Work started on Staveley Road / Park Road junction in Chiswick today.
Published: Thursday, 1st October 2020
Councillor Hanif Khan, Cabinet Member for Transport at Hounslow Council, said:
“Hounslow Council has run public engagement initiatives in the south Chiswick area since 2019 to identify areas where volume and speed of traffic need to be addressed for the safety of residents. In its ‘South Chiswick Liveable Neighbourhood Consultation’, the Council received a lot of feedback asking for measures that reduce traffic volumes and speed in the area.
“Following this engagement, and the commencement of our Streetspace programme, the Council is now seeking to trial the implementation of traffic-calming measures at the junction of Staveley Road and Park Road to reduce through traffic, improving the environment and making the road safer for walking and cycling. Currently, the volume and speed of traffic on the road is excessive - every day 5,500 cars travel through Staveley Road and the vast majority of this is ‘through traffic’, making it very busy. It is also a hotspot for speeding and many residents tell us they are concerned for their safety.
“Over recent weeks the Council has attempted to install a new barrier at the junction which would significantly reduce traffic speed and volume but has been prevented in doing so by a small group of residents who do not support the change. Following the most recent obstruction to works on Tuesday 22 September, the Council has engaged further with this resident group to understand their concerns. The key concern expressed in these discussions is the removal of the existing traffic island necessary to accommodate the new barrier, and the impact of this on the safety of those crossing Staveley Road. This concern is understandable, but our research indicates the barrier will significantly reduce volume and speed of traffic on the road, making it much easier and safer to cross and therefore removing the need for a dedicated pedestrian crossing.
“However, to provide further reassurance to residents, the Council has offered to incorporate a temporary, traffic-signal-controlled pedestrian crossing into the scheme. This offer has not been accepted by the residents’ group who have proposed an alternative camera-enforced set of road closures for the whole of the South Chiswick area. This would seek to restrict through traffic whilst maintaining full access for all resident vehicles.
“This proposal would place an administrative burden on every resident in the area to register both their own vehicles and those of all visitors and deliveries. It would come at a significant cost as a result of the need for many cameras and back office staff. This cost would be far greater than the proposed trial barrier, and the scheme would take many months to develop, procure and install. Furthermore, central Government has called for traffic-calming measures to be brought in ‘as swiftly as possible’ so that people can walk or cycle safely without fear of high volumes of traffic, while also observing social distancing.
“It is for all these reasons that the Council is committed to proceeding with implementing the original proposed trial. However, the Council has offered to work with residents to explore whether an alternative camera-based solution which doesn’t place significant administrative burden on residents could be adapted to work in practice. Such a system could then be presented as possible an alternative arrangement when the future of the trial scheme is formally considered next year.
“To ensure we can implement the scheme safely and quickly, keeping disruption to a minimum, we will be closing the junction via a temporary traffic order to traffic and pedestrians while works are underway. Any attempt to obstruct the scheme from being implemented will be considered a breach of that order and will be enforced by the police as appropriate.
“We understand there are differing views on the merits of this proposal and remain committed to reviewing all the feedback on this scheme once it is in place. We are keeping an open mind on what the final arrangement for this junction will be but we ask all residents to engage with us on this matter through the proper process, and not to take further illegal direct action to prevent our Highways team from implementing the scheme.”