Residents claim consultation results have been "ignored"
Some residents living in the vicinity of Chiswick Mainline Station have reacted angrily to the decision taken by Hounslow Council to go ahead with a number of access improvements for pedestrians and bus services.
"Why bother to have a consultation if the results of the consultation are then ignored and the unpopular proposals rammed down the unwilling throats of locals?" questioned
Rishad Talyarkhan a resident of Burlington Lane.
He added "The consultation feedback report was based on 145 respondents - 142 individual and three petitions that totalled 421 signatures condemning the proposals but which were counted as just one response each.
six of the 11 proposed “improvements” had 60% or greater disapproval."
In response Hounslow's Head of Transport,
Street Management and Public Protection Directorate Chris Calvi-Freeman said "The petitions did not count as one vote - the three letters from the surgery and the other two businesses were taken as three submissions and the petitions were commented upon separately.
"The report made it quite clear that the analysis was based on the 145 responses. The three letters that arrived with the petitions were written by the three individual businesses and were not part of the actual petitions. The petitions , unfortunately, appeared to have been based on the mistaken premise that the Council was not prepared to reserve any parking for short-term use for visitors to the shops and surgery."
The concerned residents state that 93% of the consultation's respondents who expressed an opinion felt the scheme would be detrimental to the area. However, the council refutes this statement explaining that "
13 people specifically made reference in one way or another to their view that the scheme would be detrimental to the local environment. 1 respondent said the opposite. Hence "93% against, 7% for" based on this very small number. However, more than half of 145 respondents approved of the scheme overall."
The most unpopular measure in the consultation was the provision of Pay and Display parking spaces – 85% of respondents who commented on this disapproved of them believing that these will effectively make the Burlington Lane section between Park Road and Staveley Road "a mini CPZ" with meters, loading bays or parking restriction lines.
Chris Calvi-Freeman said, "In presenting the report, I made it clear that opinions were generally divided on the merits of the scheme and that some respondents were opposed to any parking control because they either saw it as the start of a full CPZ or they believed that reserving any spaces for visitors to the shops and local businesses would push the commuter parking further out into the surrounding area. I pointed out that the improved train service had attracted more commuters and this trend would continue as the train service further improved next year with longer trains, and that the introduction of a few pay & display spaces would have only a negligible effect on the spread of commuter parking. I pointed out that there was a need to support the local businesses by reserving some space for their customers."
The Committee approved all elements of the scheme except the pay & display bays and minor road widening to accommodate them on Park Road, which were not recommended at the time, in order to allow an opportunity for further consideration of this issue in the early new year.
Implementation of the scheme will commence in the early new year and a further report will be presented, considering options for short-term parking for the visitors to the surgery and local businesses.
Some elements of the scheme may be subject to minor change during the detailed design process that is now commencing. If there are any substantive change, this will be brought tot he attention of the Committee.
From the decision sheet:
1. Members agreed an amendment to the recommendations, namely that Recommendation 1.3 in respect of consideration of a possible CPZ should not be pursued in respect of this report and was a matter for separate debate at another point.
2. Members approved the recommendations of the report, as amended excluding Recommendation 1.3.
(1.3 That the Committee considers other issues and suggestions raised in this report including the possibility of a new consultation to gauge support for and opposition to a possible CPZ in the Grove Park area, with a short-period parking restriction.)
3. Members agreed that there should be flexibility in the location and number of Pay and Display bays but continuing consideration of this issue should not hold up the other elements of the scheme.
4. Members asked that the option of considering a Pelican rather than a zebra crossing at a later date should be kept open.
December 23, 2006