Hounslow Cycling strongly supports the Streetspace vision, we are heartened by the success of the schemes and we appreciate the efforts of all those who have helped to deliver the programme in such difficult circumstances.
The Park Road / Staveley Road barrier has significantly reduced the volume of through traffic along Staveley Road. The benefits to air quality, road safety and carbon emissions are significant and the inconvenience to motorists is minimal. We believe that the barrier should be made permanent with appropriate landscaping.
More cyclists are using Staveley Road, including children. Some car traffic has been displaced around Burlington Lane. We suggest that the Council modifies the crossings of Burlington Lane at Fauconberg Road Chiswick Station to take into account new traffic data.
The Hounslow Streetspace programme was developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was intended to improve safety and social distancing for those making trips on foot or bike. This is aligned to the council’s strategic ambitions to improve air quality, make the road network as safe as possible and prioritise active travel.
Hounslow Cycling strongly supports the Streetspace vision. We believe that encouraging use of public transport and active travel instead of car driving will both benefit the environment and address the primary cause of congestion on our roads. We believe that, in the round, the programme has been very successful. The borough’s roads would have been in gridlock if passengers displaced from bus and tube had chosen to drive instead. Looking ahead, we believe that making the schemes permanent would significantly help the council to achieve its strategic transport and environmental targets. These targets include the reduction in car use from 44% of journeys to 29% by 2031.
We understand that 2020-21 has been a very stressful period for councillors and council officers alike. We appreciate the efforts of all involved.
Park Road / Staveley Road
5,500 vehicles used to use Staveley Road on an average weekday according to Council figures. The average speed was in excess of the 20 mph speed limit. These statistics are appalling for a residential road. Reverting to the situation before the barrier was installed would be indefensible.
We calculate that Staveley Road traffic between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. each day dropped from around 4,400 to 700 vehicles east of the filter and from around 3,200 to 400 vehicles west of the filter after the barrier was installed. (See this Chiswick Calendar article written by one of our members for more detail.) We believe from anecdotal evidence that speeds are lower too. Staveley Road feels like a residential road again. One welcome consequence of this change is that families feel safe cycling along Staveley Road. That is good for the cyclists themselves and the environment generally. If it replaces car journeys (especially the school run) then it also frees up road space for those who are car dependent.
The temporary barrier has clearly demonstrated its value. We believe that it should be made permanent, with proper landscaping and kerb lines. The signalled pedestrian crossing is redundant – it is so easy to cross the road that few pedestrians even bother to press the button.
The Council was aware that vehicle traffic would be diverted to Burlington Lane. The diversion is only 300m or so, which is almost immaterial for most car journeys. Hounslow Cycling has not seen traffic data (as this location was omitted from the Council’s Oct 20 survey) but we believe from anecdotal evidence that the increase in volumes and speeds warrants mitigation.
Our members report that crossing to/from Fauconberg Road into Staveley Road is forbidding for cyclists, even more so when accompanying children who may be slow off the mark. We believe that cyclist numbers would now justify either a toucan crossing or traffic lights at this crossroads.
The area around the north forecourt of Chiswick Station, the parade of shops opposite and the Park Road junction seems quite chaotic when trains arrive. This is particularly noticeable when parents are using cars to pick up schoolchildren from a train. We believe that measures such as speed cameras are needed to make this area safe for pedestrians and cyclists.
Comments from Hounslow Cycling members
We pass on the following comments from three of our members who are directly affected by the scheme:-
“We live at the corner of Staveley and Park roads. The barrier on Staveley road has transformed the street. The flow of traffic is very much reduced, you can cycle on Staveley and Park road without being followed closely by impatient drivers or close-passed. You can cross safely to go to Chiswick House grounds without drivers speeding over the 20mph limit (that was rarely observed before!). There are also more Chiswick school students cycling to school + it is safer for them to cross with lighter traffic. All in all a great improvement to the area we sincerely hope will stay in place.”
“I strongly support the Staveley Road barrier. Since it was implemented the road is quieter and used more by cyclists. I live on Staveley Road.”
“I have absolutely loved this measure. I use Staveley and Park Roads regularly (5 x a week approx) and reaching them on a bicycle feels like entering a safe sanctuary. Yesterday I pedalled along, I felt protected and tranquil, the road was lovely and it has created an atmosphere of calm that children, young people, elderly (and those in the middle) can enjoy. It has made me use the car much less. When I do use the car for that route, I estimate it takes me an additional 17 seconds to drive round via Sutton Court Road. Please retain it (though the barrier itself is obviously hideous and needs upgrading).”
Hounslow Cycling is the borough group of the London Cycle Campaign with several hundred local members throughout the borough. We campaign for better cycling facilities in the borough. We offer training and rides for cyclists who are less experienced or less confident. We provide a focus for those interested in cycling locally through meetings (usually over a drink but currently on Zoom) and social media.