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Ealing cyclists raise safety concerns and ask what is Ealing Council doing to make roads safe?

Cyclists across Ealing are asking what is Ealing Council doing to make roads safe. Ealing cyclists regularly take to Twitter and have contacted EALING.NEWS to raise their concerns over how the borough’s roads are maintained.

From unsafe crossings and dangerous junctions, through to bus and cycle lanes being obstructed by vehicles not allowed to use them, cyclists say Ealing Council has not taken road safety seriously and isn’t dealing with the dangers being faced on a daily basis.

They also claim the council hasn’t honoured an all-party commitment made in December 2017 following the tragic death of Claudia Manera. Claudia was hit by a lorry when cycling at the junction of Uxbridge Road and Northfield Avenue.

EALING.NEWS spoke to Andy Hillier, co-founder of Make Uxbridge Road Safe! a resident-led pressure group calling for safety improvements to the road.

Junction of Uxbridge Road and Northfield Avenue. Photo: Make Uxbridge Road Safe!
Junction of Uxbridge Road and Northfield Avenue. Photo: Make Uxbridge Road Safe!

What challenges are there still with Uxbridge Road? 
The Uxbridge Road is a dated disaster. Little consideration is given to pedestrians and other vulnerable road users such as cyclists and wheelchair users.

There are too few safe crossings and many of the junctions are dangerous to cross on foot or by bike. It is why the road has one of the worst safety records in the whole of West London.

The council and TfL need to update the crossings and junctions along the road, bringing them in line with the latest design standards. Plus, they need to create protected routes for cyclists to ensure they are kept safely away from motor traffic.

Why do you think do you the council is not honouring its commitments?
The council’s active travel policy has flip-flopped over the past three years.  One minute it says West Ealing is the priority, then it shifts its focus to Acton and now its gaze is fixed on Southall and Northolt. But hardly anything is achieved.

The vast majority of money seems to go on consultations, rather than actual delivery. Year on year, it’s hard to identify genuine progress.

What would you like to happen and by when?
The council needs to honour the all-party commitment made in December 2017 following the tragic death of Claudia Manera.

First, it needs to publish a detailed plan outlining how it intends to update the whole Ealing section of the Uxbridge Road. The plans need to be drawn up by leading experts and show how it will address every crossing and junction, as well as ensure cyclists are kept safe. It then needs to consult on these proposals.

Second, it needs to start building the routes. The council can fund the scheme using Section 106 money it has received from developers as well as bid for money from TfL.

All of this could be achieved within a three-year time frame if the council prioritised the road. However, sadly it seems to be adopting a piecemeal approach to  changes, meaning progress is slow and the improvements are minimal.

What is required is a cohesive plan that covers the full length of the Ealing section of the Uxbridge Road.

Hounslow Council and TfL have achieved just that for the development of the Cycle Superhighway 9 (CS9), proving it is perfectly possible.

Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Neil Reynolds, chair of Ealing Green Party said: “In a climate emergency the council needs to ensure more people choosing cycling to travel, especially short distances. The lack of progress on the Uxbridge road is exasperating. There need to be connected routes through the borough, the council just needs to get on with it.”

EALING.NEWS reached out to Ealing Council for a comment.

In a previous statement to EALING.NEWS last year, an Ealing Council spokesperson said: “Safety along Uxbridge Road is of high priority to the council, as is creating sustainable highways and tackling climate change. We aim to make the streets and environment safer and healthier for everyone, including cyclists and pedestrians.

“TfL have allocated a grant of £7million towards the West Ealing Liveable Neighbourhood (WELN) programme, specifically to improve safety along Uxbridge Road. This grant is released as and when design, consultation and implementation takes place. £1million has been allocated to the design and consultation process to date. As partners in the WELN, Make Uxbridge Road Safe! campaigners have been kept informed and engaged on this activity and will continue to take part in reconvened meetings due to start in the new year.

“The WELN programme was paused for 2.5 years during Covid, and this impacted on improvements to the Lido Junction as well as other improvement activity.

“Uxbridge Road, where it passes through Ealing, is 11KM in length, therefore works happen in phases to allow the road to continue to operate.  Work completed and currently underway include:

  • Continuing to implement a high quality cycle route, sections of which have already been implemented from Ealing Common to Acton and the Iron Bridge to Southall Park.
  • Hanwell Bridge to Iron Bridge will begin design and implementation in 2023/24
  • Junction modification at Lido Junction with Northfields Avenue – consultation currently underway with TfL to consider impacts on pedestrians, cyclists, buses and traffic.
  • Crossings to enhance pedestrian safety along West Ealing and at Lido Junction.”

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