Chiswick Cycle Highway Is 'Not A Done Deal'

High Road action group on narrow pavements, the A4 and demise of cafe culture


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The Chiswick High Road Action Group (CHRAG) , after discussion with TfL has looked at some of the commonly discussed issues related to the proposed Cycle Superhighway. It says many of the concerns of local people are not accurate and has consulted with TfL on the following 'myths'.

1. It’s a done deal
It’s not. Consultation means exactly that – TfL is consulting on whether to do it, and the detail of how to do it. Pointing out improvements or problems on the current proposals is a worthwhile exercise. Indeed it is the main point of the procedure.

2. Pedestrian crossings are being removed
No pedestrian crossings are removed on the proposed plans. One is added by Kew Bridge. Some crossings are changing from zebra to toucan.

3. Cafe culture on the High Road is doomed
No pedestrian space is being lost outside Zizzi’s, Jackson & Rye, Chateau Dessert, GBK or Outsider Tart. On the contrary outside cafe dining should become more pleasant as car traffic is removed at least 3m further away from the tables.

4. Dukes Avenue and Dukes Road are going to become one way all the way along
No, the changes are just at their junctions with the High Road, with Duke’s Avenue becoming entry only, while Duke Road will be exit only.

5. Loads of trees are being chopped down
Three trees are being removed. Ten replacements – like for like in species - are promised.

6. The A4 was not even considered
Hounslow and TfL state that they have carried out traffic counts; at the junction of CHR/Turnham Green Terrace 17% of traffic in rush hour was those on bikes. Meanwhile cycle traffic along the A4, where there is already a usable shared pavement, is negligible and the pollution levels very high. There is a strong risk that an A4 superhighway if built at great expense simply wouldn’t be used.

7. Cars won’t be able to exit from side roads such as Netheravon or Airedale
Cars will give way at the cyclepath to passing bikes and if clear proceed to join the High Road, pausing if necessary to give way to motor traffic.

8. Pavements are being narrowed the length of Chiswick High Road
They are not. Pavements are being narrowed where they are considered wide enough for safe pedestrian traffic and where TfL believes that the High Road still needs to retain two motorised lanes (eg for turning lanes or for bus lanes)

9. The cycle lane goes the length of Chiswick High Road
CS9 ends at Heathfield Terrace. Cyclists continuing westwards are expected to use a so-called ‘quietway’ (“a quieter, low-traffic route... with new wayfinding” along Wellesley Road, or continue along Chiswick High Road with the rest of the traffic. TfL representatives were unable to explain why the CS9 does not extend at least as far as Chiswick Business Park.

10. We could suggest a completely different proposal
The proposal under consideration is this one. If TfL decides not to do this, for instance if the political will is not there (either at Hounslow, or at Mayoral level) or if the consultation shows a huge majority against, then the CS9 will join the dustbin of projects that didn’t happen. It is extremely unlikely, according to sources within the Hounslow transport department, that the borough will propose any other significant changes to the High Road which will then remain more or less as it is.

And a bonus myth: The cycle lane will cause more damage than the Luftwaffe
Just no.

Chiswick High Road Action Group

October 15, 2017

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