Throughout lockdown, I have been looking after my 89-year-old mother with Alzheimer’s and her diabetic carer in Bryant Court. I have taken all the pressure off social services, the government and the NHS and provided a complete package of grocery and medication delivery and respite care. Much of this has to be, necessarily, done by car. Mum isn’t very mobile and can scarcely hop on a bike or even walk from the Vale to my house in Goldsmith Avenue. Her groceries don’t deliver themselves. (though Basil & Toms was helping!)
Now a new traffic scheme by Ealing Council is going to make delivering that care ever so much harder.
“Low Traffic Neighbourhoods” (LTN) is a proposal aiming to reduce rat-runs, short car journeys and enhance social distancing and clean air. They are theoretically short-term and require no consultation with local residents. Plus they bring in some much-welcomed central government dosh to cash-strapped councils.
Ealing is proposing to bring in ten LTNs, and very soon. Four are in Acton.
One LTN is already in place. It stops the rat-run from Bowes Road to the little roundabout in East Acton Lane. Even though I used the route frequently, I can see that’s a good idea for local residents and the benefits to them must well outweigh the downside of having to go a slightly longer route themselves.
But that’s not the case for the LTN proposed for north of Churchfield Road which seems to have no benefits for local residents. It closes Goldsmith Avenue/St Dunstans from Shakespeare road/Goldsmith Road, blocks the Crane Avenue access to Cumberland Park and blocks Acacia Road/Cumberland Road.
If these plans are implemented, essentially isolating Goldsmith Avenue, I will have to drive north, then along Grafton Road, down Horn Lane with all its traffic (presumably much increased) past Morrisons, along Acton High Street and all the traffic there, along the Vale to Bryant Court, where my mum lives. And goodness only knows how I get her back to my house – which I do regularly. And then return her. Via Emmanuel Avenue and Messaline at the top of Horn Lane, it seems. A very long way round.
When the Grafton Road one-way street was implemented, a critical part of its success was the re-opening of the Crane Avenue/Baldwyn Gardens gate so that local residents could still access Horn Lane. I’m not aware there have been objections to this. I haven’t seen them and do keep my finger on the local pulse fairly frequently. To close it back down will not make the lives of local residents better.
We do not have a serious rat-run problem in Goldsmith Avenue or neighbouring streets. As far as I know, there have been no complaints. Not one has surfaced on our vibrant COVID support group.
When we close the road for Playing Out sessions, hardly any of the vehicles we ask to go round are through traffic and thus potential rat-runners. I cannot understand where Ealing Council’s evidence for the need for this scheme comes from. And with no consultation, it seems councilors really don’t care whether there is evidence or not.
This plan won’t even enhance social-distancing (apparently another aim of the scheme)
The proposal says that an LTN will not make things hard for local residents but will enhance their quality of life. This will do the opposite.
This plan will make life harder for those of us in St Dunstan’s, Goldsmith Avenue, Grafton Road, Baldwyn Gardens, Messaline Avenue and Emmanual Avenue at least.
Plus it will increase the congestion on Horn Lane and in the High Street – congested enough already.
If you think our elected representatives ought to at least know what we think – even if they refuse to formally consult us – please email COVIDtransport@ealing.gov.uk. This will only bring an infuriating and patronising bounce-back. But if you copy in our councilors: Crawford@ealing.co.uk and rooneyS@ealing.gov.uk plus the portfolio holder for this policy email@example.com, at least they get to know our opinion.