Councillors Demand Rethink of Central Chiswick Schemes

Say three month review is opportunity to end 'chaos and confusion'

Access restrictions on Devonshire Road Access restrictions on Devonshire Road


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Six local councillors representing the central shopping district of Chiswick are demanding an urgent rethink of the traffic and parking measures recently implemented in the centre of Chiswick.

The ward representatives for Turnham Green and Chiswick Homefields say an imminent three month review of some of the changes provides an opportunity assess the impact and show that the council is prepared to listen to local businesses and residents.

In an open letter to Cllr Hanif Khan, who has responsibility for transport in the borough, they ask him to visit the area to see the impact schemes such as the access restrictions on Devonshire Road and Turnham Green Terrace are having and speak to retailers about how they have affected their revenue.

Cllr Sam Hearn, Transport Spokesperson for the Group, said, “I hope that Cllr Khan will accept that all that my colleagues in Chiswick want – as I am sure he does – is the best for the community in terms of traffic management. We all understand the pressures that led to these rushed schemes but the imminent three-month reviews of them provide an opportunity for everyone to take a step back. At the moment residents and traders feel the council is ignoring them; by coming and meeting with local people, Cllr Khan would have an opportunity to demonstrate that it is listening”.

In the letter they say that the hostile reaction to the council’s ‘drastic and unilaterally imposed changes’ exceeds anything they have experienced before in Chiswick and continue, “What could have been an opportunity to engage with people to find ways to reduce car use and increase active travel, has instead descended into a farcical circus which hasn’t reduced traffic but just diverted it.”

They accuse the council of trying to solve problems that don’t exist and say that most of the measures have nothing to do with social distancing; will not increase active travel; nor will they improve air quality.

They claim that a belief has grown among some traders in Chiswick that the council is actively hostile to them, not just because of the perceived lack of consultation, and the loss of passing traffic has been disastrous for shops on Turnham Green Terrace and Devonshire Road, coming on top of the losses created by the lockdown.

Some local shops report a significant fall in revenue after access restrictions were introduce above that attributable to Covid-19. They say that, although notionally the new rules do allow customers to drive up the road to collect purchases, there is so much uncertainty about how the rules are applied that people are discouraged by the risk of getting a fine. Some shops are actively encouraging their clients to respond to the borough’s feedback form on the schemes.

Further disruption and loss of revenue is anticipated due to the implementation of a temporary version of Cycleway 9 along Chiswick High Road.

Turnham Green ward councillor Joanna Biddolph said, “Residents and traders in central Chiswick – and residents throughout Chiswick – are suffering from the consequences of these ill-thought out schemes that were imposed on our community and which have produced not only chaos and confusion but also had an enormous impact on our ability to shop. The consequences for our hard-working traders in particular have been very damaging”.

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August 23, 2020

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