“We’re listening" - Hounslow Council announces changes to Streetspace programme after independent reviews

Hounslow Council has today published the outcome of its Interim Review of the first phase of the borough’s Streetspace trials.

Published: Monday, 17th May 2021

Streetspace cycling

As part of its listening approach, the Council commissioned independent reviews of the borough’s Streetspace trials last October to assess their impact on traffic and to analyse feedback from residents and businesses. Some 10,000 individuals have taken part in the consultation, both in writing and in a series of online engagement events organised by the Council, including events aimed specifically at businesses.

In response to these reviews, Hounslow Council has decided that:

  • The Streetspace trial at Turnham Green Terrace in Chiswick, where through traffic was restricted and parking bays were used to widen the footway, will end. Loading and disabled bays will be retained as trial measures
  •  The trials at Bath Road in Hounslow West and Devonshire Road in Chiswick, where access for motor vehicles has been restricted, will be determined in the next 6 weeks following further local engagement to assess whether they should be removed or whether there is support for a community-led plan
  • The trial outside the George IV pub on Old Market Street in Chiswick, where the footway has been widened, will end
  • 22 Streetspace trials will progress to the Final Review, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of July, taking into account fresh traffic data collected outside of the last lockdown period to help accurately assess the impact of the measures

Hounslow’s Streetspace schemes were introduced in the borough last year at the Government’s request in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to aid social distancing, promote cycling and walking, and reduce pollution.

The review process consists of two stages to allow the Council to make faster changes where it is clear the trials have not worked as intended. These are the changes announced in today’s Interim Review, and the schemes that will be made permanent will be decided at the Final Review stage following consideration of fresh traffic data.

Councillor Hanif Khan, Cabinet Member for Transport and One Hounslow, said:

“We recognised that many residents feel very strongly about Hounslow’s Streetspace trials and that’s why it was important for us to listen, to show we’re listening, and to commission these independent reviews. We need to be sure that the decisions we take reflect where the schemes are working well and where changes need to be made, and that we have heard both the facts and the voices of our communities.

“The decisions we’ve announced today make clear that – as I have said throughout - we are listening and making changes based on what we’re hearing as well as what the traffic data is telling us.

“I want to thank every resident, councillor and business owner who took part in the consultation, whether you were for or against the trial in your area, or somewhere in-between.

“By listening to residents and assessing the most accurate and up-to-date data, we are making sure our final decisions will be right for local residents and the wider borough.

“Many residents told us our online engagement meetings were particularly helpful, which is why we will begin a series of online meetings throughout the final review stage.

“We will hold these every 3 to 4 weeks, providing regular opportunities for residents to drop in for the latest updates and raise questions as we progress towards the Final Review.”

  • The Streetspace review reports are available at www.hounslow.gov.uk/streetspace-review
  • Hounslow’s Streetspace programme was introduced to provide more space for people to observe social distancing, allow safer access to schools, businesses and services across the borough. It also aims to create safer, healthier and more pleasant environments for walking and cycling by reducing through traffic on non-principal roads.  In the longer term, it is anticipated that they will contribute to reduced air pollution and carbon emissions.  By giving people a genuine choice in how they travel, we hope to remove many unnecessary car journeys off the road, leaving more space for those residents and businesses who may have less choice in how they travel.
  • Residents were surveyed in May and June 2020 and it was found that 61% of respondents supported measures to reduce traffic speeds and traffic volume to allow for social distancing, with 12% against. 56% of respondents supported the idea of more permanent measures that seek to reduce traffic on residential streets, with 16% against.
  • Streetspace trials began during lockdown, with a commitment to review, amend, remove or make permanent based on evidence collected throughout the trials.
  • Hounslow Council announced in October that an independent review would assess the traffic and air quality data, as well as the views of residents. Over 10,000 residents took part in the consultation.
  • The final review for the scheme will be published in July 2021, along with decisions about which schemes will be made permanent.
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