Campaign to reverse Streetspace measures in Chiswick

A group of residents in Chiswick campaigning against Streetspace measures put in place by Hounslow Council have raised more than £17,000.

OneChiswick, an apolitical, grassroots campaign run by residents, is pushing for Streetspace measures, implemented by the council, allegedly without any consultation beforehand, to be reversed.

The Streetspace measures, which started last June, include cycleway C9, the temporary cycle path on Chiswick High Road, and LTNs (low traffic neighbourhoods) across Chiswick.

A spokesperson for OneChiswick said: “It is dreadful. People are now faced with road closures, lack of parking, painfully slow and lengthy journeys and detours and severe fines if they fail to spot new, poorly designed road signs.

“Many of the roads targeted are described as rat-runs but are in fact essential local routes to our homes, shops, friends and family.”

The campaign, which is raising funds to fight Hounslow Council and TfL in court, may leave Chiswick facing long-term implications if unsuccessful, the group believes.

The spokesperson said: “Chiswick was a major shopping destination for people living in adjacent boroughs to come to shop and socialise in as well as those living in other parts of Chiswick.

“This will stop, businesses will go to the wall and house prices will fall. Families, young people and professionals will move away to places more peaceful and easier to get around.”

Additionally, the spokesperson believes the council could have used their budget in a better manner.

They explained that the money could have been distributed in areas such as improving roads and pavements, looking after the homeless and improving social care.

The fundraiser has already raised in excess of £17,000 with a target of reaching £50,000 for the first stage of the campaign.

A TfL spokesperson said that cycleway C9 will make cycling and walking safer, and more appealing than using a vehicle to travel.

They added: “Projects such as the temporary cycle tracks along Chiswick High Road are essential in helping London avoid a car-based recovery from coronavirus.

“We will continue to monitor the effects of these temporary changes over the coming months.

“This includes their effects on traffic flow, road safety and cycling and walking rates.”

A Hounslow Council spokesperson said: “In December, temporary Cycleway 9, a segregated cycle track along Chiswick High Road, Heathfield Terrace and Wellesley Road, opened.

“OneChiswick claims that Hounslow Council acted unlawfully when it approved Transport for London’s proposal to install this scheme and when making two traffic orders.

“The High Court sat on Friday 12 February 2021, to make procedural directions regarding a legal challenge from OneChiswick Ltd. The Judge has decided that the final hearing will be in June 2021. In the meantime, Cycleway 9 remains lawful.

“Transport for London and Hounslow Council remain committed to making cycling easier, safer, and more appealing in Chiswick. Chiswick High Road is a serious casualty hotspot for cycling that required urgent action.

“With social distancing requirements still in place, including on public transport, there is a significant risk that congestion levels across London will rise if trips previously made by buses or trains are instead made by car.

“To enable people who previously drove or used public transport to cycle, streets must be safe and well designed.

“We are listening to feedback and are continuing our review of what effect this temporary scheme and other Streetspace schemes are having on road users, residents, businesses and visitors.”

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