Church Street Isleworth to be Closed
Eighteen month trial to test impact
An hour's long heated discussion took place at Thursday's Isleworth and Brentford Area Forum (IBAF) to discuss a proposed closure of Church Street.
Over the years various traffic calming measures have been tried to reduce traffic volumes on North Street and Church Street without much success. A traffic survey for this consultation estimated two thirds of traffic in afternoon peak period are using these roads as a rat run to avoid Twickenham Road.
With 242 responses, 59% supported the closure of Church Street whereas 40% opposed. For a traffic consultation this is quite a high response. On the other hand a majority (52%) opposed the closure of North Street to through traffic.
Speakers from the audience in support of closure spoke of the speed at which traffic drove down Church Street, with very narrow roads and pavements. Several spoke of personal near misses.
Speakers in opposition talked about the dramatic impact this would have on neighbouring streets, with a petition signed by more people against than indicated support in the consultation. A member of the public said that living in this area was like living in a giant roundabout.
Mark Frost, Head of Traffic & Transport in Hounslow explained that over 18,000 cars a day used Twickenham Road. In response to questions he said that 18 months was the longest a trial could be and was needed in order to monitor seasonal variations and to provide like for like comparisons on months. He expects there to be an immediate impact on surrounding roads but the length of the trial will demonstrate whether that initial impact is moderated over time. The scheme will be monitored throughout the trial and can be altered if serious problems occurred. He will make interim reports.
Councillor Ed Mayne proposed additional recommendations: that a consultation be held with North Street three months into the trial to look at impact and discuss options; that Traffic look at possible junction improvements on Twickenham Road; a third recommendation was not noted.
Whilst there was general agreement that traffic in the area was a massive problem there were many different impassioned views as to the best solution and the impact any scheme would have.
Councillors, with the exception of Cllr Tony Louki who abstained, all voted in favour of the experimental closure of Church Street at the existing width restriction for a period of eighteen months.
September 18, 2015