Resident's Rant Or Raising A Valid Point?

New Priory Road 'cycle lane' could be an Acton Lane accident waiting to happen

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When asked if he was satisfied with the service he received from Ealing Council, Chiswick's John Gilbert highlighted one issue that he is clearly not happy with. But is it just another resident's rant or does he raise a valid point?

"Priory Road is a short and little known cul-de-sac running south to north from Wadhurst Road to Berrymede Road and tucked in between St. Albans Avenue and Acton Lane. It is a quiet and dreamy place for, at the south end, are bollards totally barring motor vehicles and a kerb which cyclists cannot pass unless they dismount or ease the bike along with their feet," writes Mr Gilbert.

"Those bollards, which have stood, I am told, in all weathers since one of Hitler’s bombs caused the demise of a wall erected to keep the lowly from entering Bedford Park, are to be altered by Ealing Council to allow a cycle lane. And the cyclist who has not read his map will chortle with glee for now, he thinks, he can avoid the urban mayhem and dangers of treacherous Acton Lane by using Priory Road. Ealing Council, and, no doubt, a large sign saying “ Cycle Lane” placed by it on St. Albans Avenue, would have it so but it is a trap.

"There are only three exits from Priory Road for the traveller proceeding north and all of them are onto Acton Lane by dangerous right turns at junctions not controlled by traffic lights. The cyclist would have been better advised had he ignored the sign and continued along quiet and leafy St. Albans Avenue till its end , way past the north end of Priory Road, where he would 'hang a left' into Southfield Road and then, and only then (having avoided some of the worst mayhem), a very safe right at the traffic light controlled junction with Acton Lane."

According to Mr Gilbert, Ealing’s justification, which he quotes from a Council document is '"Closed roads reduce safety and convenience for cyclists'.

"Perhaps this is not always so. Perhaps it is better to read a map or understand the site before indulging in a doctrinaire approach."

What do you think about the new cycle lane? Join the debate on the forum.

February 8, 2011