Monday, 21 September 2020

New Bike Shop for Ealing


A new bike shop, Messa Cycles, has opened in Dickens Yard, near Ealing Broadway. The shop is a family-run business owned by Andrea Messa and sells bicycles made by the Italian company, Ganna. Andrea started Messa Cycles as an online store during the Covid-19 lockdown but has now moved it into premises in Market Street in Dickens Yard. As well as Ganna bikes, Messa Cycles will sell accessories such as locks, helmets and baskets. They will also service bicycles, but customers will need to book this in advance. For more details see Messa Cycles

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Increased Cycling in Low Traffic Neighbourhood

A spot one-day count in the recently installed Northfields Low Traffic Neighbourhood shows cycling has almost doubled compared to a pre-Covid count taken in 2018. The count, carried out on Salisbury Road three weeks after the scheme was introduced, also showed that the number of motor vehicles on the road dropped to a third of previous levels. This is only a spot count, but it suggests the LTN is working.

An additional benefit of the scheme appears to be a reduction in the number of people cycling on the pavement. In 2018, we recorded six people (including children) cycling on the pavement. In 2020, this figure had dropped to three.

Ealing Cycling Campaign carried out the 2018 count in response to a traffic order that planned to make Salisbury Road one-way. We were concerned that this would greatly increase the number of vehicles pulling out of Salisbury Road into Northfield Avenue at a location where a van driver performing this manoeuvre had killed a cyclist two years earlier.

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Monday, 3 August 2020

Emergency Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Ealing Council has started installing the first batch of Covid-19 emergency Low-Traffic Neighbourhoods. All ten schemes should be in place by mid September.  The photo above shows the connector (modal filter) on the first scheme to be installed in Adrienne Avenue, Southall. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, space on public transport is severely limited, so many more people will be travelling around the borough on foot or by bike. The aim of these schemes is to make this active travel safer. 

Low Traffic Neighbourhoods benefit all residents by reducing pollution and creating safer streets for children to walk and cycle on. All roads will still be accessible by car, emergency services and delivery vehicles, but on the best schemes, all through traffic is removed. Some journeys by car will be longer, and some motorists are objecting to these schemes, so please let your councillors know you support them. You can contact your councillors here

The ten schemes are:

Acton Central - Due to be installed September 2020

This scheme covers the area north of Churchfield Road.

Adrienne Avenue, Southall - Installed 22 July

A single connector (modal filter) in Adrienne Avenue has removed through traffic from this and surrounding streets. Although a small scheme, it will make it safer for pupils of Greenford High School to access the nearby footbridge across the canal, and the street will be much quieter for residents including those living in the care home.

Bowes Road, North Acton - Installed 23 July

Another scheme with just a single connector, this time on Glendun Road at its junction with East Acton Lane. The benefit of this scheme is less clear, as this doesn't appear to be a rat run to any major roads, but the council has published a map showing the boundary of this scheme as the area around Bowes Road.

East Acton Golf Links - due to be installed in September

We have no information on this scheme yet.

Junction Road, South Ealing - Due to be installed mid August

This scheme should remove rat-running traffic coming off the A4 and cutting through to South Ealing road or Northfields Avenue. It will create a traffic-calmed route for walking and cycling that will link up with Occupation Lane which Hounslow Councils has now closed to motor traffic.

Loveday Road, Walpole - Due to be installed late Aug / early September

Following feedback from the public, the council have improved the plans for this scheme. It now removes through motor traffic from all residential streets between Walpole Park and Northfields Avenue. 

Mattock Lane - Due to be installed mid August

This scheme will remove through traffic from the east side of Mattock Lane. The connector will be installed just west of Pitshanger Lodge - so between the Filmworks site and Barnes Pikle. The no-entry sign at the junction with Culmington Road will become a no-through road sign. 

Olive Road, South Ealing - Due to be installed early August

This will reduce motor traffic on the Olive Road section of the cycle route from St Mary's Church south to Clayponds Avenue. At the moment, motor vehicles heading west on Pope's Lane cut through the residential streets onto South Ealing Road, or across it into Temple Road.

West Ealing North - Due to be installed mid August

This Low-Traffic Neighbourhood won't remove all the through motor traffic. Cars will still be able to head west along Alexandria Road, Felix Road and Eccleston Road. The scheme will reduce traffic and pollution around St. John's Primary school.

West Ealing South - Due to be installed mid August

This is the largest of the schemes in Ealing, and will create a pleasant street park between Boston Road and Northfield Avenue. Before lockdown, some streets had over 1,000 vehicles per day cutting through here. Once the scheme is implemented it's likely that no street will have more than 200 vehicles a day. 
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Monday, 27 July 2020

Controversial Tower's Impossible Parking

Residents of the proposed tower block, 55 West, at West Ealing station would have to climb over other bicycles to reach their bikes and wheel cycles through gaps as narrow as 30 cm to get them out of the building. 

Ealing Cycling Campaign has lodged an objection to the planning application to build 55 West, a new residential tower on Manor Road in West Ealing, because the proposed cycle parking fails to meet planning guidelines. The parking, in the basement of the building, is packed so tightly together that it will be difficult and, in places, physically impossible to use. The arrangement of Sheffield stands, intended for cargo and all-ability cycles, is so cramped that even with standard bikes parked on the stands, there would not be room for a person to walk between them. 

Bicycles superimposed onto the submitted plan show that some bikes could only be removed by climbing over others

A resident trying to take their bicycle from the northern of the two basement stores would have to remove it from a two-tier rack that has cycles parked too closely together, into an aisle that is too narrow, through two doors that are 90cm wide when they should be at least 1.2m wide, then through a 30cm gap between parked cycles, along another aisle that is too narrow and eventually into a lift. 

The proposed cycle parking is so inaccessible that residents are likely to use the ground-level parking at West Ealing station instead. This will be immediately next to the new tower and far more accessible. Evidence from Dickens Yard, which also has basement cycle parking, shows that residents prefer to park at ground level. A check of public cycle stands at Dickens Yard two days apart revealed that 27 out of 32 spaces were occupied by the same bikes, which shows they are almost certainly being used by residents, not shoppers. 

Dickens Yard Public Cycle Parking is mainly used by residents

If the same happens at the 55 West building, there will be fewer spaces for commuters and other travellers to park bikes at West Ealing station, and the council, or Transport for London will have to pay for extra cycle parking to be installed.

Over 1,500 people have objected to the plans for 55 West. The 19-storey building is twice the height of others in the immediate area. Ealing Cycling Campaign's detailed objection to the planning application is available here.

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Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Covid-19 Emergency Active Travel plans

The council has received £652,314 from Transport for London for emergency Covid 19 active travel schemes. The bulk of the funding will go towards the Uxbridge Road strategic cycle route. Fifty thousand pounds will pay for an experimental traffic order to convert the bus lanes to 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week operation, and £396,600 will pay for other measures to improve cycling on the road. At the moment we have no details of what they will be. The remainder of the funding will go towards social distancing on King Street in Southall, creating three street parks (low traffic neighbourhoods), and filter schemes to limit traffic on a few residential roads. Two of the street parks will be in West Ealing, one north, the other south of the Broadway. These may be the only legacy of the West Ealing Liveable Neighbourhood scheme. Due to TfL's serious shortage of money, this is postponed for an indefinite period of time. The scheme was awarded £6.5m of funding from TfL in 2017, but has made little visible progress since. 

This is the list of schemes receiving funding from TfL. 

Uxbridge Road 24 /7 bus lane


Strategic Cycle Route

Uxbridge Road - other measures


Strategic Cycle Route

King's Street - Southall


Space at Town Centres

School measures - 2m footway markings


Space at Town Centres

East Acton Golf Links LTN 33


Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Mattock Lane LTN 35


Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Junction Road Area LTN 32


Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Bowes Road LTN 34


Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Adrienne Avenue LTN 48


Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

Loveday Road LTN30


Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

South Ealing LTN - Olive Road


Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

West Ealing: LTN South


Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

West Ealing: LTN North


Low Traffic Neighbourhoods

This allocation from TfL is below-average and puts Ealing at 17th place of the 30 London boroughs with funding announced so far. 





Waltham Forest



























City of London



















































Tower Hamlets








The council has also applied to the DfT for funding other schemes. We understand that it received the full £100,000 allocation in the first tranche at the end of June. 


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Sunday, 31 May 2020

Help Keep our Quiet Streets

Over the last two months, the quiet streets of lockdown have seen a boom in the number of people walking and cycling in Ealing. Children as young as five are riding their bicycles on the roads, and we now have a much nicer environment to live in. But can we keep our quiet streets when lockdown ends? Unfortunately, there's a real danger we can't. Transport for London (TfL) has calculated that, with social distancing, the tubes, trains and buses will only be able to carry 15 percent of the people they would normally carry. If people start travelling by car instead, it estimates private car journeys in Ealing will increase by 40-50 percent compared to pre-lockdown levels. The pleasant streets we have now will quickly fill up with rat-running vehicles, and congestion and pollution will be worse than ever.

Fortunately, there are plans to prevent this happening. First, TfL is making it easier for commuters to use active travel on the major routes. And secondly, it is planning to tackle the worst rat-running areas so locals can continue to safely walk and cycle - and social distance. To do this it has mapped the whole of London to find areas where the street network creates conditions that encourage rat-running.

In Ealing, the worst areas are in the south-east of the borough, on either side of the Uxbridge Road. The government and Mayor of London are prepared to fund temporary measures to help keep these streets quiet when lockdown is eased.  Our suggestion is to turn them into Street Parks - areas of streets where people feel it's as safe and pleasant to walk and cycle as in a park. (Transport engineers call them low-traffic neighbourhoods.) This would be achieved by preventing rat running through these areas, but retaining access for local residents, emergency vehicles, and deliveries. The Department for Transport is looking for temporary schemes that can be implemented quickly using cheap materials such as planters. Councils must bid for funding by 5th June. Once they receive the money, they must start installing the schemes within four weeks and complete them within 8 weeks. We've suggested 13 Street Parks that align with TfL's worst rat-running areas in the south-east of the borough. These could all be installed cheaply and within the proposed time scale.

If you would like a street park in your area, please contact your local councillors  and ask for an emergency, temporary street park / low traffic neighbourhood.*

The following map shows potential Street Parks in Ealing based on TfL's revised analysis published in mid June 2020. The dark green areas are considered highest priority. 


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Saturday, 30 May 2020

Emergency Cycle Lanes on Uxbridge Road

(30 May 2020) 

Today Ealing Council installed two short sections of segregated cycle lanes on the Uxbridge Road in Acton. The emergency cycle lanes are part of Ealing's plans to meet the travel demand when lockdown is relaxed. Due to social distancing, public transport is unable to operate at its full capacity. TfL estimate it can only carry 15 percent of the usual numbers. To fill the gap, the government and the Mayor of London are encouraging people to cycle. What that means for Ealing is that the Uxbridge Road and Cycleway 34 alongside the A40 will have to carry a lot of the journeys that used to be made on the Central Line, District Line, Heathrow Connect, other western mainline trains, plus the 607 and 207 buses. Even if many people continue working from home, that's quite a challenge. TfL have published a map showing new emergency cycle routes - marked in purple - in relation to the Underground lines. It looks like Cycleway 34 will run all the way to King's Cross along a lane of the A40. The new Uxbridge Road Cycleway is shown starting in Acton near Morrisons, and running as

far as Shepherd's Bush. TfL have identified the whole length of the Uxbridge Road through Ealing as a top priority cycle route, and Ealing Cycling Campaign have asked the council to extend the emergency cycleway along the whole route. While the sections installed today have good width - they are 1.7m wide to the base of the flexible reflective wands - they are very short. The west-bound lane runs for 100m between Bromyard Avenue and Larden Road. The east-bound lane stretches for 140m between Vale Grove and Centre Avenue. A letter from the Department for Transport to local councils makes it clear that the government is looking for big changes: "You will need to show us that you have swift and meaningful plans to reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians, including on strategic corridors", it states. "The quickest and cheapest way of achieving this will normally be point closures. These can be of certain main roads (with exceptions for buses, access and disabled people, and with other main roads kept free for through motor traffic): or of parallel side streets, if sufficiently direct to provide alternatives to the main road. 

Local authorities have until 5 June to apply to the Department for Transport for funding for emergency walking and cycling schemes. From the time they receive the money they have 4 weeks to start constructing the schemes, and once they've started construction, they must finish the schemes in 8 weeks.

Why cycling fills the gap
 If everyone who previously travelled on public transport got in their cars, the Uxbridge Road - and many others - would quickly become clogged. In terms of logistics, the authorities had no option, but to turn it into a cycleway. It will be the only way to get everyone to work.  A typical 3.5 metre wide lane can carry four times as many people on bicycles as in motor vehicles.
Priority Routes in Ealing
Although the Uxbridge Road is TfL's top priority cycle route in the borough, four other routes are marked as high priority: Whitton Ave in Sudbury Hill, South Rd to Merrick Road in Southall, Boston Road in Hanwell, and Gunnersbury Avenue to Gunnersbury Lane in Acton. We don't yet know what measures are planned for these roads.

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