Hounslow Council together with Sustrans are running a survey to identify transport issues on Wellesley Road in Chiswick. (See map) The survey closes on Wednesday 29 June.
Our group Hounslow Cycling response to this survey.
This survey has added imporance for people travelling by bike as Wellesley Road is a likely route for Hounslow Borough’s cycle-superhighway.
4. Do you agree that there is too much non-local traffic using Wellesley Road?
5. Do you feel that crossing Wellesley Road can be difficult?
6. How comfortable would you be cycling along Wellesley road as it currently is?
7. How suitable is Wellesley road for cycling for vulnerable groups? (Children, the elderly, people with physical impairments)
8. What is your perception of vehicle speeds in the area?
9. Would you support measures to improve the area for walking and cycling?
10. Would you support measures to reduce non-residential traffic using the area?
11. What do you think the main issues are involving traffic along Wellesley Road and the surrounding streets?
Wellesley Road is used as a “rat run” by westbound drivers who want to avoid Chiswick Roundabout on their way to the A205 South Circular, A315 Kew Bridge Road, A4 and M4.
During peak times, the western end of Wellesley Road and Stile Hall Gardens become gridlocked with stationary westbound vehicles. These roads are then practically impassable for any eastbound vehicles and cycles travelling either eastbound and westbound. Gridlock typically occurs during weekday evening peaks, but also during weekends if there is heavy traffic on the South Circular.
Outside peak times when there are lower traffic volumes, there are excessive vehicle speeds along Wellesley Road and some adjacent streets. A HCC member has measured westbound vehicle speeds along Stile Hall Gardens and the 85th percentile speed was 30mph despite this street being a 20mph zone with the 20mph limit clearly marked by signs on the roadside, road surface and two electronic speed warning signs.
Stile Hall Gardens has been already identified by the London Borough of Hounslow as a trial for a “community speed watch” scheme because of the excessive speeds in the area.
12. What do you think would improve the area for walking and cycling?
We understand that Wellesley Road has been identified as part of the route of the CS9 cycle superhighway between Hammersmith and Hounslow. We understand that while most of the CS9 route is planned to have a separated cycle path, Wellesley Road will be treated as a Quietway without a separation of cycles and motor traffic.
The London Cycle Design Standards section 4.1.6 “Traffic speed and volume” has the following requirements.
Motorised traffic speeds
Where 85th percentile speeds are above 30mph, either calming or a higher degree separation is required. If cyclists are not separated, level of service is highest where 85th percentile speeds are below 20mph.
Traffic volumes and composition
Where volume is above 1,000 vehicles during the peak hour, separation for cyclists or reduction of traffic volume is required. A basic level of service for cyclists can be achieved if peak volumes are between 500 and 1,000 vehicles per hour but only if the proportion of HGVs is below 5 per cent. For lower degrees of separation, the highest levels of service come with peak volumes below 200 vehicles per hour.”
We believe that motorised traffic speeds and volumes on Wellesley Road do not currently meet LCDS requirements for a cycle route without separation.
To meet these requirements, Wellesley Road either requires a separated cycle route, or, traffic management is needed to reduce 85th percentile speeds below 20mph and peak time volumes to below at least 200 vehicles per hour.
In addition to these general requirements for cycling, there are a number of specific issues along Wellesley Road that affect cyclists and pedestrians:
- The western end of Wellesley Road has parking on the pavement. This restricts use of the pavement for pedestrians, particularly disabled pedestrians and pedestrians with children in a buggy.
- On Brooks Road between Wellesley Road and Stile Hall Gardens, drivers frequently do not wait for oncoming cars to pass and instead drive along the pavement.
- Drivers frequently cut the corner when turning right from Brooks Road onto Stile Hall Gardens and enter Stile Hall Gardens on the wrong side of the road creating danger for vehicles and cyclists heading east on Stile Hall Gardens
- There is a left hook risk for cyclists at the junction of Chiswick High Road and Heathfield Terrace
- There are often conflicts at the mini-roundabout at Wellesley Road and Sutton Lane North as it is not clear when a vehicle or cyclist has entered the roundabout
In summary, the area can be improved for walking and cycling by:
– reducing 85th percentile speeds below 20mph
– reducing peak time vehicle volumes below 200 vehicles per hour
– addressing specific locations where vehicles drive or park on the pavement
13. Do you have any ideas of what could be done to improve the quality and attractiveness of the area?
We believe the only way to address the excessive speed and volume of motor vehicles in the area is to introduced “filtered permeability” that will block access to the South Circular for westbound through motor traffic but still permit residential access to the area and through routes for both westbound and eastbound cycle traffic and pedestrians.
We believe there are several possible locations for filtered permeability interventions and several methods by which filtering could be achieved, but at this stage, we do not have a preferred location and method as each location and method will have its own advantages and disadvantages.
For example, possible locations for filtering could be:
– at the western end of Stile Hall Gardens and Wellesley Road near their junctions with the South Circular
– on Wellesley Road between Oxford Road North and Brooks Road
Possible methods to achieve filtering could be: No Entry Motor Vehicle signs, sections of one way street for motor vehicles or permanent physical barriers for motor vehicles. No Entry and One Way signs would need to be enforced by cameras.