Ealing Council Committee Endorses Fisher's Lane Closure

Way now open for restrictions to be made permanent

The Ealing Overview and Scrutiny meeting this Thursday
The Ealing Overview and Scrutiny meeting this Thursday

Ealing Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee has endorsed the decision to restrict traffic on Fisher’s Lane clearing the way for the measure to be made permanent.

Opponents of the closure, which prevents traffic other than buses and bicycles going through the underpass, were hoping that the decision might be queried by the committee on the grounds of lack of evidence and consultation and local opposition to the scheme. In Hounslow borough the same committee did criticise some of the decisions made on traffic management during lockdown recently. However, the meeting on Thursday 21 October did not find any grounds to question the decision.

The Liberal Democrats had conducted a survey of Southfield ward residents prior to the meeting. There were 679 respondents of whom 85% felt there should be a binding CPZ-style consultation about the measure similar to those held elsewhere in Ealing for Low Traffic Neighbourhoods Schemes. 83% of respondents said they wanted the restrictions removed. The Liberal Democrats say this undermines claims by the Labour administration that earlier polls showing the restrictions were highly unpopular were due to Turnham Green Terrace being closed at the time people were surveyed.

In a letter to the members of the committee sent prior to the meeting Southfield Liberal Democrat Councillor Gary Malcolm also said that Freedom of Information requests about traffic counts had not been answered and that council officers had told him that the weekly increase in cyclists was only 187 which was negligible in the context of a general increase in cycling.

Results of the survey of Southfield residents held by the Liberal Democrats
Results of the survey of Southfield residents held by the Liberal Democrats

Councillor Malcolm added, "It is shocking that the Council's review committee just rubber stamped what the Labour party have forced upon Southfield. The evidence of problems was clear especially with congestion on Acton Lane, cycling accidents and forcing some Chiswick businesses to suffer on top of Covid. Residents and most Liberal Democrats do not want to see these changes take place as the Council has clearly promised to properly consult before making a decision but haven't. They only presented a small amount of data and they misused that data to bring in their plans even though most people are against them. This is a shocking and disgraceful kick in the teeth to all the residents of Southfield and Chiswick."

Local transport campaign group OneChiswick commented,“This detrimental and unjust decision about Fishers Lane has been taken on ideological grounds by those who know little or nothing about, there has been no professional consultation by Ealing. Local people are fully aware that very few cyclists are actually even using Fishers Lane so it is hardly benefitting anyone. It is a decision which is creating worse air quality rather than less. Ealing should be measuring and sharing the numbers of cars on South Parade, measuring the air quality on South Parade/Acton Lane and the numbers of cyclists at peak times. It must also professionally measure the real views of the people who actually live on or close to Fishers Lane. Then there would be a basis for a fair and just decision. “

On Twitter the leader of Ealing Council Peter Mason said, “Delighted that tonight’s attempt by the @Ealing_Tories & @EalingLD to stop the implementation of our Deans & Montague Road LTN in Hanwell and Fishers Lane cycle scheme in Chiswick have been rejected. Both will now move to full implementation.”

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October 24, 2021