Council Plans To Make Fisher's Lane Restrictions Permanent

Says benefit to cyclists and pedestrians outweigh 'initial opposition'

Signage at Fisher's Lane junction not illuminated at night


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A report is to be presented to Ealing Council later this month recommending that the borough proceed to making the restrictions on Fisher’s Lane permanent.

The cabinet meeting at which the report will be considered takes place on Wednesday, 22 September and also concludes that six Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in the borough should be scrapped.

The rationale for beginning the process of making the Fisher’s Lane restrictions permanent is the benefits it is said to bring to cyclists and pedestrians in the area. The report states that the closure has brought traffic levels down to those permitted by TfL for unsegregated cycle routes. This also aids with walking as the footway is very narrow under the bridge.

Cycle counts were done on Fisher’s Lane before and after the closure to general motor traffic, showing an increase of 140% between November 2019 and September 2020. Further counts and surveys will be done this autumn.

It is acknowledged that there was ‘some early local opposition’ including in response to a consultation undertaken by ward councillors. However, the report claims that this opposition was ‘mainly triggered’ by the initial disruption when the scheme was launched and the effect of the now removed Turnham Green Closure so the report concludes, “It is considered that the benefits of the scheme for both cyclists and pedestrians outweigh the initial opposition.”

As the closure is a joint scheme with Hounslow Council, its approval is needed before the permanent traffic order can be obtained but it is believed this will be forthcoming.

The council now plan to hold a further consultation on the restriction lasting 21 days which is required in advance of issuing the permanent traffic order. Detailed design of the scheme will take place in November with implementation of the permanent scheme occurring in December.

Ealing Council was censured by the Prime Minister’s transport advisor, Andrew Gilligan, after it scrapped an LTN21 in West Ealing due to long term adjacent roadworks taking place nearby. The advisor informed the council that its transport funding would be suspended until it could provide evidence that active travel projects were not being prematurely terminated.

Earlier this year a Freedom of Information request showed that Penalty Charge Notices were being issued at the rate of 60 a day. If that rate of issuance was maintained the camera monitoring the Fisher’s Lane junction would be bringing in revenue to the council substantially in excess of £1 million.

The report being presented to the council identifies the concerns local people had about the implementation of active travel measures during the lockdown and includes an independent review into the process to help the council improve consultation and engagement.

The independent review recommends that the council develops a new charter setting out key principles for engaging with residents and stakeholders on active travel schemes in future, ensuring that local people are involved from the very beginning. This will be considered as part of the new council leadership’s promise of a new open, transparent and inclusive way of working with residents.

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September 19, 2021

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