FISHERS LANE IS AN IMPORTANT NORTH-SOUTH LINK ROAD allowing travel to Bedford Park, Acton, Stamford Brook and beyond in the north and central Chiswick, Grove Park, Kew, Barnes and elsewhere in the South. It has ALWAYS been a vital link road.
In 2020, at the same time that Turnham Green Terrace was closed to cars, a ‘No Entry except Buses and Cycles’ was introduced on Fishers Lane at its junctions with Chiswick Common Road and South Parade. This removed through traffic at the railway bridge, improving the environment for the very few cyclists using it but creating long detours for other road users and adding to the pollution on other roads, but in particular Acton Lane and South Parade. Bus access was not affected.
The proposals were jointly introduced by Hounslow and London Borough of Ealing and this action, combined with the closure of Turnham Green Terrace to through traffic, brought Chiswick and most surrounding areas to a complete standstill. Acton Lane, South Parade, Bath Road, Goldhawk Road and elsewhere were completely gridlocked.
Petitions to re-open the road have been ignored, though there was another consultation that closed on 31st January 2021. https://haveyoursay.hounslow.gov.uk/traffic-and-transport/streetspace-feedback/consultation/intro/
The final review of this scheme was in Autumn 2021. Ealing Council, backed by Hounslow approved permanent closure of the road without sufficient data. Ealing Councillor Deirdre Costigan announced that cycling had increased by 200%, yet days earlier, Peter Mason said the increase had been 140%. Numbers are being plucked from the air.
OUR measurements showed, in the peak hours as shown below, an average hourly cycle-count of just 22 cyclists .
IT IS INCREDIBLE THAT THIS VITAL NORTH SOUTH LINK ROAD HAS BEEN CLOSED TO CARS BASED ON THIS NELIGIBLE USE BY CYCLISTS. THIS DEFIES BELIEF AND FLIES IN THE FACE OF LOCAL DEMOCRACY.
FISHERS LANE IS NOW A DARK AND INTIMIDATING PLACE FOR WOMEN WHO ARE AFRAID TO USE THE ROUTE AFTER DARK
PETER MASON SAYS IT PROVIDES A SAFE ROUTE, BUT NOT FOR LONE WOMEN AFTER DARK
EALING’S COUNCIL LEADER PETER MASON HAD THIS TO SAY:
“I’ve cycled to Fishers Lane this morning, (24th Sept 2021) We’ve been working in partnership with Hounslow Council to deliver significant improvements to the cycle scheme and I’m happy to say that we’ve taken the decision to make it permanent.
“We’ve seen a huge, 140% increase in the number of people cycling in the area in the last twelve months and we want to make steps to support residents in getting on their bikes wherever possible.
“It provides a safe route for people of all ages, including children, to cycle or walk to local parks, schools and shops. It also links four east-west routes from Chiswick to Acton and sees motor traffic removed from Fisher’s Lane except for buses. The benefits are clear not only for cyclists, but pedestrians and those using public transport too.”
The borough leader also outlined a number of other active travel initiatives which they have implemented or are planning in the borough but he has attracted the ire of Boris Johnson’s transport adviser, Andrew Gilligan for scrapping most of the Low Traffic Neighbourhood Schemes (LTNs) implemented in the borough during lockdown. However, central government funding for transport projects in the borough has not been reduced.
Cllr Mason said, “Following a review of traffic and air quality data, alongside careful consideration of responses to our recent consultations, we’ve also confirmed the end of trials in some other parts of the borough.
“We remain committed to active travel, but if we are going to achieve the kind of change we need to tackle the climate crisis we know we must take local people with us and be honest about what works and what does not.”
How can a road which was closed to support social distancing remain closed after that requirement has passed?? IT WAS NEVER ABOUT COVID 19
WHAT WERE THE RESULTS OF CONSULTATIONS ON CLOSURE?
On 11th May 2021 Steer presented Hounslow with an analysis of Fishers Lane responses gathered between June 2020 and January 2021. An abbreviated version of their report is shown below.
THE OVERWHELMING FEELING ABOUT THE CLOSURE IS THAT 88% STRONGLY OPPOSED IT, AND 84% FELT IT SHOULD BE REVERSED IMMEDIATELY. Read Steer’s response below and click on this link for the online report. Scroll down to Fisher’s Lane.
Streetspace Review | Hounslow’s Streetspace | London Borough of Hounslow
Project LB Hounslow Streetspace Consultation Analysis Project No. 23971201
Fisher’s Lane Analysis
- This note presents the findings from the analysis of 1,124 responses to LB Hounslow’s consultation on the
Chiswick North Streetspace scheme, focussing on Fisher’s Lane. The 1,124 responses were submitted via
Citizenspace between 23 June 2020 and 31 January 2021. The Chiswick North Streetspace scheme also
includes Turnham Green Terrace, Devonshire Road and Duke Road; analysis of responses concerning
these streets are reported separately, one report for each street.
- LB Hounslow appointed Steer to analyse the responses to the council’s public consultation on Streetspace
measures in the borough. Across the 27 schemes, over 8,700 responses were received between June 2020
and January 2021 and downloaded from the Citizenspace online consultation platform for analysis.
Profile of respondents
- This section presents the demographic profile of respondents based on answers to the closed questions.
These questions were optional so not all respondents provided an answer. The figures below present the
results, alongside the data for the LB Hounslow as a whole based on 2011 Census data. In summary:
• Almost half of respondents were female (49%) and 39% male.
• Age bracket 45-59 received the highest number of respondents (37%), followed by 60+ (27%) and 30-
44 (19%). Few individuals aged 18-29 (3%) provided a response to this measure, despite this group
representing one-fifth of the borough’s population.
• Over two-thirds of respondents were white / white British (70%). Asian / Asian British people account
for over one-third of the borough population but only 3% of respondents.
• Over three-quarters stated that they are not disabled (72%). Of those who stated they are a disabled
person (8%), the key types of disabilities are categorised within physical disability (62%), followed by
long-standing health condition such as diabetes (13%).
- Postcode sector analysis has been undertaken to understand the geographical distribution of responses.
It shows that the postcode sectors with the highest number of responses are W4 1, which includes Fisher’s Lane, and
sectors immediately surrounding this, predominantly in the London Borough of Hounslow, or within close
proximity to Fisher’s Lane in the London Borough of Ealing. Responses were also received from postcode
sectors further afield, both within LB Hounslow and outside (for example LB Hammersmith and Fulham to
Opinions of Streetspace measures
- The survey asked respondents two closed questions relating to the Streetspace measure selected:
- Which of these statements best describes how you feel about the measure?
- Which of these statements best describes your current feeling about the future of this measure?
- The responses to these questions are presented below. The figures demonstrate that the majority of
respondents strongly oppose the measure (88%) and feel it should be stopped and reversed immediately
(84%). Analysis has shown that the date of response has little influence on feelings about the measure or
- Respondents were invited to provide any other thoughts about the measures introduced along Fisher’s
Lane. Steer has analysed the 925 open-text responses received. Open question analysis works by assigning
– or coding – the points made by each respondent to one or more codes within a code frame. Each code is
a point raised by respondents in their response. This enables the same or very similar points raised by
multiple individuals (and expressed by individuals in a variety of ways) to be categorised within the code
frame. From this it is possible to count how many times the same or very similar points have been raised
- Analysis found that the primary area of concern is increased congestion on surrounding roads, notably
South Parade and Acton Lane, causing longer journey times. This was raised by 70% of respondents who
provided an answer to the open-text questions. Over one-third of respondents expressed concern about
the impact on air quality, often linked to the longer journey times caused by the measure. Almost onethird
- of respondents expressed opposition to the measure alongside the closure of Turnham Green
Terrace, with some stating that at least one of these north-south routes should remain open. Concern was
also expressed about the impact on residents and the restricted access to and from Bedford Park, with a
feeling among respondents that Chiswick is being divided.
- Other areas of concern relate to the feeling that the measure is unnecessary and ill thought out, that it
does not increase safety for cycle journeys and concern surrounding the consultation process.
Consultation concerns related to the lack of resident and business engagement prior to the scheme’s
implementation and the need to complete the survey several times to comment on schemes of interest.
- The key reason among respondents for supporting this measure is a general comment of support for reducing and
restricting private vehicle use (35, 4%). The key suggestion from respondents is for Fisher’s Lane and
Turnham Green Terrace to work as a one-way system. This was suggested by 48 (5%) respondents.
- LB Hounslow has also accepted email responses for all Streetspace measures, including seven responses
regarding Fisher’s Lane. These have not yet been analysed within the code frame but will be included in
the Final Review. Of those received, our initial review suggests there are no new concerns or suggestions
that haven’t already been raised via Citizenspace, although it will still be important to code these email
responses so that they are treated the same as those received via Citizenspace.
Commentary on equality
- Considering the 95 individuals who stated that they are a disabled person, the majority strongly oppose
(93%) the scheme.
- 74 respondents expressed concern that their accessibility is restricted as a result of the measure. This is due to being a disabled person (which 21 of these respondents previously
stated) or having mobility issues (e.g. an elderly or pregnant person). A further 43 respondents expressed
concern about the measure’s impact on accessibility of disabled people or those with a mobility issue (e.g.
an elderly or pregnant person) but did not explicitly state this was an issue for themselves or a family
member. Three of these previously stated that they are a disabled person.
- In addition to the consultation, LB Hounslow received an online petition opposing the combined
Streetspace measures in Chiswick. The petition does not relate directly to the Fisher’s Lane measure, but
instead the measures which have been introduced since April 2020 in Chiswick collectively. The key
concerns mentioned in the petition include: the impact on residents, particularly disabled people and the
elderly; the impact on businesses; the impact on emergency services; and, a lack of consultation prior to
the introduction of the trial measures. The petition was open between April and December 2020 and
received 4,319 signatures. While there is typically overlap between petition signatories and those
responding to a consultation as individuals, it is not possible to accurately determine this figure, so it
should neither be assumed that all signatories are additional consultees or that none are.
THE ON-LINE PLACEMAKING CONSULTATION 8TH FEBRUARY 2021
A placemaking consultation, organised through URBAN MOVEMENT’S BRIAN DEEGAN, ended on 8th February. Brian is an advocate of
the BIG SHOCK THEORY and worked with local Architect Peter Murray on a redesign of Turnham Green Terrace. Most participants were keen to retain the unique character of TGT but Peter appears to be keen to push ahead with Urban Movement’s proposals which involve moving the taxi rank and bus stop away from the entrance to the tube station. This will seriously inconvenience the disabled and other late night workers who need a bus or cab for their onward journey.
Based on previous consultations/engagement meetings, we know there is a probably a further hidden agenda driven by the cycling lobby.
Why are they changing the names of boundaries within Chiswick and elsewhere?
Is this one is seeking endorsement of the Urban Movement proposals which could turn Chiswick streets into characterless streets like those in Waltham Forest?
Would Chiswick lose its unique character?
The descriptions sound good but the effects could be devastating. Orford Road, Waltham Forest, which has had the lobby treatment has only 15 shops in the pedestrianised section, cannot be considered a useful comparison; business is so low that several shops open for only three days a week. Traders in Chiswick, where rents are so much higher, will not survive. Please support Chiswick’s traders by making it clear that you want the Terrace, Devonshire Road and elsewhere to stay open to all drivers; that the parking should be restored, especially the free 30-minute stop-and-shop parking; as it is a much-valued place for locals and a destination for people from all over London and much further beyond; please add important points about the inadequacies of the consultation processes and ask for a full and proper professional Market Research Society compliant public consultation of residents and businesses who use this road as a local road to/from their homes and other parts of Chiswick. To review the consultation click here.
For further information as to the “consultation” process please click here