A review of the Feltham Town Centre improvement project concludes that it is unlikely that Hounslow Road will reopen before the summer.
Published: Friday, 18th January 2019
A full review of the £20m highway and station improvements project in Feltham Town Centre has been completed, following a series of issues with the works that have led to delays. This review has made clear that it is now unlikely that the road will be able to reopen before summer of this year.
This delay is partly due to the piling incident that occurred in June 2018 , but also delays caused by parties such as utility providers who need to move the services buried in the road to allow for its new alignment. The council has little contractual control over these companies which limits our ability to reduce the delays.
It has also become clear that delaying the closure of the level crossing for several months to keep it open until Hounslow Road is reopened, would pose significant risk for Network Rail’s works to build the new bridge over the tracks, and also require re-signalling the whole of the railway line between Waterloo and Windsor/Reading (a project which cannot start until the Feltham level crossing is shut). This action would impact on millions of rail users from across the south east as well as leading to significant extra cost for the taxpayer. It would also likely impact on the council's funding from Network Rail for the highway works limiting wider improvement plans for the Feltham area, including phase 2 of the project to renew the high street itself (due to start later this year).
The decision has therefore been taken to allow the level crossing to close on 15 March as planned and that the council and its subcontractors will continue to make every effort to reopen Hounslow Road as quickly as is safely possible. A presentation on this matter, which included a full summary of all the delays to date, and efforts that have been undertaken to reduce the impact this has had on the build time, was made to the Bedfont, Feltham and Hanworth Area Forum on the 17 January. This will be available on the council’s website shortly through the following link: https://tinyurl.com/yc7e6dlo
Further information will shortly be available on the council’s website where you can also sign up to a e-newsletter to be kept informed – visit: www.hounslow.gov.uk/felthamworks.
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council said:
“I appreciate that the news about delays to this project, and in particular the closure of the level crossing before the bridge reopens, will be disappointing to many and we apologise sincerely for any inconvenience caused. We also understand that this prolonged closure may have a negative impact on local business which again is unfortunate and we will try to mitigate this as much as possible.
"We are committed to working with our sub contractors to get the road reopened as soon as possible. This project represents the biggest investment in Feltham for a generation, and the improvements it brings for all road and rail users will be felt for decades to come.
"We ask residents to bear with us as we work to finish this first phase of works, and as some small recompense we have made some funding available for small scale environmental improvements in the Feltham area. This could fund improvements to the public realm, parks, tree planting, cycle facilities etc or provide a contribution towards community events such as street parties. Ideas for using this funding should be discussed with your ward councillors in the coming weeks and need to be submitted by them for consideration by end of February.
"An announcement on what can be supported from this fund will be made at the next Bedfont, Feltham & Hanworth Area Forum on the 21 March 2019.”