|Local MP calls for clarity over travel disruption|
With Congestion on All Approaches to Hammersmith
Local MP Mary Macleod has called for ‘greater clarity’ over the date when residents can expect the Hammersmith Flyover to be reopened. The four lane arterial road was closed in December after routine inspections highlighted issues with its structure. Mary commented, “The Hammersmith flyover is a vital transport link for West Londoners and its temporary closure has caused much disruption, especially on roads in the Chiswick area.”
“I will be holding a public meeting for those affected by the closure where they will have the opportunity to raise any concerns with myself, Transport for London and local transport officials,” Mary added. “The priority here is safety but it is also important that local people have an understanding of when the disruption they are currently facing is likely to end.”
Transport for London have put into place a number of measures to minimise delays including traffic light fazing and working with the freight and the delivery industry to divert large vehicles away from trouble spots. A spokesman revealed earlier this week that around 80 engineers are currently working to assess the scale of the problem, with that number set to increase once work commences on replacing the steel cables.
Last week the London Mayor Boris Johnson visited the site and promised that the flyover would be “fully operational well ahead of the 2012 Games,” however there has been much speculation as to when this might be. Mary added, “The priority must be for the experts to work out a realistic time frame for the flyover to be back in action and for that information to be shared with local people.”
TfL have implemented local traffic diversions supported by Variable Messaging Signs, advising drivers to avoid the area. Many commuters and commercial vehicle operators are now following the signed diversion routes including the A40 and the South Circular. However, others have switched their route to Chiswick High Road in the hope of a faster journey.
Consequently, Chiswick High Road is experiencing significant congestion and traffic delays affecting bus routes 27, 190, 237, 267, 272, 391, 440, E3, H91, as well as local goods servicing and local private traffic. All roads approaching Chiswick High Road are also significantly affected.
Hounslow Council has arranged for the following temporary changes to bus lanes and waiting restrictions along the full length of Chiswick High Road between Chiswick Roundabout and Goldhawk Road to be implemented immediately:
The council has also postponed scheduled tree maintenance work along Chiswick High Road.
Cllr Corinna Smart, Hounslow’s cabinet member for environment said:
“We have acted swiftly to make these changes and improve traffic conditions in the area, and we’ll be requesting that TfL reimburses the council for the costs associated with this work.
“Despite these emergency measures, bus journeys along Chiswick High Road to and beyond Hammersmith or Shepherds Bush are expected to continue to be slower than usual. Road users should consider switching to tube and train services, as these are not affected by this closure. Walking and cycling are likely to be better alternatives for anyone making short local journeys in Chiswick.”
The Borough asks motorists to avoid Chiswick High Road if at all possible as this route will not provide a faster journey between Hounslow borough and central London and will only contribute to local congestion.
January 12, 2012