|Hounslow 'London Transport Borough of the Year'|
More funding to come for cycling facilities
Hounslow has been voted London’s ‘Transport Borough of the Year’ at the London Transport Awards 2011.
The borough, recipient of the ‘Most Improved Transport Borough’ award in 2008, scooped the top prize after the judging panel noted that Hounslow had ‘gone from strength to strength implementing large numbers of major schemes for bus priority, cycling and walking all with tangible results.’
The judging panel, consisting of independent transport practitioners and academics, also commented that Hounslow had ‘consolidated its achievements in road safety, workplace, school travel planning and smarter travel.’
As well as designing and implementing a number of bus and cycling schemes, the council was rewarded for reducing delays to buses and providing safer cycling conditions at key junctions. Using funding from developers, the council brokered bus service improvements, including new double decker buses on route H91 serving the Great West Road. Transport for London (TfL) funding allowed the council to improve several high-capacity routes, with bus and cycle lanes and new pedestrian facilities.
Hounslow is outer London’s first “Biking Borough” and co-planned and hosted the successful Skyride in Brentford in 2009, attracting 11,000 participants. Several key barriers to cycling have recently been overcome by a range of initiatives including a new cycling and pedestrian bridge on Bedfont Road in Feltham and several new routes through the borough’s parks.
Hounslow’s roads and footways are expected to be significantly improved from 2013 when a new Private Finance Initiative comes into operation. Hounslow is one of only three local authorities to secure Department for Transport support for such initiatives.
The judges also noted that satisfaction in public transport across the borough has risen steadily over the past five years, and use of buses and bicycles has increased while injury accidents affecting road users have fallen.
Hounslow has also recently secured £324,000 of funding from the Mayor of London’s ‘Biking Boroughs’ programme for 2011/12-2013/14 to improve cycling facilities, the fifth largest allocation across the 13 ‘Biking Boroughs’.
Cllr Corinna Smart, Hounslow’s executive member for environment said: “We have not hesitated in undertaking innovative initiatives to improve road safety and encourage people to use sustainable and healthy modes of transport.
“While Hounslow’s record in transport planning and sustainable transport promotion speaks for itself, it’s gratifying to see that the council has met the challenge of exceeding the innovative work previously limited to inner London boroughs, which have traditionally been at the forefront of public transport, walking and cycling improvements.”
“All of our schemes start with the recognition that road safety, accessibility and the environment can be improved by carefully-targeted initiatives, designed and delivered in close cooperation with local residents, cycling groups and public transport operators.”
May 17, 2011