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Ealing Council unveils a Travel in Ealing Charter for Ealing residents as it plans the future of active travel in the borough

Ealing Council has unveiled its Travel in Ealing Charter in which it says it will be listening to residents and stakeholders across the borough to develop its plans for active travel which council leader Councillor Peter Mason says “we can only make it sustainable with your support”.

In its draft charter, the Labour-run council says in the document: “In preparing this Charter, the Council has had feedback from over 850 residents and other local stakeholders over a period of five months” and is inviting others to comment as well as add to it.

Council leader Peter Mason said: “We are committed to active travel, but we know that we can only make it sustainable with your support. When we ended the trials for some low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) last year, and made others permanent, we made a commitment to residents that, in future, our active travel schemes would be developed with them – and not done to them.”

He added: “That is why we are launching our Travel in Ealing Charter – to set out exactly how that is going to happen. We cannot guarantee that every idea we propose is going to work, but we can guarantee that we will do what we say we are going to do in this charter – starting by asking you what is not working, what you want to see change, and work with you to fix it. That starts today.”

The council has pledged in its charter to be “open, transparent and inclusive” in its processes to residents as it develops active travel plans. It says it aims to bring residents with them on their vision and approach to be Net Zero by 2030.

Councillor Mason said: “The commitments in the Travel in Ealing Charter will enable us to build on the steps we are already taking with communities to enable cleaner, greener, active travel, by working together to design schemes that work for residents.

Councillor Deirdre Costigan, deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, Ealing Council said it is “giving residents a real say on upcoming plans”.

In a statement, she commented: “We will work together to identify problems and opportunities in your area, we will always show residents our homework – the data our proposals are based on – and we will ensure that decisions we make are truly reflective of the needs of the community. We are already putting this into practice with our Travel in Ealing Engagement Toolkit, which will allow a whole new approach to giving residents a real say on upcoming plans.”

Councillor Josh Blacker, Ealing Council cabinet member for healthy lives, added: “Active travel has huge physical and mental health benefits and is a great way to help ensure our neighbourhoods are pleasant places to move around in.It is also vital as we look to fight the climate crisis, protect our kids’ lungs by cleaning up the toxic air, and reach our ambitious goal of net zero by 2030.The debates around active travel can often be nuanced, so this charter will help ensure that residents have the strongest possible voice in the future of their neighbourhoods.”

Ealing Council has also revealed that its plans for School Streets where driving restrictions are in place around school opening and coming home times now has 17 schools in the scheme with plans to grow that to 50 by 2026.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Gary Malcolm, leader of the Opposition on Ealing Council told EALING.NEWS: “After the farce of the LTNs and other schemes where the Council chose not to consult residents many of us will be cynical about how different the future might be. For example on one scheme (Fishers Lane) they did not even consult residents so they need to also ensure they review recent decisions to consult of those given they want to be open and transparent.”

Councillor Malcolm added: “Liberal Democrats want to ensure that more power and money is placed in the hands of ward based local councillors and residents associations so the experiences of what is needed in an area will be met by the Council. Recently in axing ward forums Labour broke an election pledge, so can we trust Ealing Labour? Schemes need to take take account of those people who need to use cars sometimes such as workers with their equipment and tools, who I have spoken with in Hanwell, Acton and Southall.

Councillor Malcolm said his party has supported schemes in Ealing and that the council also needs to listen to residents.

He said: “Liberal Democrats have supported schemes like cycle hangers, electric vehicles changing points and School Streets schemes, but there needs to be a clear option for people to reject bad scheme proposals. The Council need to review these new changes in a year so people can assess whether they are working or not.”

Councillor Julian Gallant, Conservative Group Leader told EALING.NEWS about his concerns: “Conservatives also appreciate the many benefits of walking and cycling. You get to see more of this amazing borough for a start. But we don’t think Active Travel should become active action against drivers. Cars are a necessity, not a luxury, for many Ealing families. Labour talks up a grand scheme and produces slick video content. Conservatives seek safe, useful and reliable cycle infrastructure: a full safety training programme for cyclists: and properly maintained roads, pavements and trees.”

To view the council’s draft Charter for Travel in Ealing, click here.

Residents can also give their views on the draft charter by clicking here.

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