Pavement Battle Flares Up Again on Duke's Avenue
Council promise to resolve issue following protests about use of tarmac
The issue of paving stones being replaced by tarmac has arisen once again after residents on Duke's Avenue spotted work being done by Council contractors this Friday (15 January).
Local people were up in arms over what they said was a Council 'u-turn' over a promise given three years ago not to replace paving stones with tarmac in what is known as the the ‘Devonhurst Estate’, of which Dukes Avenue is a principal street.
Hounslow Council has promised to resolve the matter next week and have arranged a site meeting with local residents.
The work in Dukes Avenue
The pledge was that those roads would be re-paved in blocks and not covered in tarmac. But it emerged today that contractors had been working on the street, doing 'crossovers' in block work but using tarmac elsewhere on the pavement.
Local councillor Peter Thompson (Conservative) said he had received numerous emails and calls from residents of Duke's Avenue. "Residents on Duke’s Avenue had every reason to believe that the decision in 2013 applied to them – if paving stones are ok for Wavendon, Alwyn etc why not Duke’s Avenue?”
The replacement of paving stones with tarmac was a major controversy in Chiswick three years ago and residents, supported by local councillors, won their battle against the Council's attempt to tarmac over the pavements in Wavendon Avenue, Foster Road, Hadley Gardens, Alwyn Avenue, Sharon Road and Sutton Court Road.
This is how nearby streets look
Some nearby streets sought 'heritage fringe' status in a bid to stop similar works. A number of petitions were also organised by residents. A campaign by locals in Station Gardens in Grove Park, however, failed.
A spokesman for Hounslow Highways said: "Hounslow Highways can confirm that paving slabs are currently being used for the pavement renewal works on Dukes Avenue, Chiswick. Asphalt is, however, being laid on some sections of pavement around the trees. This is because asphalt, as opposed to paving slabs, is a more appropriate material where tree roots are present under the pavement surface. Additionally, the use of asphalt also mitigates the risk of future trip hazards should the root system of the tree alter over time.
"The Project Manager of the scheme has consulted with the Hounslow Highways Arboriculturalist to determine exactly where the zones containing tree roots are and subsequently where asphalt will be required. Paving slabs will be laid on the remaining stretches of pavement"
A spokesman for local residents said that after contact with Hounslow Council, a site meeting has been arranged for Monday morning and they hoped that "the correct solution as defined for Devonhurst and applied in Heritage Fringe, will be implemented." This is to include the small block paving, the tree pit solution and the small blocks for cross overs.
Cllr Thompson said he would like to thank Hounslow Highways for so promptly responding to residents and councillors concerns.
"It does seem that this was cock-up and not a change of policy on the quiet. Dukes Avenue deserves the same treatment as other roads in this part of Chiswick. It certainly doesn't need it's pavements ripped up and covered with tarmac! "