OneChiswick - United against StreetSpace Changes
WHO WE ARE
OneChiswick is an apolitical grassroots campaign, run by, with and for residents who passionately love their area and welcome change and improvements through consultation with all the residents of Chiswick, not just a chosen few with their own cycling agenda.
We came together in mid 2020 and share deep concerns over the way Streetspace measures, cycleway C9T and LTNs (low traffic neighbourhoods) have been implemented across Chiswick, without any meaningful consultation, harming shops and communities and impacting on families living on main roads like the A4 and the A316, and with apparent conflicts of interest with Councillors and the cycling lobby. The stated aim was to avoid rat runs, lower traffic and encourage alternatives to motorised journeys during Covid. However, we believe these have not been properly thought through and many residents and businesses experience unprecedented traffic jams and increased pollution on the few main roads left open as roads have been blocked, or narrowed like Chiswick High Road, Turnham Green Terrace, Fishers Lane and the Grove Park restrictions leading to an INCREASE in pollution and decrease in business. Furthermore the displacement of traffic from Chiswick High Road has caused unprecedented levels of traffic on Dukes Avenue, Duke Road, Hadley Gardens, Wavendon Avenue and Barrowgate Road, as well as Acton Lane since the closure of Fishers Lane, the A4 and A316 since the closure of Staveley Road and Hartington Road. Covid restrictions have been lifted for well over a year, yet LB Hounslow and LB Ealing have made certain restrictions permanent, highlighting the fact it was never about Covid but a desire to make road closures without due democratic process.
Vulnerable are left on polluted bus stop ‘islands’ while cyclists continue to use pavements
HOW CAN WE REVERSE THESE CHANGES
Many of us have been saying something must be done to reverse the street changes that have been forced on Chiswick. Over 90% of people in Chiswick oppose these changes but even that isn’t enough to have them reversed. We have seen some movement on Turnham Green Terrace and Devonshire Road, yet Hounslow insists on pressing ahead with wasting more of our taxes by paying for consultants to investigate 'public realm improvement' (ie to pedestrianise large parts of it). Chiswick already has many large, open green spaces where residents and their families can socialise and enjoy the open air.
Expressing how feel we helps - writing, signing petitions, protesting, researching, posting pictures, putting up flyers is all very well and helps us vent our frustrations, but we have received little response from Hounslow or our local MP, Ruth Cadbury. Demonstration at Hounslow House over further restrictions in Grove Park met with some success, petitions like the one to reopen Turnham Green Terrace had an effect but we need to see more movement.
Even the Queen got stuck in Chiswick Traffic in 2020.
Until 2021 we were unable to protest publicly because of the pandemic. It was either not allowed or difficult to organise. We could not just wait till the next Council elections because Chiswick voters don’t get to control either Hounslow or Ealing Council. The 2022 elections show Hounslow continues to have a massive Labour majority which it has used to drive through these Streetspace changes against the wishes of our locally elected councillors and local residents: furthermore none of the Hounslow cabinet members responsible for these changes live in Chiswick. Hanif Khan, the transport lead on these matters has now lost his seat and is no longer a councillor; Katherine Dunne is now deputy leader.
Hounslow Council has been given substantial funding from Central Government and has used it to create a dangerous, unworkable and unwanted two-way cycle route on Chiswick High Road, as well as creating a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in Grove Park: they have taken out our bus lane and crossing refuges in the high road and closed off several roads like Fishers Lane, Devonshire Road, Duke Road, Hartington Road, Staveley Road and Harvard Hill, thereby dividing our community, putting shops under pressure, forcing people to make long, polluting detours and making life miserable for those who have to use public transport or who are disabled and disadvantaged. Imagine if that money had been spent improving access for the disabled at Turnham Green station, Stamford Brook, Chiswick Park or Gunnersbury; reinstating the bus services that were cut, fixing potholes and greening the cycle paths along the A4.
Turnham Green Terrace became a wasteland created by Hounslow Council, and whilst these measures were removed after months of protest, it is now faster to WALK to Chiswick Town Hall than to take the bus from Turnham Green station!
Access to Grove Park and the Thames has been restricted for non Grove Park residents to just one road, forcing people on long detours, increasing pollution on the A316, the A4 and other local roads; Chiswick has been completely divided. In 2022, fines totalling £10 million plus were levied against motorists entering Chiswick's Grove Park LTN via Hartington or Staveley Roads. It is a complete travesty.
Staveley Road and Park Road vandalised
Unlike the situation in Ealing and High Street Kensington where the Councils listened to their own businesses and local people over the voices of the Cycling lobby, Hounslow isn’t showing any real signs of listening at all. Quite the opposite. The report from their consultants STEER, (which was 2 months late in being published) confirms what OneChiswick has being saying all along - Chiswick residents do not want these changes! Yet with the exception of Turnham Green Terrace, Hounslow Council continues with even more road closures - check out Chiswick's Local Web site (chiswickw4.com) for further information.
In common with several other areas of London, we started proceedings against Hounslow council and TfL in an attempt to reverse the Streetspace project, Cycleway 9 T, because it was not consulted upon and against the Equality Act.
Those proceedings have now stopped as TFL/LBH have made significant changes to the design in an attempt to improve its safety. This is an appalling waste of taxpayers money - the road layouts put in during 2020 to accommodate the cycleway, have been ripped out twice and revised layouts installed. The changes, which once again are described as temporary, were meant to be completed in early 2022 but work continued well into 2023.
So far, C9 has cost the taxpayer £13,000,000 -https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/transparency/freedom-of-information/foi-request-detail?referenceId=FOI-2139-2122
We all want to see safe cycling but what has been installed on Chiswick High Road is dangerous - to cyclists, pedestrians and the less able - and disadvantages many.
We do believe safe cycling is important and want the cycle tracks alongside the A4 to be improved and greened. The A4 route already runs from Hounslow to Kensington and has been used by Chiswick locals for many years.
What has Chiswick become?
YOUR DONATIONS HELP FUND THE CAMPAIGN TO CHALLENGE THESE ROAD CHANGES AND TO IMPROVE WHAT THEY REFUSE TO REMOVE
Hounslow and TfL may be strong but they aren’t above the law!
Campaigning and legal challenges can be expensive, but we can fight back when the time is right and reverse these changes.
We know times are hard but this is for the future of our community, our homes, our journeys and the quality of life in Chiswick.
WHAT IS THE MONEY FOR?
To challenge and where appropriate reverse the changes to Chiswick roads imposed on Chiswick without prior or proper consultation by LB Hounslow.
A large part of the funds raised has gone towards preparing for the judicial review (JR) of C9T, TfL’s temporary cycle superhighway on Chiswick High Road, which is a Streetspace measure. That legal advice had to be paid for, as well as consultant's reports submitted as part of the Judicial Review highlighting the shortcomings of the scheme. We also paid for campaigning materials, such as our websites and eye-catching leaflets and posters distributed before Christmas 2020 and during 2021. We continue to pay for ongoing legal advice as and when required
THE JUDICIAL REVIEW
The legal challenge in respect of the temporary cycleway scheme on Chiswick High Road has now been withdrawn by OneChiswick Ltd.
The challenge for Judicial Review was made on the basis of an Experimental Traffic Order “C9T” in 2020 on which there were significant safety concerns about the cycleway’s design and discrimination against, and failure to consider, groups who were elderly, disabled, visually impaired and others who merit consideration under the Public Sector Equality Duty (“PSED”).
Hounslow Council replaced that Order with a new Traffic Order (“ETO2021”) and construction based on that new ETO began in 2021. The ETO2021 is to run for another 18 months and once again is described as “temporary”. However, the cycle lane works, which have cost in excess of £13 million SO FAR, have over run the schedule. The 'consultation' that is being run by TFL/LBH has been extended as the cycle lane was closed for most of 2022 and continues to be closed most of the early part of 2023. PLEASE COMPLETE THE CONSULTATION, which closes on 3rd April 2023...LINK CAN BE FOUND HERE https://haveyoursay.tfl.gov.uk/cycleway-9
SUCCESSES FOR ONECHISWICK
There are substantial modifications to the original scheme, which reflect many of the concerns made by OneChiswick but none reflect feedback from the consultation on PSED that the Council lauded in August that it would “listen” to. Nor does it show the evidence of the pollution these changes have caused through traffic displacement, simply because it has not been measured (save for one device whose location after the changes became less relevant as the main traffic was now closer to the CHR).
OneChiswick Ltd has studied the detail and lawfulness of the new ETO2021 and related decisions issued in November, and despite the flagrant disregard for the views of and disruption to local people, find that courts have supported councils' assurances to them that changes are temporary and amendments will be made along the way.
OneChiswick Ltd will continue to apply the remaining resources that it has to campaign against road changes that are divisive, damaging, and in some instances dangerous, to Chiswick residents, to Chiswick High Road and in the wider Chiswick area - especially on behalf of the most vulnerable groups in the community. OneChiswick thanks all of those who have given so much help in the form of active volunteering, generous donations and moral support to its hard- fought campaign.
HOW HAS THE CYCLE LANE AFFECTED THE COMMUNITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
The cycle lane has led to many road closures and diversions such as Devonshire Road, Turnham Green Terrace, Duke Road, Fishers Lane and Stilehall Gardens as well as the removal of our bus lane. The long diversions and gridlock we all now experience in Acton Lane, Southfield Road, Goldhawk Road, the A316, the A4, South Parade and elsewhere are directly related to the installation of C9, as is the displacement of traffic onto more residential roads which are now noisy and more dangerous.
HAVE OTHERS BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN APPLYING FOR JUDICIAL REVIEWS?
Many of you will have read with great interest the significant legal judgement by Mrs Justice Lang on 20th January 2021 in regard to an application for a Judicial Review on behalf of the London Taxi Drivers Association. Importantly she wrote that 'The London Streetspace Plan' and 'Interim Guidance to Boroughs' are unlawful. TfL were given leave to challenge this judgement and their appeal was heard in late summer 2021 - this time the taxi drivers lost their case.
Saturday night in Chiswick - Chiswick High Road now regularly gridlocked because of C9 and everyone can only go as fast as the slowest bus.
PRESENT AND FUTURE LTNs WHERE TRAFFIC IS JUST DISPLACED ONTO OTHER ROADS
We want to be in a position to make sure that all the other Streetspace measures and LTNs are either reviewed or stopped or reversed when we are in a position to do so. Timing is key.
We want to be able to challenge the Grove Park/South Chiswick and other LTNs at the right time - but only if we can raise enough money. There will be sudden deadlines to face when reviews are announced and we will need to be ready! Our local councillors successfully 'called in' further Grove Park road closures, which denied access to residents living south of the A316 to any part of Grove Park without going via the Hogarth Roundabout and the A4. This was partially successful but Hounslow has extended the hours of other road closures, despite 88% of respondents rejecting their changes. We continue to apply pressure to support the most vulnerable amongst us.
Acton Lane and South Parade – one interminable traffic jam.
BUT AREN'T THE CHANGES SO RIDICULOUS THAT THEY ARE BOUND TO REVERSE THEM ANYWAY?
We have witnessed Hounslow Councillor's intransigence in the face of huge local opposition, and despite 88% of respondents saying NO to the Grove Park closures their mantra is 'it is not a referendum'. So why consult if the results are ignored? There is such determination by the minority cycling lobby and more extreme climate emergency lobbies that they won’t give up an inch until they are forced to change. And by then it might be too late for the businesses, shops, the disadvantaged. This is not going to be an easy battle but it is so important for the future of our community. There are challenges on several fronts. We need to be ready and put on a really professional case.
AND IF WE SUCCEED, WE GET BACK THE CHISWICK WE LOVE! IMAGINE HOW THAT WILL FEEL!
If you donate to this cause, every time you walk around your restored neighbourhood you will be able to say
'we all helped to bring Chiswick back'. Share this with friends and family and people who care about Chiswick
OneChiswick is a volunteer group; none of us is paid and none of us will benefit from funds raised. Any excess funds at the end of the campaigns will be donated to a local charity.
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OneChiswick of Chiswick