Question of how to cut traffic in Richmond rumbles on

By The Editor

17th Feb 2021 | Local News

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic, traffic trials in Richmond and Bushy Parks, and the closure of Hammersmith Bridge to pedestrians and cyclists "dramatically" changed traffic conditions in Richmond last year, according to a new report.

This has made it difficult to work out the best way to reduce traffic in the East Sheen (Parkside) area, leaving councillors with no choice but to simply continue monitoring traffic data for another 12 months.

Back in October 2018, Richmond Council introduced several experimental traffic restrictions in East Sheen following complaints about rat-running in Palmerston Road.

But the following summer, residents raised concerns about increased traffic levels after the closure of Hammersmith Bridge to vehicles and the impact this had on the wider East Sheen area.

The council went on to develop different proposals for a Low Traffic Neighbourhood in the area, but the results of the public consultation in January 2020 showed none of the options had any clear support.

They were all removed while council officers continued to monitor traffic data.

But a year on, the council is none the wiser as to what to do to reduce traffic.

Events this year mean the data collected is "not necessarily a true reflection of long-term patterns", according to a report given to the Transport and Air Quality Committee last week.

Council officers highlighted that the Royal Parks Movement Strategy, which seeks to reduce motor traffic in Richmond and Bushy Parks as part of a six-month trial, potentially had a "major impact" on the borough's roads.

The trial ends at the end of this month, when the Royal Parks will decide if they should extend, make permanent or revoke the measures.

Parking in Richmond Park

The Royal Parks also ran a consultation on whether it should introduce parking charges at the back end of last year.

Currently parking is free, but the Royal Parks wanted to consult with locals on possible changes to help manage the high demand for parking and encourage visitors to use more sustainable forms of transport.

Council officers said if these charges were introduced, it could see more people parking their cars on the public highways.

They have requested funding from the Royal Parks as a contribution towards any parking changes in the area if the traffic trial is made permanent and parking charges are introduced.

They said the council would use the money for traffic surveys and potentially for highway measures to improve rat-running or congestion if this is caused by the new measures in Richmond's Royal parks.

It would also look to conduct parking surveys and perhaps introduce waiting restrictions or a controlled parking zone to address any displaced parking on to the borough's roads.

It is expected to cost the council between £15,000 and £20,000 to monitor traffic and conduct parking surveys over the next 12 months.

This money will be met from the council's local transport fund, from within the TfL local implementation plan.

The council has yet to agree with the Royal Parks on their contribution to off-setting these costs.


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