South Chiswick Liveable Neighbourhood Scheme: 'Statistically Insignificant'

Chiswick Riverside councillor Peter Thompson reports back

Cllr Peter Thompson
Cllr Peter Thompson

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March 27, 2023

At the end of February a couple of online presentations took place on our beloved Low Traffic Neighbourhood Scheme. Well actually it wasn’t on the Scheme was a whole but on two aspects of it - the Staveley Road and Burlington Lane trial access restrictions.

The first one was with officers and councillors and the second was open to local residents.

We were given slides of data about the impact of the scheme on traffic speeds, volumes, air quality, PCN’s issued (82,484 from February 22 to January 23) and pedestrian and cyclist numbers.

Not surprisingly given the cameras and fines, average vehicle flows on Staveley Road have decreased from 5744 vehicles in 2019 to 2376 in 2022. The figures for Burlington Lane show a decrease from 3170 vehicles in 2019 to 1750 in 2022.

My summary of the data during the meeting was along the lines of “So the number of cars entering the area have roughly halved and on air quality, increase in cycling and pedestrians there has been no real change.”

Officers accepted that the changes other than car volume were “marginal”. A week later the same data was presented to residents. One of attendees, who is a professional statistician, observed that the results – other than then reduction in car numbers – were “statistically insignificant”. Again his assessment was accepted without demur.

One set of data that was statistically significant was the results of the consultation of the schemes. 82% of all respondents were opposed to making the Staveley Road trial access restrictions permanent, with 10% in support. 80% of all respondents were opposed to making the Burlington Lane trial no-entry permanent, with 9% in support. From those respondents who live within the SCLN scheme the figures objecting were 77% and 76% for the two schemes. This is a very high figure from people who have had over a year to become familiar the operations and impacts of the scheme.

Active travel – Staveley Road

Active travel – Staveley Road

Active travel – Burlington Lane

Active travel – Burlington Lane

So What Happens Next?

The problems with the current scheme have been clearly stated on many occasions by residents and councillors. We need a scheme that controls rat-running, gives proper visitor access, is easy to understand, manages speed, and does not divide the local community. What the Council is proposing is to reopen access for cars cutting through the area by removing the barrier at Burlington Lane from the A316 at all times except school drop off and pick up times. In other words a change is being proposed that will reintroduce 1000s of cars a day back into our area – a decision which will undermine the only success that the scheme can claim to date.

We have been told repeatedly that we cannot have a visitor access scheme of some sort because it would undermine the aim of the scheme and now the Council is planning to reopen the flood gates apart from a few hours during term time. The Council intends to take the formal decision at its Cabinet meeting on 18 April, following a review at the Oversight & Scrutiny Committee on 11 April. Local residents’ groups are not allowed to address the meeting on the 18th and only 2 councillors – one from each party for some reason – can address the committee. The Council needs to withdraw this plan immediately and finally implement measures that residents need and have asked for repeatedly.

The Blunders of Our (Local) Governments

This on-going saga brought to mind a fascinating book I read a few years ago - The Blunders of Our Governments - Paperback by Anthony King and Ivor Crewe. The book examination some of the major cock-ups of recent times such as Poll Tax, Child Support Agency, Millennium Dome project, Individual Learning Accounts, failed IT system for the NHS, the attempt to modernise the London Underground system using PPP contracts, and many others. The warning signs were usually clearly visible early enough to have stopped the blunder occurring, but they were missed or ignored because of `group think', where only a closed group of people with a similar outlook considered a proposal, and no attempt was made to include anyone who might challenge its assumptions. Sound familiar?

Now for something completely different…

I was able to pop into the wonderful Chiswick Repair Café after my Councillors surgery this week where I received a tremendously friendly welcome. We throw away vast amounts of stuff and sadly, the throwaway culture is deeply rooted in our economy. Even things with almost nothing wrong, and which could get a new lease on life after a simple repair end up in landfill. The trouble is, lots of people have forgotten that they can repair things themselves. Knowing how to make repairs is a skill quickly lost.

The Chiswick Repair Cafe happens once a month (with some exceptions for holidays), on Saturdays at Christ Church Turnham Green, 10:30am – 1pm and the next one is one April 22 nd. Check out their website for more information

Cllr Peter Thompson

07977 395810  



Tuesday, 28th March at 7:00pm: Cabinet

Tuesday 11th April at 7:00pm: Overview and Scrutiny

Tuesday 9th May at 7:00pm: Overview and Scrutiny

Tuesday, 23rd May at 7.30pm Borough Council AGM


Chiswick: Every Saturday from 9.30am to 10.30am at Chiswick Library (the eight Conservative councillors take this surgery in turn).

Gunnersbury: First Saturday of the month from 10am to 11am at The Gunnersbury Triangle Club, Triangle Way, off The Ridgeway, W3 8LU (at least one of the Chiswick Gunnersbury ward councillors takes this surgery). 


Chiswick Gunnersbury (was Turnham Green) ward

Cllr Joanna Biddolph 07976 703446

Cllr Ranjit Gill 07976 702956

Cllr Ron Mushiso 07976 702887

Chiswick Homefields ward

Cllr Jack Emsley 07977 396017

Cllr Gerald McGregor 07866 784821

Cllr John Todd 07866 784651

Chiswick Riverside ward

Cllr Peter Thompson 07977 395810  

Cllr Gabriella Giles 07966 270823 

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