the pandemic. We have had extensive engagement with local residents and analysed traffic data to devise a range of measures that will transform the area into a low-traffic neighbourhood.  It makes perfect sense to implement these measures now before people begin to return to their place of work and children return to school, so that these measures become embedded as the ‘new normal’ and residents seize on the opportunity to switch to walking and cycling more as it will now be safer to do so.”

The proposals include;

  • Already delivered as a priority response, closure of Dan Mason Drive to traffic underneath railway line, to ensure a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists is maintained while allowing for social distancing.
  • Strand on The Green / Thames Road: An access only zone to prevent through traffic. The zone is proposed to stretch from the Kew Bridge / Strand on The Green junction, to the junction of Grove Park Terrace / Grove Park Road. Vehicles would be allowed to enter the zone to access residential properties and businesses in the area unchanged, but not to pass through both points as part of a longer journey. This would be monitored by automatic number plate recognition cameras (ANPR) at both entry and exit points to the zone, to enforce against any traffic trying to make a through movement. The feasibility and design work for this scheme is ongoing, details of which will be provided to residents prior to the trial commencing.
  • Harvard Hill: The closure of the road northbound, to prevent access onto the A4 westbound. Turning off the A4 into Harvard Hill will remain in place.
  • Grove Park Primary: A ‘school street’ scheme, designed to restrict vehicle access at school drop off and collection times. These schemes introduce timed closure of roads around schools, to reduce access to schools by car, encouraging walking, scooting and cycling, while bringing additional benefits of improved road safety and air quality. Resident access to properties will be maintained at all times. This scheme would include Nightingale Close and a section of Grove Park Terrace. The extent of the closure is being considered and will be communicated to residents as part of the experimental traffic order process.
  • Hartington Road / Cavendish Road: The introduction of a northbound ‘access only’ restriction, to remove non-residential through traffic. Northbound access to drivers will be open to residents only, via a permitting system. Pre-registered licence plates would be able to continue to travel in a northbound direction. It is proposed that this will be open to residential properties in the ‘CS’ and ‘RV’ controlled parking zones. Non-registered vehicles from outside the zone would therefore have to find an alternative route via the A316. Southbound travel along Hartington Road, and through the zone, would remain unchanged. The details of this proposal will now be developed and shared with residents prior to any trial commencing.
  • Chiswick School: A ‘school street’ scheme, designed to restrict vehicle access at school drop off and collection times. This scheme would include a section of Staveley Road between the A316 and Burlington Lane. The exact extent of the closure is being considered and will be communicated to residents as part of the experimental traffic order process. Existing bus access is proposed to remain unchanged.
  • Staveley Road: A new diagonal road closure at the Staveley Road junction with Park Road. This measure will prevent traffic heading east/west along Staveley Road and north/south along Park Road. It will still be possible for vehicles to turn left from Staveley Road into Park Road, when travelling in both directions. However, any vehicle wishing to continue straight ahead will need to find an alternative route. The junction will remain open for cyclists in all directions.
  • Cavendish Primary School: A ‘school street’ scheme, designed to restrict vehicle access at school drop off and collection times. This scheme focuses on a section of Edensor Road, between the A316 and Edensor Gardens. The exact extent of the closure is being considered and will be communicated to residents as part of the experimental traffic order process. Existing bus access is proposed to remain unchanged.

Temporary measures on the Transport for London Road Network, to be requested as part of the Council’s response to Covid-19:

  • Sutton Court Road / A4 junction: explore opportunities for temporary measures that benefit pedestrians and cyclists, including possible temporary traffic signals, changes to existing signal timings, temporary cycle lanes and improved pedestrian crossing points. In order to successfully deliver change at this location, it will be necessary to agree changes to traffic signals managed by Transport for London.
  • A316 / Dan Mason Drive / Hartington Road junction: explore opportunities for temporary measures that benefit pedestrians and cyclists, including possible signal timing changes that allow for a dedicated pedestrian crossing phase. At present there is no green/red signal for pedestrians, which can require crossing between fast moving, turning traffic.

A map of the proposals can be found here. It is intended that the first of these proposals are introduced from the end of June, with all measures being in place by September. This is subject to funding being secured from Transport for London. All measures are proposed to be trialled for a minimum of 6 months. The project website also contains more information on the consultation results, the traffic data collected and the explains the proposed measures in more detail. 

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