Lantern Festival Not So 'Magical' For Local Residents

Called for Council to take action against indiscriminate parking by visitors


Sign up for our weekly Chiswick newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Residents in streets close to Chiswick House and Gardens have complained that the Magical Lantern Festival brings an annual influx of non-residental parking into their streets.

The Chinese-themed Lantern Festival, which is in its third year, opening on November 24th, has proved so popular that it will be running over the Christmas period this year until January 1st 2018. This year it promises to be bigger and better, with a Santa's Grotto, food and drink, and fairground rides for children.

dragon at chinese festival

A display from the 2016 Festival

The Lantern Festival website does advise visitors not to drive to Chiswick. "We strongly recommend that visitors use public transport as the venue does not have a car park. The small A4 car park at Chiswick House is strictly reserved for disabled blue badge holders, drop off and pick up only." The site gives details of how to travel there by bus and tube.

However many visitors choose to ignore the advice and, local residents have complained that this year's Festival could lead to weeks of parking congestion. Last year Hounslow Council received complaints from locals about "obstructive and indiscriminate parking" notably in Paxton, Short and Sutherland Roads.

Following intervention on behalf of locals by Councillor John Todd, the Council's parking department has now proposed an experimental extension to CPZ operational times in Paxton, Short and Sutherland Roads to ensure that residents have preferential parking while the event is going on.

The operational hours would extend from the current Monday-Friday, 9-5pm to 9-9pm on Monday to Friday and 5pm-9pm on Saturdays and Sundays. During those times vehicles parked in the specified roads will be required to display a resident permit, visitor booklet, carers permit etc. Otherwise parking enforcement will be carried out and a PCN issued.

The proposals are part of an experimental traffic order and its effects will be studied, along with feedback, to see if similar proposals will be introduced during future events at Chiswick House and Gardens. Notices will be advertised from 17th November.

The Magical Lantern event is subject to planning permission, due to the length of the display this year. If all goes ahead as planned, the Council will cover the existing CPZ signage in the roads and provide temporary signage from Friday November 24th. The restrictions will come into force from Saturday November 25th onwards.

The experimental CPZ extension is separate from the ongoing Chiswick Mall CPZ review consultation which is ongoing regarding possible long-term operational changes to the CPZ.

It is not known whether other streets in the locality will also now demand that action be taken to protect their parking spaces. One resident of Park Road told that they were also concerned about displacement parking onto their street.

Councillor John Todd, who intervened on behalf of the residents commented: "This event at Chiswick House over a prolonged period of time, causes significant parking issues for residents located within the new temporary CPZ scheme. Following my request for action, Mark Frost and his team at the LBH Traffic Department have, within a very short time frame, initiated this solution, which is well supported."



November 14, 2017

Bookmark and Share