Hammersmith Bridge closure – Conservative councillors demand action

Hounslow Conservative Councillors demand action to minimise the impact on Chiswick, Brentford and beyond of the closure of Hammersmith Bridge

Councillor Joanna Biddolph has urged the leader of Hounslow Council, Councillor Steve Curran, to demand action from Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, and Councillor Stephen Cowan, leader of Hammersmith and Fulham Council (LBH&F), to minimise the increasingly significant and unacceptable impact that the continued closure of Hammersmith Bridge is having on residents.

In her email to Councillor Steve Curran, Councillor Biddolph explained that she been contacted by local residents who cannot get out of their gates and onto local roads because residential roads are being used as rat runs in a bid to escape traffic jams on principal roads. Others say they cannot join principal roads to travel within or beyond Chiswick. For some, the consequent repeated use of car horns by frustrated and trapped drivers is excessively disturbing (one refers to the ‘horn concerto’ outside his front door).

Buses are severely affected with residents reporting extremely long times to travel short distances. Residents, workers and visitors using buses or driving, including for essential deliveries, are similarly frustrated about being stuck in traffic. Retailers are reporting even slower trade than before because travelling to/from shops is so slow and unpleasant, whether by bus, bike, car or on foot.

The rise in pollution from idling traffic is exacerbating residents’ symptoms of asthma and other breathing difficulties on streets that already breach safe pollution levels.

Cllr Biddolph said, “We have direct experience that the problems persist beyond Chiswick. Traffic tail backs in Brentford have worsened considerably since the bridge closed. There are obvious similar impacts on buses, vans and cars trying to cross Kew Bridge either way; journeys are taking much longer than usual.

“Local road closures (Stile Hall Gardens) and road works (including along the North Circular A406 Gunnersbury Avenue) are making the situation much worse.

“It is now wholly unacceptable and must be gripped.”

Councillor Biddolph noted that others in neighbouring areas – notably Hammersmith, Barnes and Putney – have campaigned for steps to be taken in their areas, saying: “I am very concerned that mitigation there will lead to further deterioration here. Hounslow must be treated on a par with its neighbouring boroughs”.

She has urged Councillor Curran to write to the Mayor of London and the leader of LBH&F on behalf of Hounslow residents expressing his concern about the impact of the continued closure of Hammersmith Bridge and seeking prompt action from TfL and LBH&F to keep traffic flowing in Hounslow, particularly in Chiswick and Brentford, and places beyond such as over bridges to/from Richmond and Kew.

She has invited him to visit Barrowgate Road, Cedars Road/Ellesmere Road/Great West Road, Chiswick High Road, Chiswick Lane, Sutton Court Road and the approach to Kew Bridge during peak traffic times to see for himself how the closure of Hammersmith Bridge is affecting our residents. She added that residents are available and willing to meet him so he can see how badly affected their roads are.

She added that, if measures are slow to implement, we need local signs instructing drivers not to sound their horns and to turn off their engines when traffic isn’t moving.

She said, “I urge you to act swiftly to achieve improvements including remedial bridge works so that Hammersmith Bridge can re-open to vehicles as soon as possible, and to seek other measures that will keep West London traffic moving”.

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Councillor Joanna Biddolph on 07976 703446 or joanna.biddolph@hounslow.gov.uk