TIS Response to Cycleway Proposal

Amended Proposals – New Cycleway - South Street + Upper Square, Isleworth

The Isleworth Society objected to the previous proposals in respect of the above (document attached) and we object again (for the same reasons), to the amended proposals.

The proposal for a new two-way cycleway on the pavement on the north side of South Street and Upper Square pavement to be shared with pedestrians is an ill-thought out and unnecessary scheme.   To obtain TfL money it appears that LBH officers are prepared to cause great upheaval to this area by proposing a scheme that will cause many problems and undoubtedly need to be altered in the future, which will then involve LBHounslow having to use its own money, and not TfL money, to correct the situation.

Proposed re-siting of bus-stop and shelter

To move the much-used bus-stop and shelter from outside Isleworth Public Hall (the most acceptable site for a bus-stop) to the narrower pavement opposite 1-3 The Pavement, South Street and proposing to widen the pavement at this point thus making the road narrower is unacceptable.  There is a controlled crossing some yards from this proposed site and the plan provided indicates that buses will be stopping within the zig-zag lines.  The Highway Code states The approach to, and exit from, a pedestrian crossing is marked with zigzag lines. It also means that you must not park on them or overtake the leading vehicle when approaching the crossing. Parking here would block the view for pedestrians and the approaching traffic”.

The proposed bus shelter is much smaller than the one outside Isleworth Public Hall (IPH) and would provide less shelter and seating.  There is public seating outside IPH which is also used by people waiting for buses. 

Community space + bus-stop outside Isleworth Public Hall

As mentioned in our original objections, the space outside Isleworth Public Hall is a community space as can be seen from this photograph.  Parents wait for children leaving the Blue School, people congregate from meetings etc., held in IPH.  At times there can be in excess of 50 people gathered at this point.Also, people waiting for a bus often sit on the public seats outside the building.

The loss of the bus-shelter in its present place and installation of a bus-shelter to the north side of South Street would cause major problems for pedestrians, violating their rights to safe spaces.

It should be taken into consideration that the road network is the most basic and important cycle facility available and cyclists should only be removed from the road where there is an overriding safety requirement that cannot be met by on-carriageway improvements.  We understand that several people attending the consultations at IPH suggested a more viable plan which would  take cyclists from Worple Road into Magdala Road/Richmond Road and then into North Street/Swan Street,  thus making it unnecessary to create chaos in South Street. We trust this alternative solution is being seriously considered by Councillors and LBH officers.

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-             hundreds of children, every school day, enter and leave the Blue School via the entrance alongside                  Isleworth Public Hall.  Parents wait on the pavement at this point and socialise with other parents; 

-        a Muslim school is held at Isleworth Public Hall every Saturday morning which numerous children attend and, again, parents wait for their children on the pavement outside;

-        Mini-Mes nursery for younger children is held at Isleworth Public Hall every weekday morning;

 

-        each Thursday older Asian ladies attend Isleworth Public Hall for the Millan Women’s Group, attendance numbers ranging from 60 – 70 each week.  The pavement area outside is used for socialising before and after the club and for waiting for buses and dial-a-ride vehicle;

-        each Friday Muslim prayers are held at Isleworth Public Hall, with up to 100 attendees.  Groups of people socialise after the prayers on the pavement outside the venue.

-        in addition, there are numerous activities held at Isleworth Public Hall – activity classes, meetings and celebratory events involving a large number of people.

To alter the pavement to enable cyclists and pedestrians to ‘share equally’ will create conflict and deem the area unsafe for pedestrians, as cyclists travelling at high speeds will take precedence over pedestrians.  Whatever the research carried out to produce this proposal i.e. cyclists will not speed on the pavement, in the real world this is not what happens.  One only has to wait in the bus shelter outside the Isleworth Recreation Centre on Twickenham Road and it will become obvious that some cyclists use the pavement without any thought or care for pedestrians.  Installing a kerb with a ridged finish between the pedestrian area and the cycleway would be an additional hazard for pedestrians (we understand the proposed height of the ridge is 20mm, whereas a height of 10mm is the ‘intervention level’ for trip hazards}.  However, whatever the height, any kerb would be dangerous for pedestrians.

Furthermore, it does not appear to have been taken into consideration that there are residential properties which have their front doors opening directly onto South Street and Upper Square. 

Drinking Trough adjacent to the Glossop Memorial and Drinking Trough

It is proposed to install the cycleway very close to the drinking trough (Locally Listed) and it is likely that the closeness will cause ongoing damage to the trough.  The picture opposite shows the trough as it is now, with a margin between the slip-road and the trough.  The proposals indicate the cycleway will be closer to the trough than the slip-road.

Street furniture

It is our understanding that if the scheme is implemented it would mean re-siting the lamp columns and pillar box in order to install the cycleway adjacent to the kerb.  The disruption to pedestrians and local businesses appears to be unending.

Consultation process

The consultation process has been unacceptable with many households not receiving consultation letters in respect of both the first consultation and the second. 

With proposals being put forward that will have such a detrimental effect on pedestrians surely there should be some way of letting people know about the plans.  Consultation letters in respect of planning applications are attached to lamp columns so perhaps this would be a good starting point to get the message out to the people.

We trust that Councillors and LBH officers will note our objections and the plans to obliterate the character of South Street and Upper Square will be abandoned. 

Rosemary Bunce

On behalf of THE ISLEWORTH SOCIETY