Saturday 30 October 2021

Council Fails to Deliver Liveable Neighbourhood

 White Bicycle chained to railings at the Lido Junction, West Ealing

On Tuesday 19th October a group from Make Uxbridge Road Safe gathered at the Lido Junction in a vigil to remember Claudia Manera on the fourth anniversary of her death. Claudia died near the junction following a collision with a lorry in 2017. Since then there has been almost no progress on the Liveable Neighbourhood promised for the area. In the days following the tragedy, council leader Julian Bell brought Will Norman, the Mayor of London's Walking and Cycling Commissioner to look at the site, and promised that the "Liveable Neighbourhoods funding bid that we have put in to TfL will be for West Ealing, and it will be for this junction and the areas around". The following year Ealing won the funding for the West Ealing Liveable Neighbourhood and, at the council elections in 2018, all four main political parties pledged to install it, if elected. 

The brief for Liveable Neighbourhood funding is clear. "Projects will be expected to encourage a mode shift away from the private car and make streets work better for people, rather than for vehicles, as part of a wider traffic reduction strategy for an area." Through 2018 and 2019, there was consultation with the public, but little progress with traffic reduction. When Covid struck, in spring 2020, funding was stopped. In August 2020, through traffic was largely removed from the Liveable Neighbourhood area as part of the LTN21 experimental low-traffic neighbourhood. However, in May 2021 new Council Leader, Peter Mason, removed LTN21 and with it all the traffic calming that had been installed in the Liveable Neighbourhood. There was no consultation on its removal, and no alternative measures were put in its place. Since then motor traffic in West Ealing's residential streets has returned to its old levels.

In the summer of 2021, the council found funding to consult on the layout of Dean Gardens and has published the results. The plan to re-route the cycle path was not widely supported and won't go ahead.