Save Ealing Streets Update
views expressed below are of Save Ealings Streets
There have been some important and alarming developments on the tram, and this message is to update you and to ask you 'What do you think of TfL's latest proposals?'
After many months of negotiation with Transport for London, we are extremely disappointed about the way they plan to implement the tram scheme.
TfL are in the final stages of their consultation with the Local Consultation Groups (community and residents' groups). This month, they have at last provided detailed information to groups in Ealing and West Ealing about what they are planning to do in terms of routing traffic and the tram, and released the results of the traffic modelling.
The final meetings with the local consultation for other areas groups take place over the next fortnight, and we will update you on the other areas once we know more.
The key points to emerge for Ealing and West Ealing are:
For the Ealing pinch-point, TfL plan a new road over Haven Green for eastbound traffic and for tram and traffic to share a single lane westbound. Although things have moved a long way since the initial proposals for Uxbridge Road closures, TfL have very recently moved backwards. In January Tim Jones, the project director, told the Ealing Gazette that there would be demolition of some of the ground floor extensions to buildings in the Uxbridge Rd - the row from Barclays to HSBC - to make space for an additional lane of traffic.
now changed their mind about this. The new road will spoil Haven Green,
and westbound traffic will be heavily restricted so as not to slow the
tram and so will lead to increased traffic in streets south of the Uxbridge
Road. (See Appendix 1 for traffic modelling and streets where traffic
is likely to increase significantly and Appendix 2 for full details on
the other options available for Ealing Broadway.)
Maps have been produced that show the tram will drive traffic away from the Uxbridge Road and produce huge increases in traffic on many residential streets. TfL have indicated that it is now a deliberate goal of policy to deter traffic from using the Uxbridge Road by making it more difficult for traffic to get through. In the past we had been led to believe that the problem of the pinch-points was a question of physical space constraints, and we were working with TfL to seeking ways to get round that.
to drive traffic away from the Uxbridge Road appears to be one of the
key reasons why TfL are now reluctant to adopt the superior (and more
expensive) solutions we had been discussing with them in the local consultation
group meetings. Instead of solutions that provide separate lanes for traffic
and tram, TfL are now moving towards allowing tram and traffic to share
a single lane at the pinch-points, but strictly controlling the amount
of traffic that can enter these shared sections. This will inevitably
drive traffic onto surrounding streets.
The key results TfL gave out compare traffic flows in 2011 if there is a tram with traffic in 2011 if there is no tram. The modelling is based on traffic sharing the Uxbridge Road with the tram, and is before any mitigation measures. Many residential roads show a ‘major increase’ which is defined as more than a 25% increase. We don’t yet know how much more, but are trying to find out. Residential roads with more than a 25% increase include Culmington Rd, Corfton Rd, Creffield Rd, Creswick Rd, Elers Rd, Gordon Road, Hazelmere Av, Hale Gdns, Kennilworth Rd, Longfield Rd, Mount Av, Midhurst Rd, North Av, Stanway Gdns.
Uxbridge Road traffic shows a ‘major decrease’ between Ealing Common and Hanwell. We are told that it falls by more than 25%, but again don’t know how much more. The modellers were keen to stress that the results for individual roads may not be an accurate reflection of what is likely to happen as the model is not sufficiently sophisticated to do that. The big increases on some local roads will, in practice, be spread over several neighbouring roads.
APPENDIX 2: DETAILS ON THE EALING PINCH-POINT OPTIONS
TfL are planning to take forward 4 options to public consultation, one of which represents their preferred ‘pre-consultation design’. They clearly strongly favour this, and are likely to go for this one unless there is enormous public pressure to the contrary. TfL have omitted two of the best options that we had discussed extensively with them from their list. The options we had been pushing for, and those TfL is consulting on are as follows:
1. SES preferred options
i) Diverting the tram in both directions round the back of the Arcadia centre, on the south side of the railway line, and leaving the traffic on the Uxbridge Road. This would have had the advantage that there could be a tram stop at or close to Ealing Broadway station. TfL have decided not to take this proposal forward to consultation on grounds that it depends on regeneration proposals on the land used which are still uncertain, and also on grounds of cost.
OR both of the following:
ii) Eastbound traffic to be routed up Springbridge Rd and then via a new road built on the south side of the railway line, between the railway and the Arcadia Centre. Traffic would access this via the ramp up to the Arcadia Centre car park. This option is one of the options going forward to consultation but TfL are not enthusiastic on grounds of cost and uncertainty over the development site.
iii) Westbound traffic to have its own lane made possible by demolition of the ground floor extensions which jut out on nos 43-53 Uxbridge Road – Barclays Bank to HSBC. The demolition would provide enough space for the extra lane, and for there to be tram-stops on both sides where the road had been widened. TfL are not putting forward this option for consultation, but they are including a much inferior version.
2. The options TfL is consulting on
At first sight it looks like TfL is consulting on options that we are likely to be happy with, but on closer inspection, theirs are on the whole much inferior. The options TfL is consulting on are as follows:
a) Eastbound traffic via a new road behind the Arcadia centre (Our option ii) above)
This is the only one of the options we have listed above which is going forward to the consultation, and although it is going forward, TfL have made clear they are not keen on this one.
b) TfL’s preferred option
traffic goes up Springbridge Rd, over a new road built over Haven Green
and back via The Broadway to the Uxbridge Rd. To compensate for the loss
of space on Haven Green, the diagonal road across the green would be grassed
over and there would be a new lane to take its traffic on the east side
of Haven Green.
on the south side of Haven Green carrying very heavy traffic will ruin
one of Ealing’s loveliest green spaces.
d) the 'economy' version of our option iii) for westbound traffic
This squeezes in a separate lane for eastbound traffic but without demolition of the ground floor extensions. Without the demolition, the limited space means that the eastbound tramstop has to be outside Marks and Spencers. This has 3 disadvantages:
means there is no room to allow traffic to turn left up Springbridge Road,
this removing one of the key Uxbridge Road crossing points
and Tracy Evans