Legal Challenge Made To Temporary Cycleway Scheme
Judicial review applied for by Chiswick residents
An application has been made to the High Court for a judicial review of the temporary Cycleway 9 scheme on Chiswick High Road.
It was submitted by two Chiswick residents on Tuesday 10 November and makes the claim that the decision to use Experimental Traffic Orders (ETOs) to implement the scheme was unlawful.
If the application is accepted a judge will look at the case presented by the claimants and can rule that the decision to proceed with the scheme was wrong in law.
The council says it has followed government guidelines in implementing the scheme and points out that it had to submit a bid to Transport for London to obtain a grant to initiate the work. It believes the temporary cycleway will encourage more sustainable means of transport in Chiswick.
The application is being brought by Asal Shirazi BEM, a mother of five who suffers from autoimmune disease, and Mike Ormrod who runs Ormrod Lighting and Electrical shop on Chiswick High Road.
It is being asserted that Hounslow Council acted unlawfully in not complying with the Equalities Act 2010, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Department for Transport guidance set out in Grant Shapps’ letter to councillors of 16 October.
The Minister stated, “I want to be absolutely clear; we are not prepared to tolerate hastily introduced schemes which will create sweeping changes to communities without consultations, and ones where the benefits of cycling and walking do not outweigh the dis-benefits for other road users.”
It is also claimed that the Council did not issue the ETOs authorising the C9 works until five weeks after construction started, leaving local residents, traders and business owners with no time to challenge the orders.
Although no formal consultation is required for an ETO there should be a seven day notification period before the commencement of any works.
It is further claimed that there has been inadequate consultation with the emergency services. There have been an increased number of reports of ambulances being stuck in traffic on Chiswick High Road with blue lights on since the beginning of construction work on the cycleway scheme.
A spokesman for OneChiswick, a group of Chiswick residents, shopkeepers and business people who oppose the changes said, “Hounslow Council is destroying Chiswick. It is misusing the ETOs permitted under emergency Covid legislation to implement road changes, including Cycleway C9, which are severely impacting on the whole of Chiswick. The changes are preventing people who are old, pregnant or with a disability from accessing health and social services, going to the shops or being visited by care workers. They are also critically impeding emergency vehicle access. They are devastating Chiswick businesses by making journeys so long and gridlocked that trade customers are going elsewhere, and by removing parking – forcing shoppers to shop out of town and out of borough where they can park more easily. And they are forcing drivers on long detours and into less road space causing increased congestion and pollution.
"The ill-thought out and unsafe design of C9 is having a devastating effect on, in particular, parents with young children in buggies, older people and others who are less able or slower to walk. Crossing junctions and roads, where safe haven refuge islands have been removed, are now dangerous activities. Worse, bus passengers are now deposited on floating bus islands stranded in the middle of the road, with a two-way cycle path on one side. We do not believe Hounslow Council carried out a proper safety audit on the C9 scheme. It is unsafe and it is likely that pedestrians, cyclists or other road users will be injured.”
Cllr Hanif Khan, Cabinet Member for Transport and One Hounslow, said, "We have made clear our genuine commitment to listening to all voices, and to an independent review process, so it would be very disappointing if anyone felt this was a course of action they needed to take, especially before any decisions have even been made. That said, we have not yet received service of any legal proceedings."
To have your say on any of Hounslow’s trial Streetspace schemes click on this link or email the transport team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 11, 2020