Council leader promises residents will have final say on borough traffic measures
Councillor Gary Malcolm in the Fisher's Lane underpass
The sudden decision by Ealing Council to scrap a Low Traffic Neighbour Scheme (LTN) in West Ealing appears to have significant implications for the access restriction on Fisher’s Lane.
The council now says that residents will have the ‘final say’ on recently introduced traffic schemes with the decision as to whether to continue with them to effectively be decided by a vote. A number of recent surveys suggest that there is significant local opposition to the Fisher’s Lane closure.
Newly installed borough leader, Peter Mason, announced on Friday (21 May) that LTN 21 was to be removed this weekend. The decision was prompted by Hounslow Council’s confirmation that they intended to close access from one of the main roads out of the LTN due to roadworks taking place nearby.
The new council leadership team are now promising a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) style consultation on each LTN in the borough, keeping schemes that work and are supported, and removing those that do not.
This is similar to a proposal made earlier this year by local MP Rupa Huq.
Cllr Mason said, “I’ve pledged that the council I lead will be open, transparent and inclusive. That means being honest about what works and what doesn’t.
“This decision is about giving local people control over change in their neighbourhoods. Our commitment to tackling the climate emergency and enabling active travel and cycling remains unchanged, but we know we must take people with us.”
The Fisher’s Lane restriction was implemented in July last year, with Ealing and Hounslow councils working in cooperation with the aim of improving access for pedestrians and cyclists by temporarily prohibiting general motor traffic such as taxis and cars. The measure forms part of a strategic cycle route which would eventually linking East Acton to Chiswick and to Cycleway 9 on Chiswick High Road. A final decision on whether to make the closure permanent was due to be made earlier this year but the publication of the interim review into the scheme was subject to a series of delays.
Liberal Democrat Southfield ward councillor Gary Malcolm wrote to Peter Mason on the day of the decision on LTN21.
He urged the council leader to remove all of the LTNs in the borough as soon as possible as well as the Fisher’s Lane scheme saying, “This LTN as well as the others in Ealing have caused a great upheaval and distress to the lives of many vulnerable users as well as those who need their vehicles as part of their livelihoods.”
The Liberal Democrats in the ward surveyed residents’ opinions on the access restriction on Fisher’s Lane which showed that over three quarters wanted the underpass fully reopened.
A recent analysis of over 1,000 responses to a survey on the Citizenspace consultation tool used by Hounslow showed that 91% opposed the Fisher’s Lane closure with 88% opposing it strongly.
At this stage no indication has been given as to when any vote on the Fisher's Lane scheme might take place.
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May 23, 2021