More bus lanes but no more buses for Chiswick as details of Mayor's "pro-public transport but not anti-car policy is revealed."

A report by the Mayor's transport planners has revealed details of some of the main proposals to reduce capital in the traffic. Already concerns are being raised that the plans may simply be encouraging a migration of the problem to areas of London outside the centre including Chiswick.

Most controversially the scheme calls for "no car" lanes on the A4 and A40 and suggests that a CPZ for Grove Park will become essential once congestion charging is introduced. Sharp-eyed Brendan McCarthy spotted that the map of the scheme included plan for a Chiswick CPZ in the Grove Park area. It would appear that this scheme will be introduced in order to prevent "multi-modal" transport i.e. drivers leaving their cars in outer London and taking public transport.

Given its proximity to the A4 and the current availability of parking space it would be likely that Grove Park would suffer from this when congestion charging was introduced. The scheme has clearly not reached the level of advanced planning - as a user of the forum commented - "it looked from the very notional boundary as if the idea hadn't really been thought through in detail, and was merely an example of the sort of CPZ that might be introduced."

A Grove Park resident commented - "In general CPZs are a good thing when the existing volume of residential and commercial traffic causes parking problems. Residents paying for permits do get some benefit for the money they pay. In the case of an area where many houses have off street parking and there isn't an existing problem the whole situation changes. If the Mayor wants to introduce this scheme then the costs relating to it should be funded by his budget and not the incomes of residents and local businesses. Permits should be free."

Many local people also feel that the controversial Chiswick Lane junction scheme is part of the broader scheme of encouraging public transport. However it has been pointed out that although the road junctions are being changed to favour buses, none of the £200 million budget that the Mayor's office has provided for the improvement in bus services is being given to a route that goes through Chiswick. Some residents have accused both Hounslow and Ealing Council of lobbying the Mayor's office for funding for bus improvements on political grounds rather than through consideration of need.

Concerns where also raised that the restriction of car flow along the A4 and A40 would lead some motorists to switch to other east-west arterial routes such as Chiswick High Road and Bath Road.

The Mayor's plan for congestion charging is due to be implemented in 2003.

Debate on the forum on this issue

A full copy of the transport strategy is available on the Mayor's web-site

June 5, 2002