The Streetspace programme was developed by the Mayor of London and TfL. It was a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to create more space for cycling and walking, reduce the pressure on public transport and avoid a car-led recovery. But the changes were sudden, dramatic and done without any initial consultation. There is much confusion as to whether the changes are experimental, temporary or permanent. Here is a description from the Hounslow Council website of the programme and also a list of the 22 projects many of which are in Chiswick. Read the latest on measures throughout Chiswick here – Streetspace Review | Hounslow’s Streetspace | London Borough of Hounslow – and ask yourself why so many schemes have focussed on Chiswick when it is the most environmentally aware part of the borough. Why haven’t areas closer to central Hounslow been the target when car ownership is far higher than it is in Chiswick?
Many of those that are in place in Chiswick have caused huge disruption for locals and visitors alike, reducing footfall in our shopping roads damaging many retailers and causing particular hardships for those who are disabled or elderly and cannot cycle or walk far and rely on buses, taxis and cars.
Closing key arteries and retail roads in Chiswick
As part of the Streetspace programme, Hounslow council closed Turnham Green Terrace (a B road), and Devonshire Road – both important shopping streets, and Ealing council has closed Fishers Lane.
These are not “rat runs’ in residential areas but important roads linking north and south Chiswick. Most of the shops in these roads have lost a substantial portion of their business as a direct result and this threatened to take away the whole life of the community. This will cause very long- term damage to livelihoods and businesses. The Chiswick community may never recover.
Over £1,000,000 in fines from TGT alone
In addition to closing the roads to cars, parking spaces were removed and over 7,000 Penalty Charge notices were issued to cars driving down Turnham Green Terrace. The vast majority passed through because the signs leading to Turnham Green Terrace were unclear and they were simply caught on camera. Many were landed with heavy fines which many struggled to pay. Hounslow had every chance to improve the signage when they could see it wasn’t working, but they decided to do nothing.
So, Turnham Green Terrace went from being one of the most vibrant and charming streets in Chiswick—with an eclectic collection of small shops—to a shadow of its former self. Traders complained that they lost substantial income as the number of customers reduced dramatically. Given so many livelihoods are at stake you would expect the council to respond quickly to traders’ concerns, but did they? No!
Eventually, on May 17th 2021, almost 12 months after the changes to Turnham Green Terrace were made, residents were advised the re-opening of the road was permanent and the stop and shop parking facilities would be restored.
Read about the reopening of it here: Chiswick’s Local Web site (chiswickw4.com)
Read what locals want for Devonshire Road here: Chiswick’s Local Web site (chiswickw4.com)
Read about the May 21 interim report where locals reject Streetspace here :
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