Councillors Urge Minister To Intervene Over Traffic Measures
Want Grant Shapps to force Council to hold full consultation and independent review
In a letter to Transport Minister Grant Shapps all nine councillors representing the Chiswick area are urging him to intervene over traffic measures in Hounslow Borough.
In the open letter they ask the minister to act on residents’ behalf with TfL and Hounslow Council and instruct them to reverse the Covid-19 measures that have already been implemented and ensure that no further works begin until Hounslow’s experimental and temporary traffic orders have all been reviewed in detail by independent professionals and a full public consultation has been completed.
They tell the Minister of what they describe as the ‘hammer-blow’ to Chiswick retailers resulting from the access restrictions on Turnham Green Terrace and Devonshire Road and the loss of stop and shop parking.
They claim that, in combination with Ealing Council’s closure of Fisher’s Lane new rat-runs have sprung up in the area.
The temporary scheme for Cycleway 9 is also highlighted with the councillors saying the ‘new scheme will inevitably result add to traffic congestion and air pollution on an already heavily polluted road'.
On what they describe as the ‘South Chiswick Unliveable Neighbourhood schemes’, they say that, other than the school street plans, the proposals are ‘a massive over-reaction to a problem that exists only for a few hours a day’.
In an article published in the Telegraph earlier in the month, Mr Shapps criticised the introduction of barriers in town centres and warned councils that they must consult with local residents or risk the withdrawal of funding. He recently intervened in the issue of the repair of Hammersmith Bridge by setting up a task force to accelerate its reopening, suggesting that the previous estimates given for the repair had been inflated.
Speaking for all the councillors, Sam Hearn, the Conservative Councillors Transport Spokesperson said, “There is unanimity across Hounslow Council and amongst Chiswick residents that we want to end the scourge of rat-running, curb excessive speeds and discourage unnecessary car journeys. These are laudable objectives but the complex and draconian measures being imposed under the guise of the Covid-19 emergency are having many perverse effects. Many of the changes are sadly making the lives of residents worse, not better”.
The Councillor added that, “Our attempts to engage constructively with Hounslow’s Labour Administration and TfL have been largely rebuffed. There is surely no shame in admitting that you have got something wrong and that you need to pause while reconsidering? Hounslow Council are not prepared to do this. We are therefore left with no alternative but to call on the Minister to intervene and prevent further traffic chaos.”
The Council says that their measures are in line with the new statutory guidance issued by the government under the 2004 Traffic Management Act, in response to Covid-19, requiring councils to act as ‘swiftly as possible’ to encourage a change in travel habits before restrictions are eased so that people can walk or cycle more safely while observing social distancing.
You can make comments on the traffic measures in the area either by participating in the Council’s online consultation or by emailing the transport team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 16, 2020