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Campaigners call for Ealing Council to make Uxbridge Road safe

A local campaign group is calling on Ealing Council to take action to improve safety along the Uxbridge Road. Make Uxbridge Road Safe! says the council has “failed”, five years after promising it would improve safety.

The group was formed after former police officer Claudia Manera was killed when she was knocked from her bike by the driver of a lorry near Lido Junction in West Ealing in October 2017.

In December 2017, Ealing councillors from across all parties voted unanimously in favour of improving road safety for pedestrians and cyclists across the Uxbridge Road.

Campaigners from Make Uxbridge Road Safe!  say only limited changes have been made since then despite more than £1 million being spent on consultation and design.

Since the death of Ms Manera, there have been a number of further incidents along the road. These include a female pedestrian suffering life-changing injuries after being struck by the driver of a lorry in March 2020 and a schoolgirl being knocked down by the driver of a van in March 2021. Both incidents took place on West Ealing high street.

Campaigners say the council’s latest draft Local Plan includes proposals for the Uxbridge Road to be made safer by improving crossings and installing cycle lanes but they say there is no commitment about when the changes will be implemented.

Andy Hillier, co-founder of Make Uxbridge Road Safe!, said: “To date, the council has failed to produce any designs for an improved Lido Junction in West Ealing, despite spending more than £1.6m on consultation and design on the West Ealing Liveable Neighbourhood scheme. Neither has any overall design proposal for the Uxbridge Road ever been produced, despite the council commissioning separate audits from consultants Sustrans and Urban Movement.”

Mr Hillier added: “The council seems to be happy to spend money on consultants and consultations but then do little with the findings. Yet, audit after audit and consultation after consultation all point to the same conclusion: the Uxbridge Road is unsafe and requires urgent attention.”

Ealing Green Party chair Neil Reynolds told EALING.NEWS: “The sections of Uxbridge Road through Hanwell, West Ealing, and Ealing Broadway remain dangerous pedestrians and cyclists. The fact that the tragedy of Claudia Manera’s death has not prompted meaningful action in over 5 years reflects very poorly on TFL and Ealing Council.”

Mr Reynolds added: “There should be protected and filtered routes for cyclists and wider pavements and safer crossings for those on foot.The substantial sums that have been spent on consultations will be wasted if the council doesn’t get on with it and deliver better protection for people from cars.”

Ealing Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Gary Malcolm told EALING.NEWS: “The Council and others should have acted a long time ago.”

Make Uxbridge Road Safe! say the council is not using opportunities to improve and upgrade Uxbridge Road and has highlighted how the council gave permission for works to be carried out to the traffic signals outside the Marks & Spencer crossing in Ealing Broadway.

According to Make Uxbridge Road Safe!, Ealing Council didn’t make any physical upgrades to the crossing itself but caused inconvenience to pedestrians and road users while the works required closing crossings and installing temporary traffic lights.

Mr Hillier said: “We have previously informed the council about residents’ concerns about this crossing. We’ve heard reports of wheelchair users almost falling out of their chairs because of the steepness of the ramps. Parents also struggle to fit their pushchairs on the narrow islands. The recent works presented the council with a unique opportunity to make much-needed changes but, sadly, once again it failed.”

Make Uxbridge Road Safe! is calling on Ealing Council to action its commitment to overhaul Lido Junction and put in place a comprehensive plan for the entire road. It wants to see a plan detailing the junctions and crossings that require urgent action as well as deadlines for the completion of the work and the group says this should be completed by the end of 2023.

In a statement to EALING.NEWS, 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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